Mine & Yours, a unique clothing boutique that is the first of its kind in Vancouver, is having their grand opening this weekend Nov. 1-3 at 1060 Hornby St. The store will stay open till 9pm with cocktails and wine. In addition there will be a store wide discount of 20% off all clothing.
Mine & Yours is better than the traditional consignment model in that customers are offered a selection of trendy, barely-used womenswear. Customers can either come in just to shop or they can sell their own clothing to the store for cash on the spot or store trading credit. Buying days from customers are on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday each week. If an item is chosen to be re-sold, a 30% of the projected resale price will be offered in cash or 50% in tax free store trading credit. Some popular brands sold at the boutique currently are Prada, Diane von Furstenburg, BCBG, Max Azria, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabanna, Vince Camuto, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Coach, Marc Jacobs.
Mine & Yours was founded by Jigme Nehring, who’s originally from Vancouver but has returned after living in Paris, Monaco and Los Angelos over the past few years. She is joined by partner Courtney Watkins who is no stranger to the fashion industry having worked as a celebrity stylist, trend forecaster and as a Director of Sales and Marketing for a women’s clothing collection. I sat down with both women who were excited to talk about their new company. Here is what they had to say:
How did you come up with the idea of having a buy, sell, trade clothing store?
Jigme: We both lived in L.A. and basically in Los Angeles the buy, sell, trade stores are mainstream, they are everywhere. There are different chains and that’s how people shop. There are so many celebrities, so many styles and fashion, it’s so disposable and consumer driven. With fast fashion cycles people are off selling their clothing to buy, sell, trade stores. When we lived there that’s how we shopped. It’s sustainable, inexpensive, you get amazing stuff and unique pieces. You get great finds and they give you cash or trading credit for your clothes. I lived there for a year and Courtney lived there for five years. That’s how we shopped; I didn’t go to normal stores. You could constantly be wearing something new and not be spending much money because you could just trade it back. Here the consignment stores are not targeted, or edited. There is no cohesive esthetic. We want it to be a boutique that you would shop at so we maintained that feel for the modern younger fashion forward woman. Its an edited selection, and its not consignment.
Why did you decide to set the boutique up here as opposed to another city?
Jigme: I think the Vancouver market is a lot like the L.A. market. We are known as Hollywood North. To see that the business model is fully embraced in California, I think that it’s not a big stretch that is will be embraced in Vancouver. We are both from Vancouver and we wanted to do something special for our hometown. I came up with the idea and I knew right away that I didn’t want to do it by myself and I put the word out to my business network that I was looking for a business partner. We were introduced that way.
What is the process when you are choosing clothing when a customer brings it in to sell?
Courtney: I take the items and I go upstairs to our buying salon. I go through them and I sort them into yes, no, and maybe. It’s a lot on what I know has been selling in the store, what has been on trend and what I know people have been asking about. I know what items typically sell for. I think what was this going for in the store and what do I think I can sell it for which is usually 60-80% off list price. I tend to spend 10-20 seconds on each piece going through it making sure there is no marks and that it is in good condition. I go through the yes and maybes a little closer after I have back up the nos to make sure they are in good condition, such as if the buttons are still on. The customer stays downstairs and they can look around the store. Since we offer 30% back in cash or a trade credit when I go through the stuff upstairs it gives the customer a chance to look downstairs at the items we are selling.
Do you just take runway brands?
Courtney: No, we take everything as long as it is on trend and in season. Yes we have Chanel and Prada but we also have Topshop, H&M and Forever 21. We want it to reflect the modern woman. The way to be able to afford the expensive pieces is to find the great inexpensive pieces as well. We reflect that in our buying. People don’t have to be scared because they don’t have designer pieces as long as they have newer looking merchandise that they think is still on trend and in season. We are an easy going company to deal with, if you are not sure bring in your items.
Mine& Yours is open Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 7pm at 1060 Hornby St. and buying days are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Come out to their grand opening this weekend to see what great article of clothing you will find for your wardrobe. You can also visit their website mineandyours.co or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mineandyours.co.
How do you feel your company differs from consignment?