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, March 29, 2018

Forest Child Natural Beauty comes out of the woods

Olivia McMackin goes skin-deep and then some with her online shop for natural beauty products.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 4:17 AM

  • Jaclyn Doyle

Olivia McMackin grew up in the middle of nowhere, Nova Scotia. With no neighbours as far as her eyes could see, she spent most of her childhood outside with her sister “having a sort of idyllic life running around in the woods.” This connection to the natural world had a massive impact on her life, but it wasn’t until her health started giving her trouble that her mind really returned to it.

“It was a long process trying to find a diagnosis, so I was doing a lot of reading, trying to figure out what was going on,” says McMackin. “I found out what a heavy burden the chemicals in some of the products we use on our bodies, and it smacked me across the face. I had no idea.” That’s when she detoxed her own product regime, and got kind of obsessed with learning more and helping others learn more, too.

After spending all of her spare time as a self-proclaimed “research-aholic”, and moving back to her home province, Forest Child Natural Beauty—an online shop that curates top quality, high performance, clean skincare and beauty products— was born. “Once I found all the suppliers and vendors that met that stringent criteria, they were amazing to take a chance on me,” says McMackin, of her business, which launched in the late fall.

Aiming to be a one-stop shop, she keeps an inventory of hand-picked makeup, skincare and cleansing products and sells them via her website, but she also offers group consultations and has been popping up at various Halifax shops with her products in tow. (She’ll be at Bhavana Yoga Boutique—3063 Gottingen—from 3-6pm on April 6 and 20, May 4 and 18 and will host Green Your Beauty Routine there April 22, 2-4pm.)

“Most people know there’s something better they can be using, but it can be very overwhelming to do the work,” McMackin says. “I wanted to take that barrier out of the way for people.”

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Halifax street style: Ashburn Avenue

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 4:33 PM


Name: Braeden Kaulbach

Age: 25

Spotted: Ashburn Avenue

Wearing: Hat, Carhartt WIP(Rchmnd); scarfs, Acne (Rchmnd); sweater, thrifted (Value Village); pants, Raf Simons, (Rchmnd); shoes: Raf Simons Ozweego (Rchmnd); long coat: Publish (Off the Hook)

How would you describe your style?

 Comfortable and unique. 

Who/where do you derive inspiration from when putting together an outfit?

I take a lot of inspiration from hip hop artists, along with other various social media accounts and friends within the local community. A$AP Rocky is one of my biggest fashion influences.

How does living in Halifax affect your fashion choices?

I think it pushes an individual to get more creative in trying to achieve a certain look. Given the limited options Halifax has to offer, you need to check out new shops and socialize with people to create the outfits you want.

Name a current trend that you just can't get on board with?


Favourite local shop?

If it wasn't obvious, Rchmnd.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

New Scotland Brewing Co. to open this summer

Kevin and Scott Saccary of New Scotland Clothing have landed a location for their beer business.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 2:20 PM

  • Geoff Creighton

Kevin Saccary of New Scotland Clothing Co. wants his upcoming brewing company to reflect the same qualities as his clothing venture: “We strive to make a really high-quality product, locally-focused.”

Kevin co-owns New Scotland Clothing with his brother Scott Saccary, and the pair are teaming up with brewer Mike Gillespie for New Scotland Brewing Co. The idea of making beer under the New Scotland brand started floating around not long after the clothing line initially launched. 

  • via Instagram

“We just always pictured being in a local Nova Scotia pub or something and having our rampant lion symbol on top of a tap,” says Kevin. “We always envisioned that and that was always driving us to try to do this.”

After some research, the Saccarys discovered that there was a New Scotland Brewing Co. in Pictou County—but it no longer existed, so they were free to trademark the title. That was more than two years ago.

“So it’s been almost a three-year idea that’s finally coming to light.”

The Saccarys recently secured a location for their brewery and taproom (91 Alderney Drive), which Kevin says was their biggest challenge. They’re next steps are ordering equipment, executing their floor plan and getting the ball rolling in hopes of an early July opening. “You can come in and you’re literally going to be sitting and having a beer—probably next to some fermenters.” explains Kevin, describing the open concept. It won’t be a full-fledged restaurant, but there will be snacks and sandwiches available. On top of that, there will be a stage for acoustic entertainment.

Prospective customers can expect a slew of traditional Scottish beer on offer, as well as a cider and other signature beers. “We’re going to be dabbling in other things too, but we haven’t fully nailed those plans down yet,” says Kevin.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Scotia Pharmacy is moving (not very far)

We would like a dinner roll with that.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 4:38 PM


Your friendly neighbourhood, all-caps-tweeting pharmacy is on the move. The north end’s beloved Scotia Pharmacy (2151 Gottingen Street) announced it’ll be making the very short jaunt across the street and moving into the MacDonald Building (2131 Gottingen Street—where the home of chicken delight, The "No Name" Cafe, was for 24 years).

“It’s a smaller spot,” says Scotia’s Jenn Jorna, “but we’re pretty excited because we have such a dank little pharmacy now and we needed new life.” While the downsize means no post office services post-move, the new location puts the pharmacy under the same roof as North End Community Health Centre and MOSH (Mobile Outreach Street Health)—“one of the doctors approached us when The Cafe was closing,” adds Jorna—and makes way for a new home for fellow Gottingen Street resident Direction 180, which will take over the 2151 space.

“The push is on for March 19,” says Jorna. The jury is still out on whether there will be dinner rolls with purchase.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Anthony Reynolds' strong, weekly designs

His brand åntrēy debuts a new piece of clothing every week.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 4:05 AM

  • ian selig
Denim, wool, cotton fleece and Indian silk sarees are just some of the leftover fabrics Anthony Reynolds is using after graduating from the fashion and merchandising program at daVinci College in September.

Reynolds, 34, created an Instagram account for his line, åntrēy as a “creative exploration” towards making unique garments. Since January, Reynolds has dedicated himself to creating a piece every week and posting his creations on Instagram via @antrey52.

“The aesthetic of my brand is garment created for the individual. When I think to describe streetwear to someone, I say ‘It’s something old, something new and something completely you,’” says Reynolds. “So a little thrift and also something that no one else would think of putting on to the garment.”

Raised in southern Ontario with roots in Jamaica, Reynolds moved to Halifax 12 years ago after visiting the province through a youth program and decided to stay to begin his fashion journey. “Aesthetics and being well put together are a major part of Jamaican culture so it's always been in my subconscious.”

The weekly garments Reynolds makes now take up to two days from start to finish. This includes laying out the fabric and cutting out the pattern pieces and cleaning the edges. Though the process will start to take longer in April.

“When I start to make more complex jackets and sweaters there will be more intricate closures, linings and some will be reversible,” he says. “The seaming process and the pattern drafting will get more complicated.”

Although Reynolds is using creative freedom to explore his skills, he is also planning a methodical exploration. In the last six months of this year, he plans on narrowing down what garment types he will be making with the goal of putting a line out in 2019.

As of now, the garments are not for sale. Reynolds calls it more of a “guerilla-marketing campaign” for the brand. And in terms of quality—something he values—they are not yet up to the standards to which he would want in order to sell them. But if someone asked to purchase one of his samples, Reynolds would happily make something specific for them.

“I never want to create mass-produced things,” he says.
Reynolds’ longterm hope and goal is to open a menswear store that sells clothes where he can be sewing in the back: “I feel that people will have a stronger connection with the garment if they have the option of speaking with me about their piece.”

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In Print This Week

Vol 28, No 1
July 9, 2020

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