Local business and consumer news. Openings, closings, deals, sales, what to buy and where to buy it, we round it all up and give you an insider's shopper's special on small business in Halifax. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to send a tip.
Jason Gilbert and Lisa Myers have left the holy grounds of Jay Wells Salon (1673 Barrington Street) for new digs uptown.
The pair opened a new hair salon on May 1 called The Hair Attic— located on the top floor of 1539 Birmingham (406-8003), hence the attic. The new, stylish spot has exposed beams, a bar made from a tree that used to stand tall on Dartmouth's Portland Street and a balcony for clients to enjoy lovely view of downtown from. The hair styling duo of Gilbert and Myers have a combined 30 years of experience in the business. They offer cuts, colouring, blowouts and are available to do hair for weddings, prom and photo shoots.
Mills almost ready to show off its makeover! The popular Spring Garden Road store is receiving everything from new clothing lines to a new logo for its new location at 5640 Spring Garden Road.
Deanne MacLeod, Lisa Gallivan, Kath Perry and Candace Thomas—the store’s new owners—are hoping that their new lines will lock down the shop as a fashion destination for the region. “When we bought Mills last fall our vision was to raise the bar for the shopping experience in Atlantic Canada so each customer could find, explore and celebrate her own unique style,” said Gallivan in a release. Mills will now have two locations within Spring Garden Place mall. The street level store, the former home of Roots, will showcase beauty products, handbags and accessories while the upper level, in Thornbloom's old digs, will include their fashion, lingerie, swimwear and a new shoe department.
In anticipation of the move Mills will be holding a tax free sale until May 27 at their current location (5486 Spring Garden Road). The sale will also include merchandise that has already been marked down (read: mega sale!). The historic Mills location will close May 28 and the new location will open at 9:30am on June 1 to showcase its new threads and bring new life to the brand that's been locally owned and operated since 1919.
Serves up! Great sports/downtown/summertime news came this morning—for the third year running SANDJAM will be returning to its digs at Lower Water and Salter Streets this August. Some of the top professional junior beach volleyball players on the planet will be duking it out from August 12 through 18 for the Canada Cup, in front of a 2,000-seater outdoor stadium (that we can't wait to cheer, and ooze jealousy from). In addition to that undeniably awesome news (OK, full discretion, I'm a volleyball nerd so I'm extra excited) the space will host the Legends Cup, an exhibition tennis event that'll feature Jim Courier—a one-time #1 player and current commentator— playing another former legendary tennis pro, who'll be announced soon.
“Hello, gorgeous specimen”, is what folks will say once your neck is decked out in one of these handmade bow ties from local designer, and second-hand clothing curator extraordinaire, Anna Gilkerson. A part of her newly launched MAKENEW MAN department---boasting both gorgeous vintage materials and top-notch fabrics---the Spring 2013 Bowtie Collection arrived last week, bringing with it not just fine looking, elegant-yet-summery bow ties, but pocket squares, too. Take a hint fellas. MAKENEW (1526 Queen Street, 444-4120) clearly wants you to get dolled up for summer and once you feast your eyes on these timeless beauties, you’ll likely agree.
Statement Design is moving in with FRED.! The two stylish north end businesses are collaborating this summer because, in the words of the owner Fred Connors, “Sometimes you need to shrink in order to grow”.
The cafe will be downsizing in order to make some room for the furniture store to move into the 2606 Agricola space this July. But Connors is quick to clarify that this is a positive development for FRED. He says, “By re-sizing and giving a portion of our store to Statement Furniture, it gives us the opportunity to go back to what we wanted to be”.
This new partnership means the gallery-space will become more design-focused then mainly art-focused, which is what Connors says he wanted initially.
“I’m not struggling from dramatically increased rents but when Statement Furniture store was looking for a space, it was just a wildcard thought that we’d be able to merge and the strength of their business and our business combined would only make synergy,” says Connors.
Celebrate Mother’s Day weekend with one mother of an event—the second annual Open City, where I LOVE LOCAL and over 100 retailers and restos team up to make bring Halifax to the next level, takes place on this Saturday, May 11. After the resounding success of last year’s event (seriously, people freaked out, new businesses were born and community spirit boomed louder than the noon cannon) Open City is back and bigger, once again challenging people to explore their own city via deals, activities and backdoor eats.
This is the day to overdo it by scooping up sales across the city, celebrating the grand opening of Lost Cod Clothing Co. (Queens Landing, Halifax Waterfront), sweating bullets in free fitness classes, being an artist for a day at NSCAD, drinking cheap caffeinated beverages and eating like a boss. Maybe you’ll get your first taste of the soon-to-open, newest member of the Chives family, 2 Doors Down (1533 Barrington Street) grab some hors d’oeuvres compliments of Wrap So D at Peak Audio (2813 Agricola Street), get a lobster poutine from CUT (5120 Salter Street) or one of the other many, ridiculously tempting snacks. And there are way, way more. Enough to give you a belly ache just by looking at 'em.
Look for the yurt this weekend when the Fair Trade Bazaar (May 11 and 12, 10am-5pm) takes over Victoria Park, focussing on globally-conscious shopping and adding yet another awesome element to your Open-City-inspired downtown adventures. Celebrate World Fair Trade Day, and Mother's Day, by shopping in this open air market, that'll feature loads of jewellery, accessories and, of course, unique, eco-friendly textile art from TAMMACHAT Natural Textiles and African Threads, both of which will be showing off new works they’ve collected during their travels to South East Asia and Africa. Better yet, celebrate World Fair Trade Day WITH your mom.
We likely don’t have to remind you that Saturday is Christmas for comic lovers, Free Comic Book Day. It’s really hard for this day to get any better than it is naturally, but local comic shops have teamed up to create the ultimate Free Comic Book Day adventure.
Strange Adventures (5262 Sackville Street and 101 Portland Street), Monster Comic Lounge (2091 Gottingen Street), Quantum Frontier (3087 Robie Street), Giant Robot Comics (114 Woodlawn Road) and Alderney Gate Library (60 Alderney Drive) will not just be handing out free reads, they’ve upped the ante, adding a scavenger hunt-style component to the fun. Pick up a FCBD passport (see its map above) while making your rounds, collecting stamps from each stop, and you could win some awesome prizes for your efforts. Those stamp-filled passports can be dropped at any of the participating locations and (sorry, had to), May the fourth be with you on this hunt.
Also, head's up comic peeps, Saturday May 4 also brings the first day of the new downtown Strange Adventures location at 5110 Prince Street. While it's not part of this epic FCBD search...there'll still be some deals to be had. Plus, who's not dying to check it out? No one.
Lucky you, Bedford, Taz Records is opening a second shop in your 'hood. The pride and joy of Halifax's music lovers and the local retail scene, representing tunes local and otherwise for over 25 years, Taz’s new location will boast the same reliable selection of vinyl, CDs and even more turntables than the downtown location, says the shop’s owner James Donnelly. The new shop will open at 1270 Bedford Highway, the soon-to-be-former home of Entity Boardshop, in June. "But why Entity, whhhhy," you say? Fear not, the specialty shop for surf, snow and skate boards is merely re-locating, not closing. Already in move-mode, Entity will soon operate out of two rooms at 5239 Blowers Street, cozying up with Kannon Beach’s new location to offer the same great stock it’s known for. Looks like its good to be both Bedford and Blowers.
Halifax’s first Makerspace is in the making. Following the brilliant model that cities across the country and world have, a small group of keen Haligonians is beginning to build a community lab, workshop and collaboration station. “None of us could afford a shop, but 30 of us could afford a kick-ass shop,” says Rob Hutten, one of the board members who've been brainstorming ways to get the idea off the ground.
Currently, the Halifax Makerspace is two rooms in the Roy Building (1657 Barrington Street), a few hundred square feet mostly full great ideas, but some nerdy gear, too. It’ll start on the techie side of things as more of a hackerspace, but Hutten says the hope is with time, and support, it’ll grow to include a wood shop, metal shop and plastics shop, too. Basically, it’ll be an accessible workspace open to anyone making something, anything. (Hear what I'm saying, those of you lacking studio space?)
“I have this dream of this retired welder working with some 15-year-old Raspberry Pi programmer. I'm trying to get people from different communities to work together,” he says. “We want to get people in there who end up collaborating before they even realize that's what they were after.” With plans for free workshops and collaborations already in motion, the future for our Makerspace is bright. To help build on this idea check out halifaxmakerspace.org.
Can we all agree that Venus Envy looks damn good for its age? It sounds like we're sucking up to the beloved, award-winning sex toy and book store, but we're not. And even if we wanted to, there wouldn't really be a need for it. In celebration of 15 years of carving out an important place in the city's retail scene, Venus is giving US a gift. It seems a little backwards, but I'm not complaining.
This Saturday (April 27, 10am-6pm) is the day to get your satisfaction, guys because in appreciation of all the loyal shoppers out there, Venus Envy is offering 25 percent off all toys, free vibrators to shoppers who spend over $25 (when supplies last), plus there'll be cake. What more could you ask for in a Saturday?
This is only the beginning of the celebrations, head here to see more of what's planned. After all of the love Venus Envy's provided in the past 15 years, the least you can do is show a little bit back.
As spring starts to creep in, so does wedding season, and just as brides and grooms to be start tearing their hair (and each others' hair) out in plan-mode, in swoops Boutique Joliette ( 1870 Hollis Street, 405-4057) with a little assistance.
The Petals & Pearls event is a special one day soirée that's ideal for those seeking style inspiration. This Saturday (April 27) from 10am until 6pm, the downtown shop known for all things pretty, vintage and handmade, invites you to stop by and take in and try on bracelets, necklaces, garters, clutches, hair accessories and more from local designers like LouLouBell and Vive Jewelry. Lots and lots more. This is prime time for not just brides, but bridal party members, moms of the bride and really anyone looking to get dolled up (read: you don't have to be a bride), to get shopping because designers will be on hand all day to help you make the tough choices. And no appointments are necessary, that's one thing you don't have to plan.
Boutique Joliette suggests bringing colour swatches, or photos of other pieces in your wedding wardrobe, or any ideas you've already been percolating. I suggest bringing your right-hand style advisor because this is a lot of beautiful to take in.
We already thought buying local was an easy choice but now, thanks to a fat funding increase, it'll be even more so. A $250,000 investment from the province has doubled the yearly funding for Select Nova Scotia, a six-year-old program that promotes the amazing and tasty food products made and grown right here under our noses. The funding increase means an amped up marketing campaign via television and the interweb and a new look for the logo (as you can see above). Since the birth of the program, the awareness of buying local has jumped by 33 percent (keep it up, shoppers!) and Select NS has grown to include over 400 local businesses. Check out selectnovascotia.ca for local products, recipes and events. Let local love rule!
The next time you find yourself preparing to drop your painfully slow or completely busted Macbook from a third-storey window, consult Make it Go Computer (5185 Sackville Street, 444-4225). The new downtown business was born out of Splice, which has decided to go back to its roots and focus on the training and consulting side of computer wellness, leaving repair and retail in some very capable hands. Under the new name, Splice’s reliable repair experts will continue on the path of making passionate (and happy) Mac users out of of their clients. So, seriously, step away from the window. Your computer deserves better.
April 20, AKA 4/20, is just around the corner—you know what that means…Record Store Day! It’s the one day each year when record-store-owners, musicians and record fanatics alike band together (so-to-speak) to celebrate their passion for great music new and old.
Occurring on the third Saturday of April each year, the event has been an international tradition since 2007. Once again, Halifax is ready for the festivities. Here’s what’s happening:
Taz Records (1519 Grafton Street) will be rocking live music all day featuring some solid east coast artists such as Joel Plaskett, Mo Kenney and Al Tuck—just to name a few. There will also be more than 300 limited edition releases exclusive to Record Store Day and a huge buy-two-get-one-free sale on second-hand items. Over at Black Buffalo Records (2180 Gottingen Street) everything will be 20 percent off —not to mention some rare Record Store Day-specific titles. Finally, Obsolete Records (2454 Agricola Street) is charging no tax all weekend along with its own special selection of records only available on Record Store Day.
Sounds like RSD 2013 is shaping up to be one for the record books.