Vancouver's faulknerandco offers high quality consignment pieces mixed with hand selected vintage items from the UK, Europe, US and Canada. Founder James Faulkner discusses the business and his love of vintage clothes alongside his partner Stephy.
Q: Where were you each born and raised and what made you journey onto Vancouver?
J: I came over here from London. I was having a bit of a crazy one, got caught up in a certain lifestyle and thought I better make a change. And where better? Downtown Eastside.
S: Born in Van City, and then ventured away. I spent a few years in London as well but I guess I just can’t stay away from the West Coast.
Q: Can you talk about the background of faulknerandco and those first few steps that really made you realize that you wanted to start your own business in the fashion industry?
J: I’ve always loved clothing and fashion, and I noticed a lack of decent menswear in the City. Also I wanted to get out of hospitality – thought I’d give it a whirl. It’s been a bit of a ride, all this came together in a matter of months.
S: Jamie literally looked at me one day and said, I’m going to open up a shop. As time went on and I saw how hard he was working at it, I knew he was serious so I just jumped on board. Most of my closet has always been thrifted, and I have a hard time turning down a bit of excitement and drama.
Q: How did the name faulkerandco evolve?
J: I literally couldn’t think of anything else. Apparently I’ve got a serious lack of imagination. (winks)
S: Count me in on that.
Q: Where do you source your clothing?
J: The ol’ US of A. Either that or the interior. Because of our tiny space and limited storage we have to be very selective.
S: We try to get as far away from Vancouver as we can to bring people things that they couldn’t get here- things that they would have to work really hard to find.
Q: What do you love best about vintage clothing?
J: Cool, unique one off pieces. Everything has a story, and it kind of feels a bit more special when it’s vintage.
S: And it is so much better than fast fashion, which as cute as it is, is so wasteful.
Q: What or who inspires you to get up in the morning and do what you do?
J: Just the pure love for it. I like the challenge of it as well. So many people told me not to open up a shop in the Downtown Eastside. My lady keeps me motivated too, with her support and energy.
S: Jamie’s drive is pretty inspiring. He never stops thinking. I think that plus our sheer determination gets us through We’ll just be so exhausted, and knee deep in McDonalds wrappers because we don’t have time to cook and all we can do is look at each other, laugh, swear, and keep going. It’s hard, but we love it. The challenge, the thrill, the clothing, the people. That’s what makes it worth it.
Q: Where are some of the best places to find vintage and valuable one of kind items?
J: A lot of it is luck to be honest. Luck and timing.
S. I think there are gems hidden everywhere, the trouble is just finding them and recognizing them for what they are.
Q: For people who don’t know- can you talk about your consignment program and what people can bring in to qualify?
J: It’s easy to forget we’re not just vintage. I don’t have a structured consignment program but people have started to come and bring me things that they think I might like for the shop. It has to fit our esthetic, either be a unique piece (vintage or not) and quality materials.
Q: What have been some of your most exciting vintage items you have come across?
J: The obvious choices are the vintage Versace shirts and some of the other big designer brands. But if I’m being honest, what excites me the most is the 90s sportswear from England. Footie fighting gear as we like to call it, innit.
S: Hmm, that’s a toughy. It’s always so rewarding to get your hands on the big name items but I get most excited by the random crazier things, like a 90s dress covered in pineapples, or vintage plaid trousers. Or if it has gold on it, sign me up.
Q: What are some of the labels you carry in your store?
J: A massive range that’s always changing-, bit of the ol’ Versace, a bit of the Gucci, touch of the Comme Des Garcon. And then we got your classic 501s, old school Vans, Carhatt. But because we do consignment as well, we have some newer items, anything from Ddugoff to Acne Studios, and a selection of selvedge denim. Some things aren’t labelled at all and are just cool as fuck.
Q: Vintage clothing seems to be a very popular trend right now especially in Vancouver- what sets you apart from other stores?
J: The curation. Every piece has quality and it is something we focus a lot of energy on. I also try to create a nice atmosphere, whether people are coming to browse or just to hang out, I want everyone to feel comfortable.
S: There are quite a few vintage stores around us, and I think that’s a good thing! The area has become a bit of a vintage hub. Everyone has a different eye, and a different curation. For us, I know that every piece has a purpose for being here, whether it’s a cool vintage piece or a high quality item. Plus I’ve noticed that customers really like spending time with Jamie, he’s fun to be around.
Q: Where do you see faulknerandco in the next 5 years?
J: Well I can’t be too cocky in case it goes tits up, but we’d like to be one of Vancouver’s top shopping spots. That’s a solid goal. We’re also starting talks about producing our own clothing line at some point in the future. I’m excited to see what happens in this area - It’s the first retail shop on the 100 block of East Hastings, so it’s pretty unique.
S: We’d ideally like to stay in this area, but obviously grow and evolve. I’d like to see more of the Vancouver designers in the shop as well, so if anyone out there is looking for an opportunity and might be a good fit, drop us a line.
Q: How is it being in business with your partner?
J: (looks at Stephy)
S: Ha! It would be a lie if I said it was easy all the time. But it’s also really awesome to share something like that with someone and watch it grow. And luckily our skill set compliments each other – Jamie has a clear vision on what he wants the store to be, a great business mind and is amazing with people. I work in an office so have an admin background, plus I used to do photography which has really come in handy for the Instagram. He does the styling, I take the pics and we just try and create something cool. And luckily we both love thrifting so it’s a way we don’t mind spending our time together.
Q: Do you have anything you want your viewers to know about you?
J: Just come and see us! Check out our Insta, drop by for a chat; I’m always happy to meet new people and talk clothing.