I’ve admired our first two advertisers (both vintage sellers) for many months now, and thought seller interviews would be interesting. First up, Stephanie Maniscalco of Pretty Baby Vintage:
1. What’s your store name and where can we find you online (all stores, blogs, etc.)?
My store is Pretty Baby Vintage. You can find me online at our website, our Mainstreet Mall store, and on eBay (occasionally). Also, coming soon, I’ll have an Etsy store featuring handmade dresses and bags made from vintage patterns and/or from vintage fabrics and notions. Check our website for more details.
2. How long have you sold vintage? Do you sell vintage part-time or full-time?
Two and a half years, part-time.
3. Why do you sell vintage? For love or money?
We sell vintage for a few reasons. First, we love vintage clothing and accessories! Second, it makes sense to try and recycle perfectly good clothing and accessories to reduce consumption of resources and to keep as much out of the landfills as possible. And, we DO like to make a little money from our efforts.
4. How do you decide what to sell at any given time? Do you follow trends?
We like to sell items that are very cute, in superb condition, and that somewhat coincide with the current trends. We look for nice little details, excellent tailoring, or really nice fabric. We do our best to keep up with fashion trends, but we aren’t slaves to them. We think that you should wear what you like and what makes you feel good about yourself. We also sell mostly seasonal items to meet the needs of our customers. I mean, who wants to buy a winter coat in July?
5. How much of your personal wardrobe is vintage? What are your favorite non-vintage stores?
I personally wear lots of vintage or thrifted items. My current obsessions are vintage dresses and skirts right now. I do tend to splurge on things like boots or nice handbags, but will buy most of my wardrobe from thrift shops. I do love Target, J. Crew, and the Gap, for some items though. I also love Coach bags and Frye boots.
6. Based on your knowledge of fashion history, do you think fashion designers should be able to copyright their designs?
I think that some aspects of fashion are subject to copyright. For example, original, unique fabric designs could fall into that area, or fabric designs that may incorporate a fashion company’s logo. But, I don’t think the design of garments themselves should be copyrighted. I’ve noticed a lot of current designers are paying homage to vintage fashions lately. There is just too much influence from so many areas for a design to be truly original. No one is truly original. Everyone is influenced by one thing or another.
7. What are three things you wish shoppers knew about buying vintage?
First, good vintage clothing is often of better quality than what you find in stores now and can be more economical. Second, buying vintage is good for the environment. And, vintage is just unique & cool. You will rarely find someone else wearing the same outfit when you’re wearing vintage clothing.
Big thanks to Stephanie for the interview! For more info about the store and some great vintage pieces, please visit Pretty Baby Vintage’s website.