Darlene Maloney sees Pearl’s as a “colourful quilt”, where community-minded folks and energy-infused goods collide, all under one roof. “We all have different stories and backgrounds – just like the items that find their way here. Vintage brings you back in time, and also brings an energy into the store. There’s a dynamic feeling created by an item’s history. It’s a bit of a swirling vortex of eclectic energy at times,” she laughs.
A resident of Squamish for 6 years, Darlene moved from the Okanagan looking for a warmer year-round climate. With four children, it wasn’t long before she found Pearl’s to be a great place for shopping, but she rarely looked beyond the kids’ section. It wasn’t until much later that Darlene realized how much more Pearl’s has to offer. “For me, Pearl’s is about perfect timing and it’s that way for a lot of people,” she says. “I hear a lot of patrons say they’ve been asking for a certain item and they’ll finally find it here. That’s the collective magic of Pearl’s.”
Most of all, the circular economy of used objects taking on new life is what brings Pearl’s “back to the heart” for Darlene. “There’s something going on here that can’t quite be explained, but working for the community brings us back to heart. Knowing that we are helping Howe Sound Women’s Centre, and a community of women – and also of men who feel an affinity for our purpose, is just amazing.”
“I’m constantly impressed with how stylin’ the people of Squamish are,” says Helen “Hornet” looking at a colourful assortment of shoes. “This community rocks!”
The Kitchener, Ontario native has been working at Pearl’s Value and Vintage since September. She’s a huge fan of vintage clothing and enjoys the amazing array of donations received daily. And while she won’t disclose the weirdest item ever donated (“it was a shocker!”), she recalls an Underwood 11 typewriter from the 1930s as one of her favourites. “Seriously though, there have been a plethora of rad things,” she says.
Even more than perusing vintage finds, (“most of my clothing is from this store,” she says) Helen appreciates working in a relaxed and fun environment. “Working with the Pearl’s Girls and Kent feels like home. It’s all about making people feel warm and welcome here – and part of the community,” she says.
Helen’s creative flair and humour can be seen in the store’s social media posts – be sure to follow @pearlsvintage for daily deals and inspiration.