“Because we live locally, we were aware of these shops on Seacombe Road, and I had an idea over a year ago to combine my love for thrifting with the location,” Bessie told us. “My partner was also the manager of the coffee shop, Molly Mawk, two doors down, so he mentioned it to the landlord, and voilà, after about a year of waiting, we heard the dog wash lady was retiring, so we jumped on the opportunity.”
Nice Rack isn’t just about offering secondhand items; it’s about showcasing quality and sustainability. Through Instagram story sales and reels, Bessie spreads the word that everything in stock is well-cared for and comes at a fraction of the price you’d find in traditional shops.
A devoted thrifter and aficionado of all things from the ’70s and ’80s, Bessie has infused the store with a vintage vibe, think quirky prints, charming wallpaper, and a counter crafted from preloved breeze blocks. The shop exudes a relaxed atmosphere, with a thoughtfully curated selection that won’t leave shoppers feeling overwhelmed.
As part of supporting the local community, Nice Rack features a section dedicated to local makers, featuring handmade products such as organic teas, quality bibs, mushroom powders for health benefits, men’s beard oil, handmade ceramics, natural deodorants, and more.
The South Brighton community and its surroundings have welcomed Nice Rack with open arms.
I think almost every day at least one person comes in saying, ‘Thank you for putting something good in this strip of shops and building up the community.’ And with Molly Mawk coffee two doors down, customers can grab a coffee and then cruise into us for a thrift.
The shop is thoughtfully organised into categories, making thrifting effortless and efficient. It even boasts a kids’ play area, much to the delight of parents who can shop in peace.
A wide array of brands and items, some still brand new with tags, ensure there’s something for everyone, catering not only to adults but also to little ones, with an ever-rotating stock of kids’ brands and shoes.
Bessie also practises what she preaches, vowing not to buy new clothing for a year and promoting sustainability in parenting, along with encouraging others to see the value in buying secondhand.
Bessie’s tips for successful thrifting
- Look for quality natural fabrics, go for cottons and linens. They last longer, don’t seem to go out of fashion, and hold their value.
- Thrift for your newborn baby; it’s always in near-new, if not new with tag condition!
- Take your time when thrifting; you must have time when thrifting. Some pre-loved shops can be cluttered or not sized or categorised; this means you will need time to sift and really go through each piece.
- Shop for all year round, just because it’s summer do not disregard a quality winter item. And don’t go looking for something specific—be open-minded.
- If you find a pair of shoes that are the right size when thrifting, don’t question it; just buy them. It’s a match made in heaven, it’s rare, and it’s the thrifting god’s speaking to you directly.
Photography: Jessie McKay
249 Seacombe Rd, South Brighton