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 shoptalk@thecoast.ca to send a tip.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Halifax street style: Creighton Street

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 4:00 AM

  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

Name: Sophie Drapeau
and Tobias
Age: 27
Spotted: Creighton Street
Wearing: Sweater, Zara; jeans, Levi’s; shoes, Vans from Little Burgundy, Halifax Shopping Centre

How would you describe your style?
Simple, comfortable and sometimes sophisticated. I like to purchase items that are timeless and could be combined in multiple outfits.

Who/where do you derive inspiration from when putting together an outfit?
I like to browse Instagram for style/fashion inspo.

How does living in Halifax affect your fashion choices?
The weather is my number-one factor in terms of what outfit I will wear that day. You never want to be too cold or without some sort of rain gear.

Name a current trend that you just can’t get on board with?
I can’t get on board with a lot of trends but I still find it cool when other people can pull it off.

Local hotspot for gems?
Pro Skates, Alexa Pope and Elsie’s

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Where I work: Kristi Smith and Pete MacDonald from RCHMND

Kristi Smith and Pete MacDonald have curated an offering that is, in a word, inspired.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 4:00 AM


1869 Granville Street

Co-owners of RCHMND, Kristi Smith and Peter MacDonald met while working in Toronto and realized they had a lot in common, including a desire to open a retail concept in Halifax. Since its 2012 opening, RCHMND has become the cultural hub that discerning Haligonians didn't realize they desperately needed.

Tastemaker is a heavily bandied-about term, but this duo lives up to the moniker. Smith says one of the best parts of retailing is getting to know the customer and offering them pieces they didn't know they needed. The store's buys are made in Berlin, Paris and New York, yet it's local. That's because the duo is committed to offering Halifax more options because we deserve it. As MacDonald puts it, RCHMND provides "local access to global fashion."

Upon entering you immediately have an emotional connection with the pieces. I haven't had a such visceral reaction to clothing since ETRO's Fall 2008 menswear collection. RCHMND effortlessly creates a conversation not just about the things we put on but also how in simplicity we can find true beauty. The Omar Gandhi-designed space is a beautiful, breezy gallery. To the uninitiated, it may seem sparse. But that's because people like me need space for both the clothing and our emotions.

"We see ourselves further progressing and refining what we are doing," says MacDonald. Smith echoes her partner's sentiments and adds, "we will have the same core values and will still be owner-operated. So often people create a business so they can replace themselves. I want to put more of myself into it."

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One-stop shop

If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, we’ve got you covered. Shop away and incur envious looks.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 4:00 AM

Emma Piirtoniemi’s “Surf and Turf” necklace - GRACE LAEMMLER
  • Emma Piirtoniemi’s “Surf and Turf” necklace
  • Grace Laemmler

Emma Piirtoniemi's "Surf and Turf" necklace
The perfect statement piece made from carved acrylic, leather and sterling silver by jewellery artist Emma Piirtoniemi. Her work is on display at Studio 21 on Hollis Street until September 12.
emma-piirtoniemi.com, $695

Cosmic Tree Essentials' Elemental Coloration Lipstick in Blackberry
Cosmic Tree Essentials is an Annapolis Valley-based company created by Beth Thompson, providing a range of natural products. Her lipsticks are made with cocoa butter, plant oils and (no joke) dark chocolate. Blackberry is great for fall.
cosmictree.ca, $16, Sundays from 9am-3pm at the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market

Soap In Your Mouth's "Becky with the Good Glow" massage bar
This skin-softening bar from Soap In Your Mouth is ideal for sidechicks. It moisturizes as well as making you look like you've spent the day in the sun. No more spilling lotion in your bag! soapinyourmouth.com, $10, 5239 Blowers Street

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Save the date: IKEA finally opens September 27

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 2:27 PM


It's official. On Wednesday, September 27 Haligonians will officially have nothing left to look forward to. That's when the monstrous home decor wonder IKEA (645 Cutler Avenue) will be opening its doors to its first customers in Dartmouth Crossing—at 9am to be exact.

The store will include a full restaurant for all of your meatball needs, children's play area (appropriately named SMALAND) and 330, 000 square feet of stylish Swedish furniture awaiting you and your Allen key.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Where I work: Prim & Pupper Pet Grooming

Angelica Wright talks life in the dog house

Posted on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 2:32 PM

  • Tegan Thomas
Tegan Thomas is an illustrator in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Find her online at teganthomas.com and in person at the Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival.

COMIC BY Tegan Thomas

More about Prim & Pupper

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The final round of Best of Halifax voting starts now

And the nominees are...

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 8:00 AM


Your voices were heard, your nominations counted and now—drumroll please— we present the final ballot for 2017's Best of Halifax Readers' Choice Awards. And from now until September 15, it's ready for you and your opinions, Halifax

On this ballot, you'll find the top six nominees in each of our 200+ categories—nominees picked by you, our readers earlier this summer—plus the category's gold winner from last year's awards. This means your job is pretty darn easy, it's all clicking no typing, just a big multiple choice situation.

Click here to vote now—and to see what people, places, organizations and businesses received enough local love make it to the last round.

Winners will be announced in the November 2 issue of The Coast. Here's more info on how this year's voting works.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stripe for the picking

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 4:00 AM

From its 1858 debut in the French Navy’s uniform, the striped shirt has felt nautical by nature, so it’s the perfect wardrobe pick for the Tall Ships visit. If you’re new to the look, let these examples of Halifax street style be your inspiration to start striping right.
  • Alexa Cude
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Guided Tour: Spring Garden

As thriving home to over 360 retail, corporate and professional businesses, it’s clear why the Spring Garden Road area is recognized as a one-of-a-kind experience.

Posted on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 6:12 PM


Spring is humming

With its core bookended by the award-winning Halifax Central Library and world-renowned Halifax Public Gardens, you can have a world of experiences when you step foot in the Spring Garden area. Grab lunch, do some shopping and stroll through the streets with friends. So go out and explore your favourite neighbourhood, and celebrate the uniqueness of Spring Garden. Halifax Public Gardens, Spring Garden Road at South Park Street, and Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road

Printed matters

Let's go back to the days of leisure, and meet up with some old friends along the way. Grab your minimalist pal Kinfolk for a trendy coffee, or pick up that Archie comic that used to bring you such joy. Take some time and get lost in one of the last independent newsstands in Canada, where you can satisfy that travel itch without leaving home. Atlantic News is the perfect destination spot to reconnect with those old flames of yours. With 5,000 magazine titles, you'll have a hard time leaving here without full arms. Brace yourself. Someone will have to physically drag you out of this adult candy store. They even have some of the best cards in the city. You'll take one look at Nova Scotian artist Rude Love's custom cards and feel like someone finally understands your humour. So why not spend a few hours to yourself? Your adventure is waiting for you. Atlantic News, 5560 Morris Street

On the Mappatura

Take a picturesque stroll through to the "other side" of the Public Gardens, where you'll find the enchanting atmosphere of Mappatura Bistro. Let yourself be transported out of the country with their Italian-inspired bistro flair that is sure to feed your soul. Their welcoming staff will have you smiling the minute you walk in, which is all part of your culinary experience at Mappatura. You'll start with the crispy calamari appetizer with spicy tomato, black olives and pickled vegetables, and feel like you could leave happy right then and there. But it doesn't end there—and you'll be itching in your seat to get a taste of your main course. You'll get a taste of Mappatura's bourbon and chicken confit crema on your ravioli, and want to bottle it up take it home. Leave some room, and finish your experience with a traditional espresso and a dark chocolate crème brulee...or two. Mappatura Bistro, 5883 Spring Garden Road

A world of tastes

Pop over to your home away from home, and let Pete's Fine Foods be your open pantry. Grab something out of the Best of Britain section, and then pair your dish with some of the local Nova Scotian offerings. At Pete's Fine Foods you can have the best of both worlds, and everything between—they've been bringing you the freshest and finest for 25 years. Stop into Pete's when you want to make your next unique recipe. From vegan options, local produce and custom cut meat, to finding those Marks and Spencer biscuits you fell in love with on your trip to England—there's nothing you can't find here. Pete's Fine Foods, 1515 Dresden Row

Fitness that's fun

Get funky with your fitness and dare to flip your world upside-down. Literally. After shopping at Pete's, head on upstairs to Studio in Essence to have a little acrobatic fun, all while increasing your strength, flexibility, and self-confidence. Studio in Essence has fitness classes for all ages and body types, and has highly qualified instructors who listen to your needs.

They can even help you bring fitness and fun together for a way to bond with your bridal team: Just book a pole dance, burlesque or aerial class for your next bachelorette party. But you don't have to be getting married to fly with your friends. Studio in Essence hosts birthday parties for adults and children, and offers youth circus classes and summer camps where your little monkey can put their energy to good use. Let your feet off the ground, and fly out of your comfort zone. Studio In Essence, 1535 Dresden Row, Suite 203

Join the pub

After a long day at the office, there's nothing like grabbing a co-worker, and sitting down at your favourite neighbourhood pub. The kind of place with a classic sitcom pub vibe, like The Fickle Frog Pub. One visit, and soon enough you'll find yourself recommending it for every gathering. At The Fickle Frog, you can let all of your worries slip away into your pint—the hardest decision you'll have to make is picking between 26 of the beers on tap.

The Fickle Frog is always hopping, and it never makes you wait until the weekend for the good stuff; they have plenty going on for all of you weekday crawlers. Get your amateur lungs ready for the Tuesday karaoke night, or put your liberal arts degree to good use with Fickle Frog Trivia Night Wednesdays. With their juicy burger deals, perfect pizzas and munch-worthy appetizers, there's plenty to hop about.

The Fickle Frog Pub, 5675 Spring Garden Road

The wheel deal

Are you looking to change your body? SPINCO Halifax is ready to help you create the change in your mind. Jump on your bike, and go along for the ride. One team. One bike. A 50-minute journey. SPINCO is reinventing the wheel to help create the change you've been looking for. 

SPINCO is nothing that can be defined through a written text—there's a feeling that riders are overcome with the minute they walk through the doors. The lights are kept low, and the beats are as high as you'll feel from the endorphins. You won't be able to shake this feeling; it lingers long after the class is over. 

Don't risk missing out—book your bike today for their opening day. Your spin family is excited to ride with you, and is waiting for you to say yes to life without limits. 

5481 Clyde Street, Suite 104 (off Birmingham Street)

Your stylist awaits

This high-energy team is ready to give you an exclusive experience. Sit back, relax and let the stylists at Thumpers Salon do what they know best. Thumpers Salon has some of the leading stylists in the city, so no matter whom you go to, you'll be walking out feeling like a brand-new you. The stylists are accommodating and knowledgeable, and for all you curly-girls, you can trust them with your frizzy hair—don't worry, they can manage.

Thumpers Salon offers some of the most prestigious products from New York City, LA, Miami and London, and carries lines like Oribe, Bumble and bumble, R+CO, and more. The Salon has also set up online purchasing for their products, so you can take that post-salon confidence wherever you go. Bring your new 'do to the next level, take advantage of Thumpers' high-quality service and fall in love with getting your hair done all over again.

Thumpers Salon, 1445 South Park Street

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Church's Barbershop opens on Agricola

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 4:02 PM

  • submitted

After two years of lowering ears from their west end joint, Scallywags Barbershop (6513 Chebucto Road), Dylan MacEachern and Brad MacDonald are expanding their fleet. Last week the pair quietly opened Church’s Barbershop in the former Makenew location (2468 Agricola Street), a spin off location that offers the same service with a slightly sleeker different look.

“We were just interested in having barbershops that service different little neighbourhoods in the city. Agricola Street is cool, there’s a whole bunch going on in the street right now—it’s super bustling,” says MacEachern. “Scallywags is a little bit knick knacky, a little busy. This one I’m trying to keep more minimal, clean and contemporary—concrete countertops and birch.”

Contemporary with a healthy dose of throwback inspiration, though. MacEachern says both the name, and some of the shop’s decor, are a hat tip to Harold Church, “an OG barber” who opened his first shop in Truro in 1953, and later hung his clippers in Tatamagouche.

“I have a cottage in Tatamagouche and I was kind of keeping my eye on the spot, until he passed away a couple of years ago,” he says. “I got in touch with Bonnie Church, his widow, and purchased all the fixtures out of the shop.”

A barber pole and Belmont chairs —along with a letter of consent from Bonnie Church herself—decorate and influence the new north end barbershop. Church’s is currently cutting from two chairs Tuesday through Sunday, hoping to expand to three or four by summer’s end.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Guided Tour Downtown Halifax

Some buildings have grown taller, and the construction feels endless, but in that there is hope. There is renewal, growth and opportunity for more. Walking down Barrington, you can feel the resurgence of energy happening in downtown Halifax.

Posted on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 6:33 PM


Get Inkwell soon

Sometimes it feels like you can't keep up with all of the occasions happening in your life. Maybe you even dread that awkward birthday moment where you'll read three of the same card and have to smile out of politeness. But then, you open up that one card that is exactly you.

Inkwell Boutique is the solution for all of your moments of holiday writer's block, and somehow knows exactly what you want to say to your quirky mom on Mother's Day. They know the way to your dad's punny heart, and their card designs will make you wish you had never given up on art.

With the opening of their new light-filled location, Inkwell has made room to display its 96-year-old letterpress, and has expanded on both local and international handmade products, adding even more to their jewellery, apothecary, home ware, accessories and baby collections. Make gift-giving fun again, and let Inkwell do the thinking for you. Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique & Letterpress Studio, 2011 Brunswick Street

Medicine tailored to you

Figuring out what is right for your health can be a challenge. Whether you're looking for teen counselling, naturopathic medicine, health coaching or even more specialized services, Bespoke Clinic fills in the gaps to help you understand what is really going on with your health. Their diverse team goes beyond treating your symptoms and focuses on educating, guiding and inspiring you to live your full health potential.

By being in the pedestrian-friendly downtown neighbourhood, the clinic is accessible to those living or working in the area—they'll have you beginning your health journey just by going to your appointment.

The Bespoke Clinic team believes in the freedom of health. Their strength comes from their ability to work together to create a customized treatment plan that provides you with lasting results. If you're looking for support for your health, Bespoke is where you'll find it.  Bespoke Clinic, 1809 Barrington Street, Suite B100

This is the Life

Experience Life SalonSpa, where the services are customized and focused on individuality. They dare you to be your authentic self and treat you like the unique individual that you are. Continue your experience at home with a vial of your own custom-blended aroma. You'll leave feeling beautified, purified and stress-free. 

Life SalonSpa artists use natural pigments and blend them together to create the perfect hair colour that is only yours. Even their Aveda brand begs you to be original. Take a little aroma journey through your chakras during your next facial, pedicure or during a hot steamed towel while you enjoy a scalp massage at the back bar. They even feature Aveda barbering services for your modern grooming needs! Freshly moved into a gorgeous new downtown location, Life SalonSpa is here to recharge you and bring Life to Barrington. Life SalonSpa, 1592 Barrington Street

Your piece of the coast

Amos Pewter's handcrafted jewellery, ornaments and home decor designs are inspired by maritime nature and surroundings. These creations are sure to leave you pining for the ocean and wanting to take every bit of it home with you.

Want to see the process of how they cast their products from molten pewter? You can just ask the artisans, they'll be happy to show you. Like the Amos Pewter locations in PEI, Peggys Cove and Mahone Bay, while you're visiting the harbourside downtown Halifax location, you can take part in a hands-on experience. This year, visitors can hand-finish a Canada 150 coin or the signature sand dollar, where with every purchase a portion of the proceeds goes to the Bluenose Costal Action Foundation.

Pick out a beach treasure that makes you think of your stroll along the seashore, or a lighthouse to remind you of your tour. Amos Pewter knows leaving Nova Scotia can be a painful experience, so why not take a piece of the coast wherever you go? Amos Pewter, 1521 Lower Water Street

The visionaries

Walking into Ocean Optometry is like going to visit friends—well, more like your fashion-savvy friends who you desperately need style advice from. The owners and optometrists will look after your eyes, and the professional opticians are there to tell you which frame suits your face, or which colour doesn't complement your hair. The Ocean team gets to know you first, and helps pick a pair of glasses to fit your personality later.

The styles of frames are moving away from the dark, boxy trend and into the light. There's no such thing as too much colour with these vintage frames. You can match purple with teal or play around with an angular yellow pair. If colour isn't your style, how about a classic pair with a modern twist? You can pick from a variety of handmade frames, some even made from natural materials, like 100 percent wood. They can even make a one-off custom frame just for you. So be picky, there are plenty of fish in this Ocean. Ocean Optometry, 5240 Blowers Street

Flowering downtown

Take a look around at the four drawings hung on the walls of The Flower Shop and you'll see a little bit of history. The flowers have gone in and out of season, and the buildings have changed, but this shop has been a part of downtown Halifax for 80 years. 

The greenery around the new location shows off the shop's organic style, complemented by high ceilings and newly exposed brick walls. Grab a friend and try out one of The Flower Shop's macrame workshops, or just pop by to take in the sweet smell of fresh, local, in-season peonies and delphiniums that come right from The Humble Burdock Farm. 

You can take your time and custom make our own bouquet, or pick from the array of ready-made bouquets for all of you busy bees. With the new addition of a walk-in cooler room, the shop stores an even larger supply of plants for your choosing. The Flower Shop, 1887 Granville Street

Supplies surprise

Dip your brush into cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson or cerulean blue, and paint. Whatever colour you need, whether oil, acrylic or watercolour, the NSCAD Art Supply Store has it in stock. All you need to supply is inspiration. Shop for yourself or the artist in your life. You don't have to be a NSCAD student or grad to browse and dream. The aisles are filled with new materials for you to test out during your next artistic spree. 

New artists, don't be shy—the store carries beginner-friendly materials too. Pop in and pick up some cottons or silks for dyeing; yarn for knitting or weaving; or a sketchbook, charcoal and pencils to capture the world around you. The store has a wide selection of fine art and craft materials, and creative gifts including toques, aprons, pastels and paint sets. You can spend hours looking around and dreaming up what you'll make next.  NSCAD Art Supply Store, 1874 Hollis Street

At your service

This family owned business has been serving your home-cooked meals since 1983, and you wish you could take the credit. The only complaint your guests will have about Rudy's Catering is that they wish they could eat more.

Rudy's makes planning your next event, party or wedding stress-free, and they aren't afraid of a large guest list. They'll have your food ready on time, made fresh, and serve you like you're family. You'll get your first taste of Rudy's at an event, but you'll be stopping by their downtown location every day for lunch to satisfy your craving.

Stop in for Turkey Dinner Thursdays, grab a free soup with your sandwich purchase or be surprised by one of their daily specials. If you're stumped, just ask Rudy to recommend something, he's always behind the counter to make sure that your belly is full and that you're always leaving with a smile on your face. Rudy's Catering, 1681 Granville Street

Fabulous frites year-round

The days of tasting savoury steak frites have been extended, and you'll never again have to go without in the winter months. This fabulous food truck has parked itself for good right in Scotia Square mall.

Tin Pan Alley frites shop is a real mom 'n' pop shop, where owners Karl and Jill Warmé are serving Dutch-style fries inspired by visits to Karl's mother in Holland. The two spent their first years serving from the Tin Pan Alley food truck, where they could satisfy our foodie cravings on the go, but only six months of the year.

With their permanent position, they are able to do what they love and share their artfully presented, hand-cut frites all year long, and you still feel like you're ordering from their truck. Eat outside the box with their new and innovative recipes like crispy skinned duck confit poutine, or keep it local by indulging in some freshly caught fish and crispy chips. You ask, and they'll answer. Tin Pan Alley, Scotia Square, 5201 Duke Street

Haskapa community

The world's first Haskap Berry Powder is making itself known, and moving on into the wellness world. You don't have to look far; Haskapa is bringing this super-berry right to you in Bishop's Landing.

One hundred percent pure, you get to hold onto 94 percent of the nutritional value and outstandingly high antioxidant content. It can be used in smoothies to crank up your daily nutritional intake, sprinkled over ice cream while indulging on a hot summer's day or as a way to add flavour and visual appeal to your morning oatmeal.

Haskapa is embracing and creating a wellness community. Whether you're taking a yoga class or participating in a health and wellness workshop in their newly renovated event space, or joining them at their sampling bar for a taste of traditional preserves, it's a community for you. From farm to table, Haskapa offers something for everyone! Who knew health could taste so sweet? Haskapa, Bishop's Landing, 1477 Lower Water Street

Breakfast, burgers, Bistro

There's no better way to describe Elle's Bistro except with the phrase "Treat yourself." Two years ago they filled a void in the downtown neighbourhood, and they are continuing to fill our hearts through our stomachs.

Elle's does milkshakes the proper old-school style, right down to getting you that extra bit of shake from the metal can. Don't be surprised if you find yourself making a few trips to the bistro to pick between the S'mores, Rolo, Creamsicle or 20 other milkshake flavours. And let's not even get started on Elle's baklava cheesecake, drizzled with honey, or blueberry stuffed French toast. Is your stomach grumbling yet?

Sweet tooth aside, the options at Elle's are endless and offered at a reasonable price. Pick from 12 different locally sourced beef burgers, or 17 kinds of eggs Bennies. Take your time, and sit back on their brand-new patio—with Elle's all-day breakfasts, there's no rush to decide. Elle's Bistro, 1678 Barrington Street

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Anti Fashion opens on Agricola and West

Andre Merlo is upping the Anti

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 6:02 PM

Best dressed folks at the fair, ever. - ANDRE MERLOT
  • Best dressed folks at the fair, ever.
  • Andre Merlot

Andre Merlo knows a good look when he sees it. He’s worked in fashion, photography and styling and even had his own line in Milan, but now he’s zeroing in on affordable, quality second-hand clothing.

“I’m from Italy originally, but I’ve been coming to Halifax for 10 years on and off,” he says. “I was 17 when I came here for the first time, and fell in love with the lifestyle, the people and the culture.”

Merlo’s hoping his Anti Fashion can add to that culture. He’s been growing the brand over the last few months, building on the Anti collection and popping up at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market as well as at special events like Full Circle Festival, Folly Fest and this weekend’s Evolve Festival. This month, he debuted a bricks-and mortar boutique on the corner of West and Agricola (upstairs at 5687 West Street), offering shoppers a hand-picked second-hand selection and a personal shopping experience.

“I have a really funky taste. I like originality, I like things that are unique, hard to find and I like quality,” Merlo says. “Not everyone loves a Value Village experience. I tell you how it is, I’m always very honest. I want people to walk out with something that looks good and makes sense for them.”

On top of its distinctive selection, Anti Fashion will offer both monthly ($10) and yearly ($55) memberships to its shoppers, which will yield discounts and special deals, and Merlo says he’s dedicated to keeping prices low and calibre high.

“Why do we keep buying new and pouring money into fast fashion? Everybody loves to switch up their look, and if you can do it with little money it’s a win for everyone.”

Follow Anti Fashion for updates to hours, and what's in store.

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Feet for Phoenix collects kicks for a cause

A sneaker peek at a sweet deal

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 1:22 PM


This weekend is the prime time to dig to the back of your closet and dust off your old kicks—but not to worry, you don’t have to use ’em. With Phoenix Youth Programs in mind, Jesse Ingalls, Demetrious Ferguson and Courtside Sneakers (6247 Quinpool Road) will be collecting men’s and women’s gently used sneakers for Feet for Phoenix both Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15. Not only will the shoes you no longer use be a huge benefit to someone else’s feet, but it’ll earn you something in return, too.

To sweeten the deal, Courtside will offer 25 percent off a pair of new shoes if you donate your pre-loved pair—and 50 percent off if you donate three pairs. And FYI, gently used, means they still have to be wearable. So, no holes, tears or need for repair, no sandals or Crocs—and if you wore your Nikes to Mud Hero, Feet for Phoenix doesn’t want those, either. If you don’t have spare sneakers on hand but want to contribute to the cause check out phoenix30for30.ca.
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Where I work: Oh Dina!'s Nicole McInnis

How an oasis of a home office helps this local artist ship flower crowns and hair accessories around the globe.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 4:00 AM



Nicole McInnis makes bridal headpieces and DIY flower-crown kits in Dartmouth, then ships them around the world. With a background in fashion design and costuming, her business began with vintage-inspired hats, then fascinators when Will and Kate's royal wedding drove up demand. "It evolved into flowers, because that's what current right now," she says. Last month, McInnis mailed out more than 50 packages ordered through Etsy.  The furthest ones went to Mexico and Switzerland—marked by sticker gems added to her antique globe, one for every faraway shipment.  

"I walk in and it feels magical," says McInnis, whose studio is inside her home.  As a renter hoping to preserve the original wood walls, "not having walls to screw in was really troublesome for me at first," she says. To solve the problem, McInnis hung her silk flowers and vines from a drapery rod, forming a curtain of cream-coloured English roses and burgundy orchids.  A chandelier of flowers cascades from a light fixture in the centre of the room. "To be in a space that's kind of old-timey and vintage and has a history, I just love creating in this space," she says. "It's very romantic."


"When I create, things explode and I've got flowers flying all around me," says McInnis, explaining the only drawback of the space. "I won't even realize my mess has gotten to the level that it has," she says, because a mess made of flowers is "still beautiful." Finding a missing flower can take days before it turns up "underneath a heap of ferns." Decorating the whimsical space with her materials provides both a magical setting and open storage—which she snips from often when inspiration strikes. 

Last fall, McInnis created a flower crown with navy poppies and ivory accents, then mailed it to a bride in Botswana planning to exchange vows in an elephant sanctuary. Canada Post and FedEx employees appear daily at the door, delivering silk flowers from New York and beyond.  She's shipped out nearly 250 packages already this year via Canada Post, and says staff at the drop-off in Dartmouth are like family. "I love them so much," says McInnis, whose partner also works from home. "We see them every day," she adds, laughing about the other reality of creating a dream office, "they're like the only other people we see."

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Get on board with Roll The Dice

Halifax's newest board game cafe recently opened on Quinpool.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 1:34 PM


After spending several years in Toronto, Zack Amiri returned to Halifax to open up a board game cafe. As of June 12, Roll the Dice Board Game Cafe and Restaurant is making its home at Mezza’s former Quinpool location (6386 Quinpool Road).

“It’s one of the main streets in Halifax,” says Amiri, “and I think it’s not getting what’s deserved.”

He saw the growing variety and popularity of board games over the last few years. Five bucks (taxes in) will get you unlimited time to sit and play. Amiri says the cafe’s selection of games has room to grow, and he’s open to suggestions on what to add to the collection. If multiple people request a particular game, he’s happy to bring it in.

Amiri says there’s a variety of options for both intense gamers and folks how prefer something a little lighter. Some games might go for two or three hours while others take around 15 minutes to play.

Roll The Dice’s menu is a combination of Mexican and Mediterranean foods, along with other eats such as burgers and desserts. All in all, Amiri calls it “easy and handy food.”

“People eating with a spoon and playing board game—it doesn’t fit.”

The cafe had a soft, quiet opening earlier this month and Amiri is hoping it will become a valuable addition to the area: A place to socialize that’s not just about drinking. 

“There’s a lot of students and there’s a lot of business going on, but not much entertainment going on here.”

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shop this: 90s swimwear at Makenew

Which way to the beach?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 4:00 AM


The upside of our recent summer rain is that it’s likely warming up the lakes a little. With your backstrokes and cannonballs in mind, Makenew (2698 Agricola Street) has been collecting a whole slew of top-notch, retro bathing suits for its '90s Swimwear Pop-up this Friday, June 23.

All day long you can get your hands on bathers of all shapes, sizes and colours—one-pieces, two-pieces, mix-and-match, too—as well as 20 percent off Spanish espadrilles and Colombian-made mochila bags if you buy a suit.

Naomi Campbell not included.

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Vol 25, No 12
August 17, 2017

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