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RETALES: Thief & Bandit combines retail, production

Amie Cunningham of The Thief and Bandit started her women’s and children’s closthing business 10 years ago and now she’s opened a retail and production space on Barrington Street in Halifax.
Amie Cunningham of The Thief and Bandit started her women’s and children’s closthing business 10 years ago and now she’s opened a retail and production space on Barrington Street in Halifax. - Tim Krochak

Amie Cunningham started Thief & Bandit 10 years ago and it has evolved to the point where she has opened a production and retail space in downtown Halifax.

Thief & Bandit designs, produces and sells women’s and children’s clothing. The fabric is fashioned into items like dresses, pants, leggings, jackets, tops, intimates and bathing suits.

“The idea behind the name Thief & Bandit is that inspiration is everywhere and as artists we take from wherever we can find out inspiration,” Cunningham said

The business was originally started in Virginia but Cunningham moved closer to her parents seven years ago when she started a family. Because of its origins, she said she has a strong following of customers both here in Canada and in the United States.

“(It) starts with print design.” The designs, with nature themes, are screen-printed in-house on fabrics like organic cotton jersey and raw silk.

When she found her new space — on the second floor at 1673 Barrington St. in Halifax above Highwayman restaurant/bar — she knew it was perfect for a showroom.

Cunningham said it’s time for a retail space so she can expand and interact with her customers. It lets her show customers how things are made on site.

“It’s like an atelier,” she said.

The retail/production space gives customers the opportunity to ask for some customization and have a piece made to order.

“It’s nothing for us to do that,” Cunningham said. “It’s special, too. Not only is it hand-made but it was made for your body.”

There was one thing that was very clear from talking to Cunningham is she loves what she is doing and is ready to embrace this next evolution of her brand. Thief & Bandit is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Here are some other retail highlights and happenings:

  • Ponzu will be opening soon on Windmill Road in Dartmouth replacing the Fish & Chix in the Truckside of Habaneros and Cheese Curds. It will be serving up poke, which is essentially sushi in a bowl format.
  • The Wooden Monkey is opening a small beer garden at the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal, near the base of Portland Street, right at the bottom of the exterior stairs off its harbour side restaurant.
  • Bedford already has the original Sydelle’s Fish and Chips sit-down restaurant, on Rocky Lake Drive. Now it will have the Sydelle’s Truck, parked in Mill Cove at the Stirling Farm Market on the Bedford Highway.
  • Kenny’s Pizza is now open at the Bedford Place Mall. It is located near the Giant Tiger and has its own exterior entrance for after hours.
  • Selby’s Bunker at 1090 Cole Harbour Rd. opened its gift shop a few months ago and now it has opened a cafe.
  • World Gym is now open at Woodlawn Plaza in Dartmouth.
  • The original location of Alexandra’s Pizza on Queen St. in Halifax will be closing later this summer. The pizza chain recently opened a location at the back of the Dome on Grafton Street, which will serve as its downtown Halifax location.
  • Dairy Queen is coming to Fall River. The outlet will be built next to the Tim Horton’s on Trunk 2, but the new location won’t be ready to open until spring 2020.
  • The McDonald’s on Spring Garden Road in Halifax is closed for a few weeks as it gets a complete renovation.
  • The Swiss Chalet on Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park is also closed for a few weeks for renovations.

Arthur Gaudreau is a retail enthusiast and publisher of an award winning blog on retail comings and goings for the last five years.

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