Posted on Feb, 20. 2014 Category in my journal Tags
I wouldn’t characterize my style as fitting into any vintage-girl stereotypes (though you might!)….pinup, rockabilly, mod, rocker, whatever. Shades of all of them probably work their way into my wardrobe styling but that’s the fun of learning about fashion throughout history–identifying unique things about what you like to wear, and why. When we started Hello Holiday, we bought a lot of vintage inventory just to have some unique offerings and high-margin sales in our early revenue stage. We knew that with photography and the time it takes to upload and promote each new product, we knew in the long run it would be too costly to sustain, but I have vintage to thank for getting my company off the ground with a profitable first year.
Of course, it’s not only about that. Classic shapes, patterns, and styling has drawn in my aesthetic throughout my whole life. At this point it extends beyond my wardrobe–my entire home is furnished in vintage pieces. Secondhand style is awesome and we should all be open to more of it. Here’s why.
1. It makes it easier to understand the cyclical trends of fashion.
This is obviously a really useful thing as the owner of a fashion e-retailer, but on a personal level it’s fascinating to know what original designs are informing the trends we participate in without even thinking.
2. I don’t like to see things wasted.
Garage sales, thrift shops, and vintage consignment stores are full of vintage furniture and decor, but imagine how many perfectly good things are thrown away every day by people who don’t see the value in old-fashioned craftsmanship and style. Do you get the feeling that this aesthetic skips a generation? It feels good to not be contributing to landfills by offering a good home for old furniture and clothing that just needs someone new to care for it.
3. Increased likelihood of hauntings
I often wonder what the story is behind all the vintage I own. Jewelry from my great-grandmother–who gave this to her? When? Did she love it? Would she be happy to know I love it? Dresses and skirts from a consignment shop or estate sale–who owned these before? Was this hand-sewn by the previous owner or was it purchased or maybe gifted?
4. You can buy with a clean conscience.
The amount of money that companies must spend now to maintain mass-market labels (and the poor ethical practices that come with the cost of manufacturing and marketing) is staggering to consider. Wearing something secondhand can be as much of a political statement as an economic choice–a reaction against modern consumer culture.
5. It feels wonderful to own something unique.
The joy of finding something you know you aren’t going to see anywhere else wearing will never go away for lovers of vintage and secondhand pieces. It’s all about creating an identity instead of buying one from a big-box store or a magazine editorial and getting something different, regardless of where it came from.
I would never claim to have been born in the wrong decade. I love the freedom people have in our time to explore style and fashion as an expression of identity and gender, and the way clothing is so accessible to more people can present themselves the way they really feel. All I want is for everyone to dress, look, and feel exactly the way that makes them happiest. When I look in my closet, I see an eclectic and varied mix of borrowed things from friends, simple mass-produced things from big box stores, one or two big-ticket purchases that I saved for months for the privilege to possess, a huge quantity of things I purchased from my own store, and plenty of vintage clothing and accessories that make me feel like I’m wearing something unique and memorable. I think that’s probably really common because so many people love the way classic, pre-loved pieces make them feel like they look just a little bit better. A little more special.
Posted on Feb, 18. 2014 Category out and about Tags
Rebecca and I just settled into Vegas today for our buying trip for the Fall/Winter 2014 season. We can’t wait to get to work tomorrow and check out what’s new from some of our favorite brands like Dear Creatures, Seychelles Shoes, and Tulle, and meet some new designers as well. Tonight we had dinner at our favorite Vegas restaurant, The Peppermill. It’s like a 70s neon lounge that never grew up (nor does it need to)!
Posted on Feb, 12. 2014 Category at the office Tags
I’ve always said that the reason I work for myself is for freedom, not for money. In the last ten years I founded three businesses, each of them allowing me the flexibility to work on the projects that meant most to me as well as have a fulfilling personal life. When I flounder, the motivation and inspiration comes from my mentors and peers in my industry and business community. One gentleman in particular, author/explorer/schemer/dreamer Chris Guillebeau, makes it his mission to spread the inspiration around with his Unconventional Guides series that offers support to people who are looking to do things they are most passionate about. His latest in the series, Designed to Sell, was compiled over the last six months to inspire creators, crafters, artists, designers, and makers of all kinds to build a lifestyle and career around their creative pursuits.
When you sign up for Designed to Sell, you get what Chris calls “a complete toolkit for creative freedom,” meaning hundreds of pages of insightful and eye-opening content, dozens of interviews with makers who share what they’ve learned, follow-up support for your venture and work to help ensure your success, and guides to pricing, social media, and other how-tos you’ll need to get a leg up in the creative business community. The crazy thing is, Designed to Sell also comes with a $5000 earning guarantee, meaning you’ll make money after using the guide or you get your money back.
I know this guy and he knows his stuff. Chris’s passion for helping people realize their potential is the motivation behind the Unconventional Guides series, and if your dream is to make a living with What You Make, Designed to Sell will be an ideal resource for you.
There’s a lot to learn in there no matter how far along you are on your path to creative freedom! I think you’ll like it.