Started from a shared passion for thrifted style, the brand Omnes was created by Steven Olds and Mario Ruiz, introducing a novel approach to second-hand shopping. This Ontario-based company offers a balance of both vintage and trendy brands, from rare 80s fashion to the latest streetwear, they can all be found at this locally-owned shop. Omnes utilizes a unique dual selling method that capitalizes on their strong social media presence, while also maintaining a traditional storefront in Hamilton. The Omnes Instagram page is updated daily with new and upcoming products, reposts from loyal customers, and interactive challenges such as “[out]fit battles”. Their first store opened in 2018 and since then the walls have been covered from floor to ceiling with the coolest thrifted finds, their own in-house designs, and displays of their favorite pieces. Created by two friends in high school to share their vision of what fashion could be, the Omnes store and community hasn’t stopped growing ever since.

We had the opportunity to interview Steven Olds and learn about how they built their own fashion brand as well as gain greater insight into the day-to-day operations of Omnes.

How did you come up with OMNES and what was the inspiration behind the name?

Me and my business partner Mario met when we were in Grade 9 of 2012 and had connected over having the same passion for vintage clothing and thrifting! We created an online platform and sold to friends and it had its own natural snowball effect! The word omnes actually means “all” in Roman Latin. We chose this name because we sell all types of clothing from new to old and that we wanted our company to be more than a clothing store!

How would you describe the style of clothes Omnes carries?

Our style of products that we carry at our shop is very unique, rare, fun, desirable/sought after, and enjoyable!

Being an entrepreneur and in charge of your own buying and sourcing, how have you guys maintained your supply and product authenticity?

In regards to buying we mostly source our items in house by our “buy sell and trade” method we do at the shop! Each item such as a shoe or streetwear is carefully authenticated in our shop by our team prior to it being purchased from the seller and put out on our floor or website! Authenticity checking items is a huge part of our daily job and we take it very seriously.

How do you determine your product pricing, since the resell market has a range of prices?

We tend to price match or go below the market for our pricing on items! There is a vast community and following for items that we carry, so it is easy to price our product!

What kind of role does social media play in your business?

Instagram is our biggest tool. We cherish our page and work on it daily. It’s been our key factor for growth.

What do you like about running an in-person store compared to the online side?

We take pride in our customer relationships. We love everyone that steps in. We always love to say we don’t care if they buy anything, we are just happy they are [here] to see our space. The way we treat people is our biggest strength. We love our online presence as well. It’s extremely strong and will continue to grow that!

Why did you guys decide to start designing your own clothes?

We started creating clothes when we had first opened our first store location in 2018 as a way for people to support and represent our store! It’s a great way for marketing and we plan on having a much larger release for all to enjoy.

Why is it important to incorporate supporting charitable causes into your business, such as Redfine Twenty?
We want to create something much bigger than a store as I had said above. We want to create charities, fundraisers, foundations, and so much more. As humans all we can do is love and give. Since we have such a large platform, it is only right for us to give back and help others that need it the most. At Omnes we look forward to working with more companies such as Redefine Twenty.

What have been your most challenging and most rewarding moments?

Challenges and rewards are a daily process in our world and at our shop. It is necessary for growth! A major challenge is time management. A major reward is being proud of the hard work we do.

What has been clear is that the most important thing to Omnes is their customers. Whether browsing through their store or following their Instagram for style ideas, their goal is to simply share their love for fashion. Due to their hard work and passion, Steven and Mario have built a brand with unmatched customer loyalty and tremendously deserved success.

RCFG is extremely grateful to have gotten the opportunity to interview such an amazing brand, and we would like to thank Omnes and Steven Olds for taking the time to share their perspective on fashion and influence in the industry. Click here to shop online or follow them on Instagram.

Written by Annie Wang, from an interview with Steven Olds.