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Second Hand Market

Mokami Status
of Women Council

Choices for Youth’s (CFY) Education, Employment, and Social Enterprise (EESE) team has been working with the Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC) for the last few years to expand training and business development services to community-based organizations across the province.

In April 2022, EESE partnered with Mokami Status of Women Council (Mokami) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to help grow their social enterprise, Thrifty Fashions. Thrifty Fashions is a thrift store that has been supporting its local community in Labrador for 36 years. Many thrift-based businesses tend to be passion projects, and Thrifty Fashions was no exception. The business struggled post-COVID and needed support with systems, planning, and business development.

Mari-Lynn Taylor, Manager of Education, Employment and Social Enterprise

“Every single good thing about Neighbourhood, we basically just adapted to make sense for their population.”

In June 2022, at the request of Mokami, representatives from CFY’s EESE team travelled to Goose Bay to help Thrifty Fashions develop new systems to enhance its potential as a social enterprise. EESE brought with them several best practices learned through operating our own thrift store social enterprise, Neighbourhood, including point of sale systems, blanket pricing models, and even the way merchandise is organized in the store. These best practices were applied by Thrifty Fashions, translating to the implementation of a model that is similar to that of Neighbourhood but was tailored for their market and community.

Building on the success of the EESE team’s initial visit to Labrador, CFY signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mokami later that year. This relationship means that best practices, policies, procedures, and frameworks learned and developed by EESE will continue to be made available to Mokami moving forward, empowering them to pursue funding to explore further social enterprise opportunities.

Mari-Lynn Taylor, Manager of Education, Employment and Social Enterprise

“We broke open the business. We did what I call ‘Extreme Makeover: Business Edition.’ They were sitting on a goldmine…a business that already made sense for the community to avail of. They just had no systems.”

The EESE team returned to Thrifty Fashions in September 2022, this time bringing a training facilitator and support worker, to conduct intensive training with Mokami’s team. Over four days of training, the Thrifty Fashions team learned how to conduct interviews for open positions and move candidates through the hiring and intake process. At the end of that training period, six young people were interviewed and ultimately hired to work at Thrifty Fashions. That same fall, the manager of Thrifty Fashions had the opportunity to travel to St. John’s to train with the EESE support team, broadening their understanding of social enterprise operations.

The success of this partnership did not go unnoticed. In March 2023, the local government provided funding to Mokami and Thrifty Fashions, allowing them to close the store for a few days and travel to St. John’s for a staff retreat. As part of this retreat, the Mokami team was able to spend a day with the EESE team doing Lifeworks, Education, and Applied Practice (LEAP) training and team-building exercises.

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