Who, What, Wear: UpsideDive
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Who, What, Wear: UpsideDive

2008_03_12upside51c.JPGIf you thrill to the authenticity of a one-of-a-kind vintage find, but could do without the authentic experience of digging through a factory-sized, moldy basement-scented Value Village for hours on end, you’ve probably already discovered Upside Dive Inc.
And if not, you’re about to have a moment.
Bicycles and biker jackets, desk chairs and secretary dresses, sunburst clocks and butterfly shades… Upside Dive is a purveyor of all things preloved, a one-stop wonder emporium founded three years ago by four siblings whose first love is second-hand.
“We think vintage [and] used goods have charm, character, detail, craftsmanship and a deeper sense of connection,” says co-owner Mike Dalla-Giustina. “We can’t help but ask, what sort of previous life has this piece had?”
Brother and sisters—Mike, Elisa, Angie, and Natasha—started UpsideDive.com to give second lives to scavenger-hunted wares and a retail alternative to conscious consumers. With its wide and reasonably-priced array of pretty things, the site quickly earned a loyal following of vintage fiends.
Last month, Upside Dive moved from the virtual into the real world—the east end, to be exact. Their new space is called simply 51C, after its address, 51C Blake Street. The headquarters features a showroom for larger furniture pieces, like a glossy Scandinavian sofa, as well as decor settings. A dressing room, filled with whimsical print dresses, patent heels and plaid, gives customers a homey space to spend time finding new (old) favourite things. (To schedule a fitting appointment, Monday–Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., email [email protected].)
The do-it-all, do-it-yourselfers also plan to fashion a line of jewellery from salvaged materials, collaborate with local artists to showcase new and exciting works, and host all manner of events and happenings in the salon-like space.
You can join in the sibling revelry this Saturday, March 15, when 51C hosts a massive spring cleaning sale. The invitation promises piles of other peoples’ trash for your treasure-hunting pleasure, with nothing over $5. (Upside Dive will also have their regular-priced duds and decor on display.) The cash-only event starts at 10 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Mike Dalla-Guistina.