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.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Head for The Hills Bowtique

The Barrington Street salon spreads to Dartmouth

Posted By on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 10:28 AM


A year-and-a-half after opening Bowtique Hair & Makeup at 1668 Barrington Street, Meg Ryan has cut to the chase and opened The Hills Bowtique in tandem with Monica Anthony. The sister salon with made its debut at 639 Portland Hills Drive last week next to Finbar’s Irish Pub, bringing the same good looks from downtown location to the suburbs.

Ryan will split her time cutting, colouring and styling locks between Barrington Street and Portland Hills, and will be accompanied on the Dartmouth side by veteran on the salon scene Jennifer MacAulay, who spent 14 years as the head aesthetician at Kara’s Day Spa. That means manis, pedis, waxing and facials, too.

Book your appointment by calling 463-4455 or booking online.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pillow talk with Girliture

Hand painted pillows are your product of the week

Posted By on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 4:00 AM


Tanya Owen really cares about where you lay your head after a long day. She’s the artist behind Girliture, her furniture painting business that started focussing in on pillows this fall. “I'm not even sure what made me decide to try it, but I had been stenciling some furniture and thought I'd try one of the stencils on fabric.” says Owen. “Then things just kind of took off from there.”

Her hand-stenciled, hand-painted pillows are now available at Kept (127 Portland Street), Bellissimo (2743 Agricola Street), Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique (1658 Market Street) and for pup-themed ones, Down Home Dog (6021 Cunard Street) plus she’s all about the custom designs—for love notes, logos, memorable dates, your furbaby or maybe your sweetie’s face.

“I love creating different designs constantly, I get very bored if i have to do repetitive designs,” she says. “I think that's what i enjoy about the custom side of it, always something different.”

If you’ve got your dream pillow in mind, find Girliture on Facebook.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Christmas by the Sea sails away

The Hollis Street shop is closing after 27 years in downtown Halifax

Posted By on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Lynne and Michael Pierce have spent 27 years helping shoppers count down the days until Christmas at their shop Christmas by the Sea (1880 Hollis Street), which made its beginnings in Saint John in the mid-’80s.

“It was a perfect storm,” says Michael Pierce, who says a rough couple of years in combination with a rent increase have forced the store to close. “A lot of things have happened. There’s a lot a construction and destruction, lane closures, buildings half torn down and foot traffic is deteriorating.”

After over half a century in downtown Halifax, Christmas by the Sea will officially say goodbye to shoppers on March 31, but until then much of the store is discounted from 30 to 50 percent off. Pierce says while he isn't ruling out re-opening in another location, searching for one isn't a top priority right now. But he and Lynne will continue to run their small shop at the cruise ship pavilion, The Maple Tree Clothing and Gifts.

“It’s unfortunate, and I don’t know what the answer is,” says Pierce. “It takes a long time to build up what we have. We’ve spent half our lives here....We’ve had some good years here, but when I look back over the 27 years, and the people who’ve come and gone, it was always beyond their control.”

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Thumpers is moving to the Trillium

A new do', just in time for spring

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

From Granville to South Park
  • From Granville to South Park

After 18 months of looking for a new place to call home, Thumpers Salon (1813 Granville Street) has sealed the deal—it'll be moving to the Trillium (1445 South Park Street).

"We love the building we've been in for 10 years, but there have been logistical challenges," says Thumpers' owner Malcolm Norton. "We've not been crazy about what's going on downtown with construction."

The new one-level space (which was formerly Broadway Cheesecake) boasts 60 feet of windows, letting in loads of light and view of Victoria Park, and its renovations will kick off next week. "I've been doing business for 30 years or more and this isn't my first business downtown," says Norton. "Any time that we move we reinvent the business again, for the time. We'll do lots of fun stuff with technology."

The push to move coincides with the expiration of the salon's lease in June but the new Thumpers is set to open later this spring, and Norton couldn't be happier.

"It's a wonderful fit for the business," he says. "A lot of our clients go to the other stores in the building... I can't think of a con. I can't think of a negative, I've done my lists!"

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bridge Brewing is now North Brewing

Another year, another name

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 10:45 PM


Year one has been a big one the beer artist formerly known as Bridge Brewing Company (2576 Agricola Street), the north end's newest micro brewery and Halifax Chamber of Commerce's New Business of the Year. We say formerly because today, after just over a year of selling Belgian brews to the HRM, owner Peter Burbridge announced that not only was Bridge doubling in capacity (and soon quadrupling) it was changing its name to North Brewing Company just in time for said expansions.

In efforts to "avoid confusion" with a Vancouver-based Bridge Brewing Company, Burbridge made the choice to re-brand, said today's release.

“There was some confusion online about the two Bridge Brewing Companies and we felt it was best to claim a name that was all our own. North is such a strong word with a lot of meaning for us. We brew and sell our beer in the North End of Halifax and we also have a strong sense of the direction we want to take North Brewing Company and so the word North really resonates with us."

The newly-named North Brewing Company is happily exchanging Bridge branded merch for the new stuff. We're thinking of saving a Bridge growler for old times' sake, though. If there's one thing drinking beer is good for, it's nostalgia.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

The Maritime Summit Shop is closed

No more North Face on Barrington and Salter

Posted By on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

A farewell note
  • A farewell note

Indie outdoor gear store Maritime Summit Shop (1559 Barrington Street) has cleared out and closed up. The member of The Trail Shop family (they're an adventurous bunch) which specialized in slick North Face clothing, accessories and equipment, was opened by Joachim Stroink in 2011. He couldn't be reached for comment on the closure.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pink Mascara gets a new face

After five years in biz, the Spring Garden shop has a change in hands

Posted By on Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 6:19 PM


“It’s time to pass it on to someone who'll make it bigger and better because they have that passion I had at 23 when I opened it,” says Barb Israel who opened Pink Mascara Accessories (5640 Spring Garden Road) five years ago. Since then she's been helping Haligonians accessorize with what they're buying from other local shops, taking inspiration from the stores around her.

“I've seen the best years and the worst years, you've just got to stay positive,” says Israel. “Being self employed taught me to fight my own battles.” As of February 1, she’s moved on to the family real estate biz and passed her entrepreneurial torch onto Meranda Oliver, who’ll continue to bring the same brands and scene-stealing jewellery into the shop.

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Valentine's Day must-do: tiny poems!

Argyle Fine Art and Shannon Webb-Campbell team up to send out romantic messages in bottles

Posted By on Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Message in a bottle
  • Message in a bottle

Local writer and poet (and occasional Coast contributor) Shannon Webb-Campbell has the ability to woo with only a few words. That’s obvious from one quick glance at her Twitter page (@shannonwc), which is all it took for Argyle Fine Art’s (1559 Barrington Street) Adriana Afford to recruit her to help fill a bunch of little bottles with poems, and fulfill some local longing in time for Valentine’s Day.

Love Poems in a Bottle has Webb-Campell writing customized, Twitter sized poetry on demand. It’s easy, send four descriptor words about your main squeeze to gallery@argylefa.com by February 12, and for $15 you’ll get an itty, bitty love-verse for your boo, bestie or secret crush. (If you’re into sharing, you can even hashtag it #lovepoemsinabottle.)

“It’s an interesting challenge being a love poet in residence,” says Webb-Campbell. “I am paying witness, and in a way, narrating a fragment of a love story.”

Here are four words for you, Shannon—you're just the sweetest.

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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 39
February 20, 2020

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