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This article was published 13/1/2020 (376 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
As a veteran thrift-shop peruser, Jill Zdunich knows that when you see something you love hanging on the rack, you’d better grab it. Come back a day later and — chances are — it’ll be gone.
So, when a prime piece of real estate opened up in the Exchange District last month, Zdunich — who owns Shop Take Care, an Osborne Village consignment boutique — knew she had to pounce
In March, she’ll open up her store’s second location, in the McDermot Avenue storefront that until December housed Tiny Feast, a stationery and gift shop.
"We’ve been looking for about a year, and I’ve kept my ear to the ground," she said Monday. "We realized we’ve been growing to the point where we needed a little more space."
Since Zdunich opened the Osborne store nearly three years ago, Shop Take Care has become a go-to spot to find some of the best hand-picked, preworn clothing in the city, and it’s resonated with consumers looking to divest from fast-fashion trends and spend their money in a more sustainable way.
In 2017, the shop began with about 25 consigners; now, the network has grown to about 600, meaning the small Osborne location has more clothing than it can possibly display at once.
The way the model works is customers bring various clothing pieces to Zdunich and her staff. If they think the items have resale potential, they put them out on the floor for customers to try and, hopefully, buy. Consigners get a percentage of the sale price in credit.
If the items aren’t accepted, they give customers the option to keep them or, in a nod to Zdunich’s social consciousness, allow the shop to donate them to charities such as the Main Street Project, Rainbow Resource Centre or Klinic.
"When I opened three years ago, my core mandate was giving back to the community," Zdunich said.
Another unique aspect of the shop — which also sells home goods, stationery and apothecary items — is that it does not organize its clothing according to gender norms. There are no men’s or women’s sections, just one clothing section; instead of separating clothes according to a male-female binary, the shop sorts them by colour.
When it opens in the Exchange, Shop Take Care will be a block away from Vantage Vintage Boutique, another clothing store where customers won’t find a men’s or women’s section.
Zdunich said she was aware of the current concerns some small-business owners in the Exchange have been airing, including a lack of consultation on parking and bike-lane layout. Ultimately, she said the opportunity to move in was one too good to pass up.
"It’s a good time for us to make a move like this," she said.
Ben Waldman covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.