Front & Company
By YP Contributor

One of a Kind

Main Street is practically synonymous with hip in Vancouver, but in the early 1990s, that wasn’t so. At the time, the stretch between King Edward and 20th Avenue was a mix of suspicious massage parlours, vacant properties and Chinese-owned hair salons. But one person’s empty storefront is another’s retail opportunity.

In 1993, a group of five friends found a store window they loved and secured the space. Inside, the women opened a consignment store offering gently used clothing and accessories, and vintage and flea market finds; they called it Front & Company. The original consignors were “people who went out of town often and brought things in that weren’t available in Vancouver” says manager Kat Caparas.

Over the past two decades, Front & Company has nurtured a devoted roster of customers and over 5,000 consignors. Today, shoppers can find designer handbags and off-the-runway styles mixed in with vintage sweaters and classic wool coats. Everyone who visits has a unique style, and Kat is confident there’s something for each customer.

We try really hard to find cool products that a lot of people can enjoy. You never know what you’re going to get. It’s a treasure hunt. - Kat Caparas, manager
Front & Company, Gifts, Clothing, Footwear, Accessories Baby and Children’s gifts
Inside the home décor and gift shop.

On Display

After expanding north and south, the store is now a bona fide cornerstone of Main Street shopping. If you aren’t already a devoted fan, however, the store’s legendary window displays are sure to lure you in.

Over the years, Front & Company has mesmerized window shoppers with show-stopping art pieces facing Main Street. A 1997 window display of wedding dresses made from paper inspired a local art dealer to arrange a showing at her gallery.

It all began with one of the owners’ creative knack. An art major, the windows became her canvas. Now a visual team works in a studio in the parking lot dreaming up elaborate installations that change twice a year. Says Kat, “You never know what you’re going to get with them. It’s never the same.” Amongst the art, the staff display fashionable mannequins that showcase consigned gems.

Front & Company, Gifts, Clothing, Footwear, Accessories Baby and Children’s gifts
Fashionistas will find a delightful mix of old and new at competitive prices.

The Treasure Hunt

When it comes to the new items at Front & Company, the buying philosophy is to offer a variety “so everyone can go out with something at a good price point.” Shoppers can find a lush mix of treasures from handcrafted jewellery from Hawaii to cashmere scarves from Nepal to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles socks.

You can easily spend hours browsing books, jewellery, stationery and clothing at Front & Company. If you’re a first-timer, come with a bit of time and an open mind, says Kat. “We try really hard to find cool products that a lot of people can enjoy. You never know what you’re going to get. It’s a treasure hunt.”

Front & Company, Gifts, Clothing, Footwear, Accessories Baby and Children’s gifts
The famous window displays change twice a year.
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