If you love beautifully curated thrift shops with soothing palates and uniquely crafted jewellery and accessories, you won’t want to miss Anna Gilkerson’s shop, Makenew Curated Thrift on 2468 Agricola Street in North End Halifax. The layout of the shop makes it easy to move around and the bright open space feels like a gallery with dreamy pieces hanging up that you won’t want to leave behind. Go see for yourself!
1. How did Makenew get started?
I had always been collecting vintage and second hand from thrift stores. I had a lot of cool finds but didn’t wear most of it- my style is actually quite minimal- so it was taking up a lot of room in my closet. I decided to start selling it online after I had closed my first business and had my daughter Elly. I ended up doing some photo shoots for my blog, made a logo and the business took off. I stopped selling it online because it was costing more to ship it than the actual retail cost of the pieces and it made more sense to me- economically and ecologically- if I sold it locally. So I started renting a small space and then I moved and my retail outlet got bigger and bigger.
2. What sets Makenew apart from other thrift shops in the city?
I have tried to create a vibe, a look, a lifestyle- you know, a brand. I have a specific customer in mind. Makenew has a strong identity. I learned a lot from my previous company and really looked at a consistent marketing approach and how that can affect sales growth and customer loyalty. I am an artist so I handle everything that comes with the look and feel of the store. I am hunting/buying everyday, I handle the photographs, I style everything, I pretty much do it all- with a little help here and there- so I am able to control the final output. People have said they really enjoy following my social media like Instagram (moniker= makenew). I have never paid for advertising.
That being said I appreciate all the used clothing shops in the city because they all have their own identity and customer base in some way or another. Put me on is great for shoes, fancy lucky for true vintage and lost and found for fun retro and local designer accessories. I always send people their way. Halifax is a plethora of amazing thrift shopping!
3. Can you tell us a bit about some of the jewelry artists whose work you carry?
When I moved to my new location I had to think outside of the box and find new jewelry designers as a lot were carried in stores near my location. No one wants to flood the market, so I reached out to various Instagram design buddies I had made. I love the Hen line because she is constantly coming up with new girly/edgy designs, HJN hand made leather goods are from Vancouver but the designer Hannah Newton studied here in Halifax, Coutu Kitsch from Calgary does really well, a new line we just got in called Emily Valentine is a super edgy jewelry line from Toronto- I love her pieces including the crystal studs I can’t stop wearing and lastly a local guy that runs Jane Darling, a creative line that focuses on wooden earrings and rings. We are bringing in a few more lines for the summer, which I am super excited about.
4. What are you playing in the shop?
Super eclectic. I collect music and maintain a mainly electronic based shop list on my sound cloud account under the name Aqua Fleck. But I like to put on Songza a lot and just run various types of music. I am pretty much into everything. On rainy days you may hear jazz classics, Saturday afternoon it may be Brazilian Samba and towards the evening on a Thursday or Friday night you may hear some French nu disco. Music and fashion go hand in hand. It all depends on my mood and the mood of the day.