Chelsey MacNeil of Model Citizens

Chelsey MacNeil looks at vintage fashion with an artist’s eye. A self-proclaimed “scavenger” of previously-owned clothing shops, Chelsey always loved fashion, especially the correlation between clothing design and contemporary visual art. Her St. John’s boutique, Model Citizens, approaches vintage clothing in a curatorial fashion, with pieces based on current trends, designer brands, and fabric, as well as supplying classic selections with staying power. With a motto of “Reuse, Refashion, Rethink” Chelsey is changing the way Newfoundland’s fashionistas look at vintage apparel.

Each piece displayed at Model Citizens is hand-selected – a personalized touch that can be time-consuming, but something that Chelsey says she enjoys, adding that she feels nothing in the world that can replace the personal satisfaction of hard work.

Chelsey’s interest in entrepreneurship is hereditary. Growing up in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, the future boutique owner spent a lot of time working at her grandparents grocery store, doing everything from cleaning up to pretending to run the cash register. The sense of fun she felt as a child playing shop-keeper has carried over to her career and to Model Citizens, from the clothing and accessories carried in the store, to the exceptional customer service offered to every person who walks in the door. For Chelsey, being a business owner is more than just what she does, it’s who she is.

“Entrepreneurship is mind, body and soul and a little bit of blood sometimes, but it is absolutely worth it when the rewards are so direct and personal.”

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