Mackenzie is the owner and curator of Upcycle Clothing Collective. Upcycle is a curated consignment and quality goods shop located in downtown Victoria, BC and on the world wide web! We have a curation of vintage and modern consignment items for all individuals and styles.
This business is a passion project that has exceeded my wildest dreams. I grew up on the island and I do not have any post-secondary education *sigh. However, I am also a professional figure skater. Most of my life was spent on the rink and on the ice, so honestly I didn't put much thought into a “normal” job/career.
A couple years ago, a friend told me to start an instagram page where I could sell my thrift store finds since my closet was continually growing. Honestly, I didn’t really think much of it at first but at some point I remember talking to my mom about how I thought that maybe I would like to get into the second hand business **whatever that looked like...
I told her that I would love to have a place to sell my thrifted finds and at the time, I wasn't really taking it seriously. Of course that conversation got the ball rolling--- then, the ball never stopped!! From there we; my mom and I, signed a lease and jumped head first into this. I never thought the business would end up as a consignment shop. Rather I thought I would be doing the buying and reselling. I am much happier with how it turned out to say the least.
My favourite thing about being a business owner is being totally invested in yourself. I love being able to work on every aspect of my business, rather than one partial job. My least favourite thing about it though is, how overwhelming it can be. Like who cleans the bathroom? Its all the little things that fall onto your plate which can become hard to balance at times.
Upcycle Collective definitely stands out because we are redefining what consignment is and looks like. The curation we have brought to the table is unique, a socially suitable option, an environmentally sustainable option! We love making way for genderless clothing and building a community where individuals can feel safe and accepted! I wanted to create a space that celebrated fashion and sustainability but also pushed the border between what “men” and “womxn” fashion really is.
My biggest personal struggle since COVID-19 is not using the support available to me. I tend to overwhelm myself by pushing through until I burn out *not very useful, but very common for small business owners. The biggest business COVID struggle is of course cash flow and revenue. Because we are so new, marketing ourselves is key. However, when you don't have a lot of expendable capital, it’s hard to get those ads out there!
I just want to say thank you so much for every single person who has continually supported my small business. It truly means so much to me and my family. We do have some fun stuff planned heading into spring! We have bi-weekly website drops of new consignment pieces. Be sure to tune in every Thursday for a new collection + a STORY SALE of consignment pieces every. single. Wednesday.