If I would have been smarter, I would have nurtured my short-lived relationship with a consignment shop I worked at a couple of years ago but I didn’t. It would take shopping with Cari Rene Vintage, owned by stylist/influencer Cari Rene, to actually start liking vintage wear. From there I started to appreciate pieces that weren’t necessarily found on my favorite fast fashion sites like this oversized teddy coat (worn in my last post). Although I just shared a post that featured items from fast fashion brands, I’ve been looking at the benefits of changing my shopping habits, not just financially but where I choose to shop.
Even though I’ve been aware that e-commerce consignment and vintage brands exist, I admit I didn’t used to actively pay them any attention. Not only that but my mom never took my sister and I to thrift stores like Goodwill unless we were donating something. Going to the mall to shop was all that I was knew and “trusted.” The great thing about not being introduced to something when you’re younger is that you’re able to come in contact with it when you’re older. What I found, and what sometimes found me, is a world chock full of vintage goodies and an increased interest in finding more unique pieces such as a vintage oversize DKNY blazer. Below I’ve rounded up just a couple (keyword: couple because there are a lot!) of e-commerce thrift/vintage brands on my radar with hopes that they will soon be on yours (if they aren’t already)! Plus a little stroke of luck allowed me to speak with the owners of the brand so you can get to know them even more!
If you’re looking for silk blouses, vintage suits and suave outerwear, Lady L. Vintage Co. tickles that fancy and more. I cam across this brand on Instagram while I was deep into my rabbit hole search for all things vintage and immediately turned the brand’s post notifications on. Owner Alyssa LeSavage has an eye for finding pieces that can easily be incorporated into one’s wardrobe. I had a chance to speak with her a little more about Lady L. Vintage Co. and how that process actually works:
At what point did you find yourself interested in creating an e-commerce brand? Have you always been interested in vintage wear?
Lady L. Vintage Co. launched a little under two months ago. I decided to launch it in October because of my love of vintage style. I started style blogging about a year and a half ago as an outlet of creativity, and I found myself drawn to solely vintage style a couple of months into style blogging. Before that, I wasn’t always wearing vintage. I had grown up solely thrifting, since my family couldn’t afford anything else, and so I created my own style through the clothes we found thrifting. When I became older into high school and got a job myself, I started shopping at fast fashion stores. For the first time I could buy new clothing, and I was really excited about that.
At that time, I wasn’t aware of the environmental and humanitarian concerns associated with fast fashion that I am now. I was disappointed in the quality of the clothing that I bought at stores like Forever 21; everything so quickly fell apart. So in the last year or so, I’ve slowly been going through my closet and donating the clothing items that don’t feel like me anymore, and they all happen to be clothing that I bought at fast fashion stores. At this point, probably 95% of my closet is vintage. I’m the most happy that I’ve ever been with my closet, and it feels the most like me.
When you first created Lady L. Vintage Co. did you start solely on Etsy first and then move to Instagram or was it simultaneously?
Lady L. Vintage Co. launched at the beginning of December, and I started it on Instagram first. Instagram was the platform that I felt the most comfortable with, because of my style blogging background. I had also talked to other vintage brands that had their store on Instagram; so I decided it was a good place to start. The thing about Instagram is that it takes time to build your following, which means it takes time to become established as a brand. So while I’m focusing on that, I decided to also create an Etsy store to get more exposure for my store. I created an Etsy store for Lady L. Vintage Co. about a month after launching on Instagram.
What are some things or people that influence your style? Does this coincide with the creative direction for Lady L. Vintage Co.?
Sustainability is one of the number one things that influences me. This is why creating Lady L. Vintage Co. was so important to me and so in line with my values as an Indigenous woman. To be sustainable and care for the environment is the worldview that we operate from. I want to do my part in the world to be aware of how I’m interacting with the earth. I am also highly influenced by classic styles; I had a deep admiration for Audrey Hepburn. Her classic style and demeanor are iconic, especially in Sabrina and Roman Holiday. I love blending the feminine and masculine; I love a highly structured suit and natural fibers such as wool and silk. How something feels when your wearing it is essential to me. I want to curate items in my shop that people put on and make them feel softness, glamour, and strength.
What is one goal you have for Lady L. Vintage Co. this year?
At the end of this year, my top goal for Lady L. Vintage Co. is to be surpassing my current income and allow me to go full-time. I currently work another job to sustain the shop, but within a year Lady L. Vintage Co. will be operating with high enough sales so that I won’t have to work any side job. With any endeavor that your start in, you have to put in the time. It takes a lot of long hours, but when you’re focused and motivated it’s worth it to work toward your goals. I’m excited to see what this year brings, and all the vintage treasures that Lady L. Vintage Co. will be bringing to you.
Website: Lady L. Vintage Co.
Evergreen Vintage features whimsical feminine pieces that can easily be considered wardrobe staples. Owner Nichole is an avid thrift shopper and decided to share her love for thrifting with others by creating Evergreen Vintage in October 2017. Learn more about how her love for all things fashion, style and thrifting began below:
Before you discovered your love for dressing up and styling your sister + friends, what are some influences that sparked your interest in fashion?
My aunty! My sister and I grew up in a very small rural town where fashion really wasn’t a thing. But, every once in a while we would get to visit my aunty in the city and she would always wear the most beautiful outfits and take us shopping (and pierce our ears and dye our hair without my mom knowing). I remember just falling in love with that aspect of life, and I think this is where I also fell in love with the idea of living in a city rather than a small town.
Was it an easy decision to create Evergreen Vintage? Did you have an idea of the direction you wanted it to go in?
It was a very spur of the moment decision actually. I just decided one day that I wanted to try running an online vintage shop and then started doing it. It began on a very small scale (one piece per day via Instagram) and then it slowly grew to the point where I decided to transition it into an online shop. The creative direction of Evergreen is always evolving. I myself change daily and so does my vision and inspiration for this shop.
When searching for pieces to add to Evergreen’s collection, what do you usually look for (without specifically giving away your shopping secrets)?
The styles that I’m drawn to also change regularly. Lately I’m obsessed with oversized 90s blazers. I look for pieces that are very feminine and of the highest quality, and of course, I always look for garments made from natural fibres (wool, cotton, silks etc.).
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned since creating Evergreen Vintage in 2017?
That you cannot compare your journey to anyone else’s and its okay to change your mind.
Website: Evergreen Vintage
There are a few other vintage e-commerce brands I’ve come across so I’m thinking of creating a part two to this post. If you’d be interested in learning about more vintage brands be sure to let me know in the comments!