All photos by Britney Gill
By Brittany Tiplady
I met Chloe Popove on a sunny Monday morning on the patio of Greenhorn cafe. A Westend nook shaded by the neighbourhood’s luscious greenery, alive with the buzz of local caffeine seekers.
Popove is draped in a blush Eliza Faulkner linen piece that sits off her shoulders as if it was made just for her. The tattoo on her exposed collar bone pens “love fearlessly” in bold cursive; and that’s exactly what Popove does.
The 24 year-old entrepreneur started My Modern Closet, a local online consignment store, with a fearless ambition for change. After spending a weekend in Tofino, holed up with only the company of podcasts, journals and beer, Popove returned to Vancouver ready to begin her new chapter, resigning from her current job with lululemon the following day.
“I realized that I really wanted to do something for myself, something that I was meant to do. I decided to create. For me, sustainability is huge, and that’s what was missing [in my career]. I want to be a ‘fuck yes’ person always,” she said.
“I really respect the lululemon culture, and I wouldn’t have been able to start what I have started without the training and coaching from my managers. Everything and everyone that I have been around has made it possible for me to do what I am doing. “
In November, 2015 Popove launched My Modern Closet. Unlike other physical consignment stores, her business model makes the consignment process easy and accessible. And she does it all in her 400 square foot apartment.
Her mission? To extend the life of women’s wear.
“I want to make it a simple thing for women to consign their clothes; to make it easy and fluid. I chatted with girls I know in the fashion industry and thought about what’s missing. How could I make this the best? How could I make it a ‘fuck yes?’” she explains.
The process is simple: go to Mymoderncloset.ca, head to the consign page, select the option to drop-off or pick-up, pick a date and a time, (yes, she will come to your door and pick-up your items free of charge). Next, a confirmation email is sent to both parties and within 24 hours of receiving the items, the cash is in the hands of the consigner.
“One of the things I have realized about creating change, is that people don’t really like change. So if you can make it so that it’s easy, it will be make it easy for people to make the right choice.”
Her approach to online consigning not only promotes sustainable fashion, but the elements of community that hail from her days working with lululemon.
“I am inspired by bad ass women doing awesome things in the community. I wanted to have something to offer to people. I wanted to bring these influencers in on what I was doing,” Popove said.
“I want people to be shopping with purpose, to see that it’s coming from a place of intent. And that it’s not just 50 percent off a hand bag, it’s a conscious decision. I want [My Modern Closet] to be a platform for women to be able to visit, and know that by choosing to shop second hand, that they are choosing to be free from fast fashion.”
Popove balances business between workouts at Tight Club, and unwinding with a good read (she’s currently challenged to read her height in books), and of course, enjoying the local B.C. scenery.
Living sustainably is not just a business opportunity for the solopreneur. In true authentic fashion, she recently narrowed down her closet to only 24 pieces of clothing, eliminating waste in her own wardrobe. For Popove, her lifestyle and core values are a true reflection of her what her business promotes.
What’s next for My Modern Closet? Popove is introducing two new collections at the end of August, as well as launching a shoe section to the website in the early fall. Her latest co-endevour, SOEMY, an online consignment store geared towards fashion bloggers, is also growing in strides.
“SOEMY is a little more higher end, it’s more luxurious. That business will be expanding to Toronto, London, California,” Popove said.
Her advice to other budding entrepreneurs?
“Do it. Just jump. What [my businesses] have taught me is that failure isn’t failure. You’re not failing, you’re learning. And if you are scared of failure, you’re not going to succeed. I am not afraid to crash land. It’s so fun to fail and get right back up again.”
Brittany Tiplady is a part-time poet, and a full-time goat cheese enthusiast. She loves the indoors, fast wifi, collecting maps, and a generous glass of red wine.