Interview: Laura Mac, co-founder of Glad Rags Thrift Shop
- Megan McEachern
- 4 February 2014
A new secondhand clothes shop in Glasgow's southside, from the folks who brought you The Glad Cafe
Warmly welcomed and slotting successfully into the missing gap of vintage and thrift shops in the southside of Glasgow, Glad Rags Thrift is the new next door neighbour to sister business and entertainment hub, The Glad Café. The store sells both secondhand clothes and vinyl, creating a marriage of fashion and music that stays close to the heart of its founders.
Along with The Glad Café, Glad Rags Thrift is solely non-profit, with earnings going to the Glad Foundation, a charity providing the opportunity to learn a musical instrument for local people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
Officially launching on Wed 26 Feb, the store has already been a hit across Glasgow. The List spoke to co-founder and director Laura Mac about the Glad ethos, how she’s getting customers involved with the Glad Rags brand and the fashion event schedule leading up to the launch.
Music is obviously important to the Glad ethos. What is it about music and affordable lessons that you think benefits the local community?
Music has been hugely important to many people involved in the Glad Café whether as the originators, employees or volunteers. Many of these folk have found playing music has made a great difference to their lives and they want to find ways of enabling others to benefit as they feel they have done.
So far the Glad Foundation has run a series of music workshops with a class in a primary school which no longer has peripatetic music lessons, and is currently running workshops for children with autism, providing a couple of young people with one-to-one piano tuition, and giving violin lessons to a small group of primary fives in one of our local schools. We have also recently got a children's choir off the ground. Some of these activities are free, and for some there is a reasonably priced contribution.
Visual merchandising and social media have played a huge part in the launch, but you have more tricks up your (secondhand) sleeves to get customers involved, like #gladtags. How did this idea come about?
Music is such an integral part of who we are. The idea of #gladtags came from Jamie Mac at Create Forty Eight Design Studio, who has been tasked with producing our brand. He suggested a unique way to bring both music and fashion together in store would be to allow our 'thrift fans' to get involved, by asking followers via social media to tell us their favourite song lyric or fashion quote, which will be worked into our in-store branding via a collaborative project between them and the MAKlab. We love that customers will be able to come in and see their favourite quote or lyric in the decor and know that they contributed to the shop in some way. We can't wait to see it all come together.
What's next for Glad Rags and the Glad chain? Do you see further expansion on the cards?
We are running Fashion February at the Glad Cafe in the lead up to the official shop launch on Wed 26 Feb. Throughout the month we have a number of events planned with a fashion theme.
The events kick off on Tue 4 Feb with the launch of our exhibition, Scotland's Designers: Inside the Studio which will feature behind the scenes peeks and concepts from Naromode, Danni McWilliams and Hilary Grant Knitwear.
We also have the Glad Academy with Chris Hunt speaking on the topic of fashion, taking place on Sun 16 Feb at the Glad Cafe. Formerly a London-based PR and contributor to magazines, Chris Hunt is the originator of Scotland's first Design Collective concept and introducer of designers like Christopher Kane to mills such as Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere.
Finally, on the evening of Wed 26 Feb it's the official launch of Glad Rags Thrift. This will also feature a fashion photography exhibition, a fashion film and music from DJ Dema of LuckyMe. The store will also be open in the evening for some late night shopping.
Tickets available from thegladcafe.co.uk
Glad Rags Thrift
1006 Pollokshaws Road
0141 636 6119