Nifty for Fifty: 4 Picks for the Fourth Anniversary

Pick up vintage and local fashion for under 50 bucks a pop at this Sunday's Nifty for Fifty sale.

Pick up vintage and local fashion finds for under $50 at this weekend’s Nifty for Fifty sale


The annual Nifty for Fifty shopping event is this Sunday, April 3, 2011, and offers one of the year’s best opportunities for scooping up some great vintage and locally made clothing and accessories—and all for under 50 bones.

Nifty for Fifty sale

Heritage Hall

3102 Main St, Vancouver


Sunday, April 3, 2011

11 a.m.–8 p.m.



The Nifty for Fifty designers list is a generous one, each as talented and creative as the next. And in honour of this being the fourth annual event, I’ve compiled my top four designer picks below.


But since everyone has different fashion preferences, I’d highly advise you check the complete list of designers and make your own “top picks” list ahead of time—so you’re not as overwhelmed by the selection once you step inside the doors of Heritage Hall.


Billy Would earrings

Adea Chung’s Billy Would pieces are made from recycled and salvaged wood.


Billy Would

Wanting to wear something unique and different, Adea Chung started carving recycled and salvaged wood into adornment pieces for herself, her friends and family. Transforming old floorboards into one-of-a-kind bangles, and offering discounts to people who save their graphic-filled skateboards for her, Chung’s work is not only unique but also a gesture toward lessening the burden on the landfill.

She says that the appeal of using the limited supply of wood is the ability to think outside the box and create unique and valued pieces.


This will be her first time participating at Nifty for Fifty, and she says she’ll have a “schwack” of classic Billy Would items on sale, as well as a small limited edition collection of new designs.


Ashley Watson purse

Ashley Watson specializes in made-to-order wallets and leather handbags.


Ashley Watson

I need a good spring bag, so I’ll be stopping by the Ashley Watson booth on Sunday.


She has always loved the idea of re-using, but started designing handbags “by accident,” creating her first bag from her dad’s old leather jacket, with no intention of starting a whole line; now she designs handbags, belts and accessories.


Each bag is made-to-order so she invests a lot of time sourcing her leather at thrift stores, looking for used leather jackets not only in good condition, but in specific colours too. Ashley wants to help her customers understand that the process of working with recycled leather is that every single jacket will be different.


She states that even if she has two identical-style jackets, the original owners would have each had different physiques, lifestyles and ways of wearing the piece that the end result will never be similar to each other, which in turn makes each bag unique.

Her ideal handbag is one that can combine function and style and she’s created one called the Grebe bag (Spring 2011; pictured at top, far left); it carries everything she needs and can be easily transformed from a shoulder bag to a cross-body.


For those of you keeping an eye out for a fall purse, her Fall 2011 line will include great pieces such as a clutch (The Stilt) and shoulder bag (The Myna) lined with recycled fabrics from the pre-loved leather jackets.

Expect to find a wide range of Ashley Watson change purses, snap wallets and card holders at the Nifty for Fifty show. She’ll also be adding some discontinued items as well as a few “surprises.” Ashley is looking forward to connecting with both the designers and the community, so make sure to say hi to her at the show.


dotted loop jewellery

Dotted Loop jewellery pieces draw inspiration from seasons, cultures, times and music.


Dotted Loop

Usually you hear stories about how little time mothers have to themselves. But Teresa Smed proves she’s a superwoman with her brand Dotted Loop: after becoming a single mother to two toddlers, she followed her instinct to continue working for herself (she used to own her own clothing and accessories business) and combined it with her passion for creativity.


She learned the process of deconstructing and reconstructing jewellery after buying almost the entire collection of vintage jewellery at an antique store set to close down. Teresa loved how each piece had its own memories and how unique each the beads and chains were. Inspirations for Dotted Loop are varietal and reflect on seasons, cultures, times and places.


This, along with mixing together pieces found from local thrift stores and flea markets to European antique fairs add to the exclusivity of each necklace, bracelet and earring. Music also plays a part, as her popular Glam Vintage Remix collection is an ode to the fashionable rockers such as David Bowie and Madonna.


The Dotted Loop Custom Collection also allow clients to help design their own signature bauble using heirlooms or unused pieces in their own jewellery box. When asked what the big trend in accessories is, she states that she’s digging bright colours, anything white, crystals, semi-precious stones and Native American beading.


Hopefully we’ll find a few at her Nifty for Fifty table, where she’s planning on releasing some new beaded earrings and bangles.


Be on the lookout for the release of 18th century Egyptian Beads, her Native American-inspired beaded collection and her studio sale on April 9.


Creampuffs By GG

Creampuffs by GG put a fun and flirty spin on female boxer shorts, especially the ‘Bustlepuffs.’



All Gerry-Gail Endean wanted during a hot summer day was something comfortable to wear under her dress to keep her cool and from feeling exposed. Taking advantage of her film costuming experience and inspired from bloomers, petti-coats and tap pants-past, she created the first wearable “Creampuff.”


Aptly named for being “light and fluffy,” these “girlie boxer shorts” are made with a quick-dry, wick-away polyester micro-mesh to keep us ladies cool and comfortable. Designed as an alternative to slips, Gerry-Gail finds her clients wear Creampuffs over tights in the winter, as pj’s, over bathing suits for a pin-up girl look, and even the lindy-hop and swing-dancing community has fallen in love with them.


Gerry-Gail’s favourite piece is the “”Bustlepuffs,” which she calls “Creampuffs with surprise endings” and carry the same design as the original Creampuffs, but are adorned with ruffles, bustles and bows on the bum. Perfect for wedding dresses, prom gowns or just for fun.


She’s looking forward to debuting the summer collection at Nifty for Fifty, which could include her “L’il Bandaid” bandeau tops, as well as doing value-added specials, though her pieces are already under the $50 mark.


There’s definite potential for future Creampuffs beachwear, jammies and wee frocks so stay tuned.