This weekend, vintage store The Clarendon Trading Company will be moving in to Yorkdale Mall – the first of its kind to be getting a permanent spot in the upscale shopping centre.
The Clarendon Trading Company was conceived seven years ago. Initially founded as a vintage furniture store, co-owners and partners Johnnel Francis and Colette Liburd quickly realized that resources were scarce.
So, the team pivoted, eventually landing on the curation of vintage clothing. They first started selling their garments on E-commerce websites such as Etsy and eBay, and consistent growth led them to the purchase of the company’s first storefront in 2019.
Francis and Liburd are preparing the store for their grand opening on Saturday, April 2. For Francis, having a location in Yorkdale is a dream come true. “We always thought Yorkdale Mall as a premier mall because of all the amazing stores that are in there.”
If you’ve been watching Francis’ Instagram stories lately, you may have caught a glimpse of the set-up action. While the decor, aesthetic and miscellaneous objects are important, Francis says they are focusing on one mission: perfect curation.
“We’re really trying to understand our demographic by talking to them, giving them polls [on social media] and just asking them what they’re looking for. So it’s going to be a nice curation of everyone’s favourite pieces from the ’90s, the early 2000s and ’80s as well,” Francis says.
Clarendon Trading Co. caters to “Generation Z,” Francis explains. “They place real importance on sustainability and just the environmental impact that fashion does have on our earth.” As seen on their Instagram, a majority of their pieces are related to infamous cartoons, luxury brands that have headway in youth streetwear trends and athleisure.
Like many other small business owners, the COVID-19 pandemic originally stunted the company’s growth, but Francis attributes their impressive mid-pandemic rise to the fact that people were at home. “We were stuck at home so it allowed us to really focus on our E-commerce and that allowed our business to grow even more,” he says.
In the fall of 2020, Clarendon Trading Co. opened a second location in Scarborough Town Centre. Francis explained that they were forced to shift back and forth from E-commerce to brick & mortar as restrictions changed. Thankfully, both locations managed to survive, and the team is more than ready for the grand opening of their new location.
At the opening on Saturday, Francis promises customers some “crazy, rare pieces from the vault,” along with giveaways at the door. Clarendon Trading Co. will commence its first day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. that evening.