Sunday, January 2, 2011
My Real Life in Vintage
Me, in vintage accessories and custom bolero/dress at my October 2008 wedding.
When I started my Etsy vintage clothing shop in May of last year, I did it on a whim as an exploratory career option. I was a newly laid off mother of a newborn, having limited career options with my education in theatrical costume design. I was staying home with baby and giving some hard thought about what to do next. Here I was at 40, a tattooed, vintage-wearing, old -80s-punk that was a jack of all trades and master of none. I felt like I’d done all I could without a Masters (in Minnesota anyway) and continued to wrestle with the dilemma of needing to eat vs. self-fulfillment. My love of historical clothing design and all things of bygone eras had been reduced to a hobby.
It wasn’t until I found Etsy and purchased a bunch of vintage baby planters for my newborns retro –themed baptism party that I thought, “Hey, if they can do this, why can’t I?” I delved into my new adventure with the fervor of a woman with her hair on fire. I was on a mission to find the lost treasures of yesteryears closets! Thus began my great adventure into a world that encompasses everything from researching, buying/selling, internet social networking, makeup artistry and photography. It is the best of all possible worlds, both exciting and exhausting with a baby on hip.
One thing I wasn’t anticipating when I set out on this adventure was the wonderful people I would come to meet along the way. Every time I shipped something out, I held my breath. Would they like my treasure as much as I did? Wonderful feedback began appearing from the customers. They loved their dress! They were so excited! Stories of parties and plans for wearing their vintage were shared. I was amazed that I had somehow brought some excitement to someone else’s life by selling them a dress. It was great to see that something I had found in an estate attic or buried unappreciated at a second hand store could make someone else as giddy as it made me!
Recently I received some feedback, photos and stories with one such happy customer- April from Los Angeles, CA. April is a very smart and chic woman who knows what she likes! She purchased a light blue cotton 50s pinup fit n flare gored dress with rhinestone accents on the bust. Her unexpected feedback and appreciation picture just about knocked me outta my chair:
“So, I had been eyeing this dress ever since it was listed. I practically lusted after it. It kind of seemed too good to be true. An AWESOMELY constructed, pristine, GORGEOUS dress for 79 dollars? I just had to believe there was something wrong with it. But I wanted it. Now that I have it? I think I want to marry this dress and have little dress babies that look just like it. For reals ya'll. This dress is that cool. I highly endorse this seller and I will be buying from again! Such an eye for quality.”
She just sent me some more fantastic pictures of her in the dress at a New Year’s Eve celebration, which you can see on her new blog, The Vintage Fairygodmother. April’s enthusiasm for vintage and the shop has revived my spirit after a tiring holiday. The very best part of my work is the fantastic feeling you get when you connect with someone over the shared passion of vintage. You feel like a little girl giggling in the back of the school bus with your best friend again. My customers have become my best cheerleaders and I am so honored to be part of their real vintage life!
If you have purchased an item from my store and would like to be featured on my blog, please contact me through the store: www.jojosretroandvintage.etsy.com