Nearly a decade ago I started selling vintage clothing as a hobby while I held random jobs (a children's dance teacher, a freelance graphics designer, then later at a fashion production company in Los Angeles).
Fast forward to 2012, I left my full time job in the fashion industry to chase a dream and as a "Hey, I'm YOUNG, I'm in my 20s, I can do ANYTHING" challenge. What followed soon after was a rapid rise into the vintage echelons. I was part of a new world meeting wonderful new people who all obsessed about vintage clothing as much as I did (and in some cases, more than I did).
The rate I was learning all about my new industry could make your head spin! The amount of things I had to learn (and still need to learn) was so exciting! Everything was so new! I went through several painstaking hours mending, sewing, cleaning, and washing vintage all to follow it up with more hours of photographing, editing, then completing orders. So many aspects of the business are physically laborious, but I didn't care! I was (and still am, don't get me wrong) so in love with what I was doing.
Then something happened. Things started to change. I can't pinpoint the exact date or the exact event. Maybe it was a series of little things. And very slowly, selling vintage clothing online became a J-O-B. It became more stressful instead of fulfilling.
For nearly a year I went back and forth and back and forth about what to do with my vintage shop, my pretty little corner of the word. Could I really sell vintage clothing until I retired? Is this what I see myself doing for the next 5 years? I started asking myself some tougher questions.
And sometimes I didn't like my answers. And I would convince myself I was wrong, OF COURSE I could sell vintage forever and ever and ever!
But there was this little voice...and the voice wasn't saying I couldn't. But rather, I didn't want to.
You see, before I really started selling vintage clothing, I really just wanted to sell pretty things. I wanted to have my own shop. Be my own boss. I actually applied for job(s) - yes, plural! - at Anthropologie because I just wanted to be around things I found lovely and that spoke to my aesthetics and taste. I never got hired. *sad face*
I mean, that was YEARS ago. That was even before my fashion job. My short stint in the fashion industry actually opened up my eyes, like A LOT, to what the fashion industry was all about. I think when you've had the real behind the scenes look of things like I did, it makes you realize things are not always what they seem when it comes to brands and clothing labels.
Working in fashion also introduced me to a lot of independent clothing manufacturers. But, at the time, I was SUPER GUNG HO about vintage. I didn't want to sell vintage inspired clothes or modern fashion! No way Jose! I was a VINTAGE GIRL! I did store my contacts away for later though... (See, I obviously knew eventually I'd need them!)
Sure, I tried selling vintage inspired clothing here and there. And surprise, surprise. Things sold like hot cakes! I was getting so much positive feedback from my loyal and growing customer base.LOVE that you're carrying modern stuff! Finally, clothes in more than one size! Finally, I can afford your clothing! So happy you're carrying vintage inspired. I love vintage, but it's so nerve racking to wear sometimes!
So I'd get these emails and Instagram DMs and instead of running with it and continuing with selling vintage inspired WHILE also selling vintage, I was like "JK GUYS! I only wanted to do a few things like that!"
Poor business decision? Probably.
OK... this letter is so long. I know. And really, I'm typing this out like I talk. I think it is important for me to remain authentic through all these changes.
So, anyhow... the big question was "Where do you see yourself a year from now?" I kept asking myself this. And over and over again my answer wasn't "Selling vintage clothing!"
I saw myself being MORE than. I saw Adored Vintage adapting, growing, and changing. And I saw a lot of floral prints, and blush, and lace. I mostly saw it being pretty. And pretty for MORE than just one woman. In one size. In one color. In one style.
I saw Adored Vintage as a community of like minded women. Feminine and a feminist. Romantic. Modern thinking but respectful of and honors the past. Inclusive, kind, generous. In my mind, Adored Vintage COULD be and SHOULD be more.
In closing... Welcome to the new Adored Vintage. I am so, so, so thrilled you're here and coming along for the ride!