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Clothes for cheap – and for charity

With spring (hopefully) on its way, why not support a few charities while shopping for your new wardrobe?

The Crooked Closet, an online boutique started by third-year Dalhousie commerce student Kate Robertson, gives one dollar from each item purchased to charities. The online store sells dresses, tops, skirts, and more. Robertson started and launched the store last semester and uses her knowledge from her commerce classes to run it herself.

There’s also a discount for Dal students, if that helps to sweeten the deal (discount code: DAL15, for 15 per cent off).

The name “Crooked Closet” is one that Robertson came up with. She wanted something different that would also make it clear that she was running a clothing store. Since Halifax is known for more “offbeat” names, she thought it would be a good fit.

“I’ve seen a lot of boutiques around Halifax that have done really well,” Robertson said. “I thought there was room to start something that is affordable for college students and that can get shipped to them in a couple of days at a lower cost. I thought it was a good opportunity, as well as I [have] always wanted to do it.”

Robertson manages the website, does inventory, keeps the books, orders stock, and ships everything. The stock of clothing is at her house, where she processes everything.

“It’s nice because I can do it on my own terms, on my own time,” she said.

There are three charities, and each dollar is divided and split evenly between the three, which are the Canadian Mental Health Association, World Wildlife Fund and Clean Foundation.

Robertson chose the organizations herself. Every four months, she adds up the money and sends it in in a lump sum to each of the charities.

When it comes to balancing work and school, Robertson handles it well. What may have been difficult at first has become easier with practice.

“I would not have been able to do it without the commerce degree,” she said. “Everything I’ve learned, from how to do my own books-the accounting aspect of that, how to market the right ways and who to market to that I’ve learned from [the program]. They transfer over each other, so I learn things from my store that help me answer questions and see it from a real life basis in commerce. They coincide and it’s really great.”

While Crooked Closet may be a business venture started during her degree, Robertson says she wouldn’t stop just because of graduation. She hopes to continue the boutique after she earns her degree.

“I would love to do it after I graduate if I had the opportunity, and if it grows large enough, to do it as a job,” Robertson said. “It’s really hard to get into sometimes because there’s a lot of competition but we’ll see – it’s something that I would love to do.”

You can find The Crooked Closet online through the website, Instagram: @thecrookedcloset, and Facebook: The Crooked Closet.


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