When Ana Lim worked at a dry cleaner shop in high school, she would get to take home the clothes that were never collected to sell or donate.
She’d list each item on eBay, and have the profit supplement what she was making at the store. After she had her first child a year and a half ago, she went back to finding and selling clothing online, and decided she could open a brick-and-mortar store instead to share her findings.
“I would always complain about how I wished people could see and try on and touch the clothes,” Lim said. “I know how hard it is to sell online, and how frustrating it is as a customer wanting to know how an item will fit.”
Her finds from different garage and estate sales across Dallas-Fort Worth are now housed in Nifft, a new store tucked away on the back side of the Opera House building, at 201 N. Austin St.
With an Instagram-able exterior and spacious clothing racks with clothes grouped by size, Lim wanted to put her twist on a vintage shop. She plays new Top 40 music mixed with some French music, constantly burns candles and has pops of greenery to contrast the exposed brick interior.
“It’s a whole vibe,” she said, describing the shopping experience at Nifft.
The store’s mix of modern clothes from more coveted brands like Zara alongside true vintage pieces is inspired by how Lin herself dresses, a mix of new and old. Her products range from Chanel high heels to a Zara sweater. Plus, she features new items as well, like TokyoMilk perfumes and lip balms, and socks.
“I didn’t want the store to feel like a thrift store,” she said. “I didn’t want people to feel crowded and feel like, ‘Now I have to hunt for something and dig through all of the ugly stuff to find the cute stuff.’”
She’s also working to add more products and create a home goods section, adding kitchenware and other home pieces like vases into the shop. Some home items have already trickled into the store and look like intentional decor, from a flower vase to a vintage chair next to a display of necklaces.
By locating her store downtown, Lim hopes to add a more affordable option to the retail mix — a place that customers can walk out of with something in hand.
For the first time since she started selling clothes in high school, she’s able to help her customers and see them try things on. Having customers ask for her opinion has been one of the best parts of having the shop since it opened in late July, Lim said.
“What touches me is when I see someone trying it on, and they ask me what I think,” she said. “That’s when it really hits me.”