The Mix is an online store and lifestyle brand founded in Hamilton, Ontario by two wonderful humans, Donna and Patricia! Continue reading to learn more about their business and how they’re changing fashion in #HamOnt!
Introduction. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Both of our moms describe us as divas. Second to that, we consider ourselves to be fashion forward and fashion minded individuals. We thrive most in the thrift store; one person’s donation is another person’s treasure. We are passionate about planting seeds of awareness and optimism regarding pressing issues and topics connected to the fashion world like size inclusivity, body positivity, the effects of fast fashion and so on. We started the Mix to pass on positive messages and become everyone’s #stylegoals.
What inspired you to create The Mix?
We understand how much of a responsibility we have when it comes to what we wear and how we wear it. Fast fashion poses such an immense problem. We want to change the way people view shopping for a new outfit, seasonal pieces or on a larger scale, a new wardrobe. Through thrift shopping, we get to see a plethora of different items that have potential to become new and trendy, if they aren’t already. We also try to make it an incentive to donate clothes we no longer wear each time we visit which further contributes to the longevity and integrity of the thrift store culture we just described.
Whenever there’s space in our closets, we see the value in venturing out to the thrift store instead of the mall as a first instinct. The premise of our business is carefully selecting, styling and selling these pieces in hopes that people can appreciate how much of a difference buying second hand can make.
What is your favourite item you’ve thrifted for the Mix?
There have been SEVERAL pieces that were hard to let go of, let’s just say that. We have been really into the current revival of fashion trends from the early 2000s so anything that embodies that vibe has been a favourite. One of the most interesting tasks that comes with what we do is transforming a piece and giving it a fresh look. Recently, we thrifted a unique Kappa wool half-zip we ALMOST left behind but it had potential, so we brought it home and cropped it.
We ended up loving how it turned out and so did someone else because we sold it quicker than any item we have before. That’s the most rewarding and validating parts of the job, when someone sees your vision the way you do!
Where do you find inspiration when sourcing new items?
We find inspiration everywhere! We’re lucky to live in a world driven by visuals and the art of sharing. We try to aim for what’s trendy and/or unique more than anything simply because that’s what will catch people’s attention. We also find inspiration from our followers! They give terrific feedback on what they like and/or what they want to see more of.
What is the good cause that you promote and support through your brand?
Supporting our community by eating and shopping local as much as we can is something we strive for and encourage people to do also. We get the opportunity to share what we love most about Hamilton and there’s no better way to do that than through supporting the people of Hamilton and their endeavors. Fashion is also a huge part of who we are, primarily upcycling clothing and bringing dope finds to our followers.
We have become more mindful in our own process too. For instance, if we crop a garment, we collect the scrap material and donate it where it can be re-used instead of thrown away which adds to the already existing problem within the environment. Our goal moving forward is to be more conscientious like this!
How are you planning on growing The Mix and continuing to be a part of the slow fashion movement?
We’ve nested in thrift stores all over the city at this point. Thrifting is such a great practice for anyone trying to save some coins but more importantly, for those who care about the environment. It reduces the need for manufacturing of new products which is not only costly but harmful to the environment (hard to believe but it’s true).
With that being said, it’s rewarding to make someone happy with one of the pieces we hand-picked at a thrift store simply because whether they know it or not, they are now contributing to the slow fashion movement. However, it doesn’t stop there. In the future, we are hoping to educate ourselves better in order to source out more ethical and sustainable brands at the thrift shop to REALLY pay it forward to the planet.
What advice would you like to give to today’s women?
There was a quote getting passed around at one time that said: “lack of passion is fatal.” We now understand the truth behind that message. If something makes your heart happy, put your mind to it. Flowers are the best metaphor for anything: a career, a hobby or even better, yourself. Evidently, how you spend your time is what your end result will be. If you’re passionate about something, keep nurturing and watering that passion like you would a flower; let it grow. If the flower dies, plant new seeds.
Becoming an adult doesn’t mean you should sacrifice what you love just because society wants you to “grow up” and follow a path already set out for you. Make your own path, follow it and hustle. Have gratitude, be patient, complain less and work harder!
We welcome you to share your thoughts about up-cycled fashion in the comments below. We would love to start a conversation with you!