by Dina Lobo
If you’re an avid local thrifter and Instagram user, you’re probably a fan of Lost and Found; a trendy thrift store located in Halifax’s north end. For the shop, Instagram has been an important tool to help connect them with local customers, where clothes featured in posts are often sold within the same day, and sometimes within the hour of being posted.
Anya Nordeen, owner of Lost and Found, says she didn’t expect it, but believes the minimal approach in how they style their pieces is what attracts their loyal following.
We had the chance to chat with Nordeen, and using three different looks, she tells us about her efforts to make the store more inclusive in style and size, and where she draws inspiration in putting the looks together for the store’s Instagram page.
“This denim shirt has a really nice appeal to it and the cut of it is also very unisex so it appeals to a wide variety of people. The sailboats on it give it a Nova Scotia thing and a maritime feel. It makes it quirky!”
“It was one of the looks that got one of the most likes. I balanced it with something really simple because I wanted the sailboats on the shirt to be the main focus. The black shorts and belt were are an afterthought.”
For inspiration, Nordeen doesn’t follow fashion magazines, but instead draws inspiration from what she sees people actually wearing, which is done primarily through social media.
“I do look at Instagram and it has made our business flourish.” Nordeen adds, “I would always say the internet is for children, but then I was like wait a minute that’s not smart. It took a little bit to figure that out, I had to let go of thinking that way.”
“The whole sport thing is big, so anytime we find something like that, it’s a given that we’ll put it online. That sort of barn-jacket look is popular everywhere, but specifically for Nova Scotia weather, they are great. Our clientele is mostly female or those who identify as such, so we try to appeal to people that don’t always dress a specific way and are more gender neutral. That is where I was going with that look, I was trying to be more inclusive.”
“I try with sizing, I’m not always good at it, but I’m trying to be more inclusive in terms of having clothes for all bodies. I never looked in the plus size section because of my own privileges as a thin person. I never thought about how hard it is and it honestly is hard to find things, but I really try hard to find larger sizes and make sure we put sizes out there online whereas before I didn’t have that.”
Nordeen, who learned to thrift shop whilst living in New York before moving back to Halifax, tries to appeal to the masses in the clothing she finds and picks.
“It’s really hard to find that denim skirt that dates from the 80’s and 90’s. American Apparel knocks them off, but whenever I find one of those skirts, I post them. I think I tried it with a few things and few other bland shirts. I’ve noticed for a while now that the 80’s printed blouse shirt is really in so I think it sort of just came together. That was one of my favourite looks.”
Lost and Found has new clothes in weekly, which keeps the store exciting and fresh. Nordeen will usually think of an outfit to post the night before after she’s sourced pieces or as she says, after “doing her thing” thrift shopping.
“I do most of my sourcing the start of the week, so later in the week it takes me longer to figure out what I’m going to put together because I used all of the stuff that I brought in and thought of.”
Nordeen encourages people to thrift instead of following fast fashion because of the ethical values related to the industry, but also for the quality of the clothing. Lost and Found tries to avoid cheap quality garments, and instead opts for pieces that are made out of high-quality fabrics like silk, linen and especially denim.
“They are durable and we want to have things that last and withstand time,” Nordeen adds, “the big thing (with thrift shopping) is you’re going to get something that no one else has.”