I was chuffed to bits this week to find that someone had voted me on their blog at number 3 in their top 10 online vintage stores in Australia.
Top 10 online vintage stores in AU- http://moseygossip.com/?p=342
Thinking about the 'competition' out there (although we have a tendency to be very friendly because we all like vintage!) I was very impressed I made the list at all, I don't live in a city, I am very anti social and hate networking so have no 'contacts' and the only thing I have help with is my partner taking photos for me. All my friends are male so don't even think they know what I do!
I do want to have a beautiful little boutique store to display all my treasures but as you can see from my stock I am not really a minimalist. Not including the cupboard there are 7 huge rails (I have also taken over every wardrobe in the other spare rooms for my winter coats) so have plenty to go through when have slower weeks at the op shops.
The Stock Room
my little corner full of hat boxes bags belts and shoes....
Some of my best dresses in the cupboard arranged in date order. The 30s and 40s are my favourites!
1940s and earlier above, 50s-80s below
I can only hope that I make up for in my lack of chic styling and logos I compensate for with a really passion for not just vintage, but making someone really happy when they wear something. Beautiful presentation requires space and time so therefore money. I try to put all my efforts in to sourcing the most beautiful things. Finding the perfect dress that makes you feel a million dollars is rather empowering when your lacking in confidence (which happens to the best of us), I am trying to improve all the time and wrap all my store purchases in matching coloured tissue paper with matching bow. I remember all the ebay sellers who give that extra effort and always loved it. When I own a store, I want to give Chanel level service. I think we are all pretty special in our own ways so should be treated as such without spending 100s.
I know I will never be as cool and slick as some of the other sellers but I just cant be something I am not. I pick up animal s**t all day, dress in mens clothes and not sure if there are many zoo keepers who would even bother having a shower before work (it gets your hopes up of being clean too much) let alone have painted nails etc. Editing out all my bruises and scratches from my pictures is annoying enough! I know there wont be any fashion magazines interested until I get my act together but its a very slow process, starting with a $4 dress 18 months ago and going from there.
I named my store Je T'aime Vintage as my name Aimee comes from the French word 'aime' 'to love', so it just made sense! Plus I love Paris, I have been there lots but will never forget sneaking off from a school trip with my best friend and going for shopping and cocktails down the Champs Elysees before turning up a little worse for wear after hitchhiking back to the bus but totally getting away with it -Disneyland carried on the same when we cracked the child safety locks and sneaked out the window when the door was blocked by teachers (sorry mum if you didn't know about that).
There was also the 3-4 day INTENSE 9 HOUR DAYS shopping trip with my mum. It was during Gay Pride week and we walked past this French Cafe. They often have tables all lined up and facing outwards so can look at the street....
It was full of men in white vests, tight leather and denim shorts, all getting pretty friendly but in the front center row a very stuffy English looking couple totally oblivious (as had backs turned) sipping tea sat upright, I just wish I had taken a photo.
So thats a little bit of me, and I hope that what ever your thinking of doing, don't doubt yourself if you really love it because you may do better than you thought :)
Huge thanks to anyone who has supported me in sales, store plugs and telling your friends you have all helped my little underground business shine. Its really changed my life for the better!