Resourceful ideas for making business, fashion and lifestyle a little more sustainable.
Sally is making the most out of the Holiday Season at her vintage boutique but she knows that soon things are going to change for the worse if she doesn’t prepare. For years her shop took a hit after the holidays until she found a few simple hacks last year that increased her retail sales into the new year.
Sally is not much different than the rest of us that operate a retail vintage boutiques. Steady sales throughout the year are nice, but things tend to get hectic around the holidays. If you’re stressed out because you put all your focus on the holiday sales season, don’t miss a huge opportunity to boost your retail sales after the new year, which is typically a slower time of the year for many.
When it comes to vintage clothing, there are three types of buyers: Cherry pickers, Bulk Buyers, and Container Buyers. Understanding how the industry works, is beneficial to knowing what type of buyer you are and how to make the most out of your business venture.
Much like contemporary fashion, vintage fashion has paved a course that caters to all types of styles and subcultures. From Rocker shops that focus only on 40’s and 50’s attire to modern shops that focus on 90’s and early millennial pieces, the term vintage can come to mean a lot of different things depending upon who you are talking to.
Over the past 20 years of working in the vintage clothing industry there was a lot to learn about the different types of buyers that the industry attracts. Each year a plethora of new vintage entrepreneurs come into the market ready to take on the world with their unique taste for recycled fashion. Maybe they made a profit off a rare item they sold on ebay, or just finished taking their final exam in fashion school and are ready to become the number one seller on Etsy, either way they will need to start sourcing clothing.
They will soon learn that sourcing used clothing in bulk is much different than sourcing new merchandise. They will also learn that their is no magic supplier or clothing fairy that get them a steady supply of rare pieces with ridiculous markups. This unfortunately is a rude awakening for some buyers entering the industry and for this reason we thought that we would put together a Vintage Buyer Guide to find out what type of buyer you are. Read more
One of the largest obstacles to making a sale in a vintage clothing store is how the article actually fits. Let’s face it, almost everything is a vintage clothing store is a one-off, it’s not like the customer can get the item in size larger or smaller. Often times taking an inch of of the seam, or a half inch of of the cuff is all it takes to turn over-sized item into the perfect fit. When you offer your clients the opportunity to get their items altered it will amaze you to see how many more items your clients start purchasing.
One of the most important jobs a salesperson has to do is to add value to a sale that the customer is already willing to make. There are many missed opportunities as salespeople commit key errors during the course of each encounter with a customer. Learning to up sell, or add to a sure sale, is a vital skill, and you can learn it!
- Talk with your customer. Sounds pretty basic, right? But so many salespeople simply nod and smile, or hover, rather than chatting the customer up. Talking to the customer will allow you to learn what things the customer is interested in. This will help you turn a little sale into a bigger one.
- Bone up on your product knowledge. The more you know about your products, the more you will know about how different products can add value to the product your customer is buying. Let the customer know how these things can make the product they want better. Read more
When it comes to collecting vintage clothing from the United States the Japanese buyers have been paving the path for nearly 30 years. Since the eighties Japanese vintage collectors have been traveling across the United States hitting up thrift stores, vintage stores, clothing flea markets and just about anywhere they could find old vintage jeans, leather jackets, sneakers or t-shirts.
As the vintage clothing culture became more popular in Japan and the demand grew collectors began to find new ways to locate more product. Because each vintage piece is essentially a one-off it is difficult to determine the actual size and fit without trying it on. One problem the collectors had was finding vintage pieces that were not only the correct size but the way the garment fit had to be perfect as well. To overcome this obstacle they hired hip Japanese boys and girls that were the perfect body shape to match the sizes that they were looking for.
Halloween is just around the corner. If you are a vintage shop owner this is most likely going to be your busiest month of the year. If the month of October is not the busiest time of year in your store, then you are missing out.
Don’t get in the mind-set that your unique collection is fashion forward. It might be to select few designers and hipsters, but to the rest of the population your store sales old clothes, like costumes.
With a few simple adjustments to your in-store marketing, or how you present your product, you just might be able to sell through all those old polyester pants and heavy poly-fabric dresses. In an attempt to leave you with a little inspiration, take a look at the different vintage Halloween costumes from the past.
From the 1910s – 1930s we saw the Wild West American lifestyle move largely from a way of life, to ever-increasing faded memories and folklore. The western world was getting smaller. Technology and transportation were ushering in a new era of industrialized cities and advanced accessibility. The real denim-rockin’ cowboy lifestyle of days past were kept alive over the decades largely through the Western fashions worn by the stars of silver screen and music.
These images remind us when the American cowboy was an actual lifestyle and not just a passing trend. It was pointed out in the Selvage Yard, a lifestyle fashion blog geared towards men’s fashion and influence of style, that some of these images were taken by LIFE photography giants like Loomis Dean, and Ralph Crane to name a few. It is amazing to see how what was once a style dependent upon necessity has now become a fashion icon inspiring much of today’s trends. Vintage jeans, worn in full length or cut-off, western cowboy boots for dress of for the field, denim jackets and leather belts, cowboys hats and belt buckels are all pat of today’s looks.
1960– Clarence Hailey Long, foreman on the JA spread in Texas –Photo by Leonard McCombe
Whether they are distressed, baggy, stonewashed or tight, everybody loves their cutoff denim shorts. Pair them with a tank-top and sneakers and it is a easy way to look cute and sexy for just about any casual occasion.
Denim Shorts Through History
Denim shorts became popular in the late 1960’s when fashion, style and art all began to take on a new life of its own. People were fed up with war and politics as usual, the counterculture movement began to take full swing and people began to find ways to express themselves through their style and resourced fashion.
The Daisy Duke Denim Shorts.
In the 70’s the Daisy Duke denim short became popular because of the famous family TV show – the Dukes of Hazzard, where actress Catherin Bach playing the character Daisy Duke wore a pair of jean shorts every episode. At the time she was playing the role of a sweet resourceful southern girl trying to find an outfit that would work in the hot southern heat. The boys liked the long leg’s and the girls liked the style.
Into the 80’s denim shorts became a fashion icon that was a must have for almost every wardrobe. It wasn’t long before men began wearing cutoff denim shorts as well, some as short as the girls cuts but some were longer.
In the 1990’s the denim shorts took on a new look during the end of the heavy metal era and beginning of the grunge scene. It was no longer popular to wear the short-shorts like the Daisy Dukes, but one could wear longer shorts, almost knee-length and either role them up or worn them torn.
At the turn of the millennium denim shorts took a short hiatus from the fashion scene, but not for long, in 2005 they slowly started to make their way back into hipster and fashion forward girls wardrobes.
Today everyone from the mom and daughter at the park to the supermodel and rockstar on the stage is wearing some form of denim shorts or another.
Historically men were in the forefront when it came to promoting denim fashion, the denim shorts however was primarily promoted by women.
Denim shorts continue to be a hot item among celebrities and fashionistas alike. Regardless of who’s wearing them, the components always remain the same. When searching for blue jean shorts, understand that there are three major components that can make or break a pair of blue jean shorts: denim wash, style/fit, and the minor details. You can also look at history and the most notable blue jean shorts for inspiration.
With all the hype of online marketing and social media these days, it’s easy to overlook some of the simple tried-and-true offline marketing methods that have worked in the past and still work today.
Flyers can work really well at spreading the work about your event or attracting new customers – as long as they are done the right way. As far as advertising goes, printed promotions are not out – it’s just that bad flyers were never in. And those are unfortunately what we see the most.
10 Great flyers can be more effective than 1,000 bad ones, so if you’re going to spend the time and money on printing up leaflets or brochures – why not invest in one that bring you customers and make you money?
Get ready for some crowd control! Shoppertainment the fine art of running in-store events and promotions is the perfect way to differentiate your store from your competition, build a buzz about town, and thrill your customers all at the same time!
Vintage Stores are staples for fashion in their communities, and often attract some of the cities creative types from artists, musicians and designers. Getting your customers involved with your promotions is an easy way to put together an event with minimal effort and great success. Many successful stores have number of different events that they run throughout the year to attract customers from all different walks inside their shops.