The Art of Reuse, a group of young men known for redefining thrift had their first women’s pop up shop Sunday in a studio on King St. West. Collecting thrifted items, these young men started opening up pop up boutiques in Toronto every six months, presenting a clean aesthetic to second hand items. Othello Grey, Sean Brown, and Courtney Eastman have been working on expanding their brand since I last spoke to them a year ago. They have been to America and back, opening a successful pop up shop in Brooklyn last fall.
They decided to bring it back home to Toronto in the new year with their first women’s thrift shop. Visually this was their smallest shop, but to Eastman it was one of their biggest accomplishments, “it took a lot of preparation and patience because we wanted to understand what women were looking for. Items that were unique and at a decent price.” And the guys did it right this time around too, focusing on quality fits and style over brand names. They enlisted the help of Sarah Vonditsianou who used to have an Etsy thrift store before jumping on board with the Art of Reuse.
Vonditsianou joked that she was heart broken to let some of the pieces that she hand picked go. This thrifted collection was filled with floral prints, bright patterned dresses, silk, and wool shirts, all under $50. Ladies (and gents) were lined up an hour before the shop opened – some new comers and some who have been following the group as they pop up around the city.
Although the guys have plans to open up in San Francisco next, Brown couldn’t help but show appreciation for the city they call home, “we don’t feel like any other place has thrift like Toronto. We think it has the best picking for our taste making endeavors.”