I asked sponsors to choose their top three finds. Here are Red Pony Vintage‘s picks: 1960s Brocade Mink Trimmed Cocktail Dress & Cape, $99.99; 1970s Satin & Velvet Maxi Dress, $59.99; 1980s Retro Uniform Dress , $49.99. Our June sponsors are also vintage sellers, so I thought we’d continue our sponsor interview series. First up this month, Amanda from Red Pony Vintage:
1. What’s your store name and where can we find you online (all web stores, blogs, etc.)? The store name is Red Pony Vintage, and the store website is www.redponyvintage.com. You can also find Red Pony Vintage on MySpace & Squidoo.
2. How long have you sold vintage? Do you sell vintage part-time or full-time? I have sold vintage for about 6 years. It has always been a part-time thing until recently, when I launched my stand-alone website. I started out, like many others, on eBay, and have developed my business into an independent. The work is full-time just to keep the inventory up.
3. Why do you sell vintage? I love history, all kinds, and vintage clothing to me is one of the only pieces of history we have that is “touchable”. Nothing brings you back quite like a vintage frock and the romantic thoughts that go with it–thoughts of the previous owner, the store where it was once displayed, and the occasions on which it was worn.
4. How do you decide what to sell at any given time? Do you follow trends? I don’t make a huge effort to follow trends. I never know what I will be offering next month–it all depends what I acquire. I sell what is classic or what I find cute or special. There is someone that likes every era and style out there, so I offer it all.
5. How much of your personal wardrobe is vintage? What are your favorite non-vintage stores? I am a country girl, so western clothing is what I wear daily. About 75% of my western shirt collection is vintage. I have a large personal collection of Squaw dresses and I harbor a couple of 40s suits and a beautiful 1960s Mike Benet formal if the occasion ever arises! For non-vintage, I generally shop local western wear stores.
6. What are three things you wish shoppers knew about buying vintage?
1) The work that goes into preparing an item for sale. Preparing the item for photographs, cleaning, mending, and repairing take hours of work in some cases. The money spent at the dry cleaners and personal hours spent often justify the price of a collectable garment.
2) That research is key. It is important to keep yourself educated as a buyer to properly date vintage clothing. I cannot tell you how many times I have stepped into an antique store and they try to sell modern clothing as vintage because of lack of education. This results in a disappointed buyer. As a result, buyers should be educated. I have put together a resource at www.squidoo.com/vintageclothingresearch with many links to help in the learning process. There is always something to learn as I keep learning everyday!
3) And lastly, if you see it and love it, BUY IT! I have lost out on lots of wonderful vintage pieces because I thought about it, and it is a bummer! Many sellers out there will put an item on hold, so just ask. Remember, these are often one-only items and you have to snatch them when you see them!
7. What is your greatest find? How did you find it, and who bought it? My greatest find so far was a beautiful jersey drape Ceil Chapman dress. I found it in mint condition at a specialty store, about a year back. Funny, now I look in that spot every time I go, hoping for a miracle! I got it cleaned and sold it to a buyer for a very good price in Los Angeles. I am sure they are loving every minute with that dress! Big thanks to Amanda for her interview and for sponsoring She’s A Betty! Be sure to check out Red Pony Vintage for more great vintage finds.