I love when friends give me tips! Thanks Melissa! I received a recommendation to check out a very well done “thriftique” in the Highlands. My friend suggested I check it out because she thought I’d be interested in seeing their gently worn children’s and maternity clothing considering my “condition.” I found myself downtown on Wednesday so I thought I’d maximize the trip, gas is after all approaching $4 a gallon, and head across I-25 to the Highlands to scope the shop out.
Just two steps inside the door of this historic Victorian on 32nd Ave., and I knew immediately that SecondLove had that special something. Don’t you just LOVE that chunky pyrite necklace on that mannequin up there?! I was able to catch one of the owners in the shop that day, Katie, and she was such an easy conversationalist! Aren’t all Katies just the nicest? I’ve never met a mean Katie…She didn’t need to do much explaining or navigation around as it was impeccably merchandised and carried such a natural flow. The clothing was organized by color scheme which I openly complimented. This is much easier to shop rather than by style. The racks weren’t bulging and the track lighting was the perfect hue of yellow and hit the clothes just right. Plenty of natural light from windows in the dressing area. “She must have a background in retail,” I thought.
Turns out, she and her co-owner and sister Angie both have robust retail backgrounds. Katie worked for Betsey Johnson in NY and Housing Works, where she got the experience with high-end thrift, and sister Angie was a district manager for Abercrombie and Fitch for years and then moved on to working with a small, local boutique. Did I mention they were both groomed for the biz? They spent a lot of their youth hanging around antique stores with their mom. This is evident in their interior decorating skills of the small, yet well organized and efficient use of the teeny space. A DIY project Katie is working on perfecting, a lamp made from a vintage water bottle spray painted reflective silver, sits next to succulent plants and a few select candles and house ware items. As put together and visually appealing the store is, you would never guess that it hasn’t even been around a year yet; their anniversary will be this coming July!
I love the old built in bookcase used as a jewelry display case. A fan of using vintage books as decor myself, I naturally gravitated to the baubles on tomes. I just discovered and wrote about a jewelry line a couple weeks ago called Crow Jane, which is sold at Night & Day Vintage as well as SecondLove. So shop the nearest location to you and get a piece of the local goodness either way! Really cool, earthy stuff. They also carry jewelry lines Hippo Kiss Collections (how cute is that name?)and Violetfly (you MUST see/buy this gold fill wire cuff!).
They had a little bit of vintage, (see that fur vest? Yours for $50!) a little bit of designer (Really loved this floor length blanket jacket from Anna Sui! And how adorable is that plaid summer dress by APC???!!! Wish it fit!) a little bit for the style savvy gents (check out those Toms Shoes and vintage preppy sweater!) Katie mentioned to me that they were just about to do a floor reset, moving the children’s to the back and moving the dressing rooms and men’s up to the middle of the shop in case you are confused when you visit! As for the bulk, it is what the community brings in to sell! The taste and editing from the buying stand point is superb and they know their shopper well so you’re bound to find a lot of the same lines carried at Anthropologie and Nordstrom, Free People, and others. For the kiddos, expect the mid priced to higher end lines such as Baby Boden, Zutano, Tea Collection and Hanna Anderson.
Those adorable screen printed pillows up there are from an artist in Long Beach, called Sass and Peril! Which one is your fave? Angie has two children, Oliver and Adelaide, and they helped inspire the store’s child friendly vibe including their fun “Book Swap!” Bring a book, take a book!
So what is a thriftique exactly?
In Katie’s words, “SecondLove came about because we wanted to start something that mattered and felt important. We put our years of fashion experience together with our passion for a sustainable future and thus the idea of a thriftique was born. We believe in using what is already out there, we just make it special again, give it a new life. Clothing is not disposable and the idea that it is – that one can buy a new cheap thing, is really taking a toll on our financial and environmental resources. SecondLove stands firm against this idea. We also love the styling potential most of our pieces have, we really look for versatility in our clothing so they lend themselves to a variety of styles, moods and tastes.” This motto runs through the veins of the store from the reusable shopping bags they use, donated by their guests, to the book swap, and the DIY projects and furniture pieces they up-cycle (they have a crush on chalkboard painting little tables currently, which is great for kiddos rooms!)
What was the most memorable piece/s that you have seen come through the shop?
“Oh my, there have been many things that have been so hard to see leave the store! More recently, I have a customer that loves vintage Coach bags as much as I do, she left with the most amazing black vintage Coach briefcase….I still think about how beautiful it was. A good customer brought her mom in, who performs around town and she left with an amazing cream, pleated Marc Jacobs dress…she was almost floating out of here, she was looked as good as she felt! My sister and I will always remember the vintage blue velvet wing back chair and a 1920′s Steamer Trunk with vintage Japanese photos on the inside…..what life in these pieces.”
If that doesn’t inspire you to check it out…
The take away: “At SecondLove you will see our passion for clothes, experience in merchandising and or love for the community. It has been such a treat to be part of the Highlands community and are continually in awe of how great our customers are. I can speak for the both of us in saying that we love what we are doing and that it feels important. We love owning a store because at the end of the day we get to say ‘this is who we are’. We get to express ourselves honestly and be understood, we can’t think of anything more valuable than that in life.” – Katie, Co-Owner of Secondlove
Next Buying Date: Do you have well kept, gently used, well cared for threads you would love to sell or trade for store credit? Katie and Angie hold buying days the first Sunday of every month, with the next session coming up on March 3rd from 11-5. No appointment necessary, BUT, it is on a first come basis. They purchase men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and offer cash or store credit. They ONLY buy seasonally, so they are now looking for SPRING pieces (don’t bring in any heavy coats or knits.)
What they’re looking for: Modern, current pieces in great quality. It could be vintage if it’s the right silhouette, style or piece that can fit into a thoroughly modern closet. They are highly selective, and for good reason, this is not the Arc, hence a boutique experience for gently worn clothes, so they ask that people bring NO MORE THAN TWO bags or bins at a time when selling. If you have spring tops, dresses and skirts, great denim or cool cardigans, then bring ‘em on by! For kids, they are looking for quality and quantity. The lines mentioned above, as well as Gap and other brands as long as there aren’t any stains, missing buttons or shrinkage! Think a fashionista babe! For boys, they love the skater/punk/hipster pieces. For men, they are looking for “quality, stand-out pieces,” such as vintage button downs, unique t-shirts, a great fitting colored cord. Basically, they want to check out everything you have, but the true gold they’re after on March 3rd is… maternity, boys clothes and high-end women’s athletic wear!!! (Think Athleta, Lululemon, Merrell…)
So have you been in yet? Doing a closet clean out soon?!
Tags: Anna Sui blanket coat, Anthropologie lines, Athleta, black riding boots, chalkboard paint on furniture, Crow Jane Jewelry from Denver, Free People, Highlands boutiques in Denver, Hippo Kiss Collections jewelry, Katie and Angie of SecondLove, Lululemon, Merrell, Mini Boden, moccasins, Nordstrom lines, plaid dress by APC, Push Pin Your Town Highlands, Push Pin Your Town Series, Sass and Peril, SecondLove Highlands, SecondLove thriftique in Denver, thrifting, Toms Shoes, up-cycling, Vintage, Vintage fur vest, Violetfly jewelry Denver, Zutano