NS: 'Momtrepreneur' goes container chic

Yvette d'Entremont
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Halifax News Net

On June 1, Amanda Langley will open a children’s clothing store in a repurposed shipping container on the Halifax waterfront.

Amanda Langley, owner of Twice Upon A Time, has set up a boutique in a shipping container on the Halifax waterfront.

[HALIFAX, NS] — Working out of a shipping container sounds like a world away from an office job with the department of agriculture.

But Amanda Langley won’t be working in just any shipping container. On June 1, the Halifax mom and entrepreneur will open a children’s clothing store in a repurposed shipping container on the Halifax waterfront.

She admits it’s a very interesting location for a business that creates and sells locally handcrafted clothing using reclaimed material.

"I couldn’t think of a cooler place to have my business. As I’ve been setting up, people are stopping and saying they didn’t know it (the container) was even there," Langley said.

The ‘momtrepreneur’ started Twice Upon A Time out of her home in January of 2011. She began making boutique quality fashion for babies and young children using reclaimed material, and within a relatively short period of time was selling to clients as far away as Australia and the UK.

"It was a side hobby, and as it grew I decided to do it while it had momentum so I took a one year unpaid leave," she said.   

Her products are now sold regularly at Fiddleheads and P’lovers in Halifax, in addition to three stores in Ontario.

The opening of her flagship store this summer is a partnership with Murphys The Cable Wharf. That local business has the lease on the container and was using it as a base from which to sell its merchandise and tour boat tickets.

Langley said the suggestion that she could make use of the container came up during a meeting with Jeff Farwell of Murphy’s.

"I thought ‘How cool because everything I make is reclaimed’. It’s strange because this is a shipping container, used to ship out mass produced items," she said.

Erase any images of dark, dank and drab. The container is filled with light, and Langley has added some paint and a touch of chic to create her own personal stamp on the space. Even her shelving is made from reclaimed materials.

"I used old kitchen cabinets, things from Renovators Resource, old doors, an antique folding crib I found on Kijiji that I’m laying bed linens in, it’s all reclaimed," she said. "The whole front (of the container) is almost all windows, there are cute portholes on one side, another window on the other. I’m turning it into a seaside beachy theme."

She won’t be competing with local stores currently carrying her products. Instead, she’ll focus on more summer-oriented merchandise. She’s also carrying a few hand-crafted items on consignment for fellow Maritime ‘momtrepreneurs.’

Murphys tour boat tickets will be sold from her store, which will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended hours on cruise ship days and weekends.

"I’m excited. When I was little I used to tell my mom I wanted to be a cashier and my dream was to have my own shop," she said. "I’m almost giddy as a little girl to have people come into my store."

Organizations: Murphys The Cable Wharf

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Australia, UK Ontario.The

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