I just discovered something new that I am definitely going to try out. Jigme Love and Courtney Watkins have just opened Mine + Yours. A boutique where you can purchase gently used name brand clothing. That catch? You can trade your old (but good) clothes for money.
Adele Tetangco: You have an interesting concept for your store. Can you please explain it to us?
Mine + Yours: We are a curated resale store. We pay cash for clothes up-front, or offer store-trading credit. In this way, we eliminate the hassles of consignment for both the retailer and the customer. There are no contracts, appointments, time delays or strict rules. Just bring us your awesome; on-trend, almost-new clothing, and we will make you a cash offer. Because we take on all the resale risk, shoppers can be sure that we only have amazing pieces that we know someone else would want. We make reselling clothing a fun, quick, painless, and fashionable transaction! Further, we aim to sell our clothing at 75% off original retail prices, so it’s super gentle on the wallet. It’s also feel-good business in that we are recycling fashion and finding new homes for great pieces of clothing that would otherwise languish in the back of your closets.
AT: Where did you come up with this brilliant idea?
M+Y: Courtney and I have both lived in Los Angeles, where this Buy-Sell-Trade retail model is prevalent. It’s the only way I shopped and sold my clothes when I lived there. I constantly had new, name-brand clothing, and barely spent any money because I was always trading clothes back. When I moved back to Vancouver, I was surprised that we didn’t have anything like that here. I have a background in business and an MBA. I know a market opportunity when I see one! So we got to work and started building the business throughout the summer and we just did our soft open this week!
AT: How much inventory do you have on hand?
M+Y: We have about 900 pieces right now. We curated our inventory from stylists, fashion bloggers, local celebrities, and fashion-forward women in Vancouver.
AT: What kinds of brands to you have?
M+Y: We carry Theory, Alice + Olivia, Marni, J Brand, Rag & Bone, Acne, Carven, Band of Outsiders, Vince Camuto, Alexander Wang, Kenzo, Isabel Marant, The Row, Marc Jacobs, Sandro and more. That being said, we are very egalitarian in our buying, and buy based on style and trend, more than brand. We have everything from Top Shop to Chanel in our current collection.
AT: How much do you usually buy clothing for? Can you tell us about your credit system?
M+Y: We pay 30% of our projected resale price, cash up-front, and offer 50% in trading credit. So if we think we can sell something for $100, we will offer you either $30 cash on the spot, or $50 in store trading credit. You get more clothing mileage with the store credit (for example, we have a J Crew 100% cashmere sweater dress priced at $40). When you bring in suitcases full of clothes, this can really add up! Our goal is to create a fashion-trading hub for the women of Vancouver.
AT: Is this just for women? Or can men participate also?
M+Y: Everyone asks this question! Right now it’s mainly for women. But we are considering expanding into menswear very soon. We are test-marketing men’s clothing with our eBay store, so we will definitely take a look at particularly awesome men’s clothes.
AT: What has the response been like?
M+Y: The response has been extremely positive! Word of mouth has really spread about our cash-for-clothes offer. That really brings people in door, and when they see our inventory, they tend to hang around for a while and start shopping! Everyone has something in their closet that they’ve either never worn, or worn only once or twice. Mine & Yours targets those garments – amazing clothing that is still in style, and barely worn, that someone else would love to have. People really embrace the idea of this model of buying, selling, and trading clothing with other women in the city.
AT: What’s your favorite piece that you have in store right now?
M+Y: The Chanel Russian Snow Queen cashmere sweater dress we bought from Christina from the Real Housewives of Vancouver. The dress is beautiful – and it tells a story.
AT: If you could buy anyone’s closet – whose would it be?
Jigme: Rachel Bilson. Courtney: Olivia Palermo. Joanna (Mine & Yours Buyer): Kate Foley.
AT: Name one thing in your closet you’re never getting rid of.
Jigme: “My black quilted Chanel purse – I’m saving it for my granddaughter. If I should die without children, bury me with it.” Courtney: “I love constantly making room for something new in my wardrobe, but I do have a classic Tory Burch leather jacket that I will never stop wearing!” Joanna: “My Acne Pistol boots.”
AT: Pick: Alvin, Simon, or Theodore?
M+Y: The chipmunks?! Hahaha! I guess Theodore, the cute, little chubby one?
AT: What kind of music are you playing in the store?
M+Y: We love Songza curated playlists! Right now we are listening to “Indie Morning” (“Light, upbeat indie pop to help you start your day”)
Mine + Yours 1060 Hornby Street Vancouver, BC www.mineandyours.co Follow Mine + Yours: Facebook: /mineandyours.co Instagram: @mineandyoursco Twitter: @MineandYoursCo