Open For Business
We first started our etsy store in November of 2013. A few of us, mainly Marisa and myself (Morgan), had been hitting up estate sales and thrift shops looking for vintage clothes and finding some real treasures. At the same time Sweet Jubilee was looking ahead at how we could make more money to sustain the team. Although we do get paid for gigs, that money goes quickly when we build new costumes. So we wondered, could we actually sell vintage clothes? We were already looking and buying. After researching how etsy works it seemed like a good fit for us. Our store and inventory could be as large or small as we wanted and besides the initial cost of buying clothes and accessories, there wasn’t too much more investment to be made.
After an initial photo shoot of the start up items we launched the store on Nov. 11, 2013. We made our first sale 11 days later, which we later learned is not all that common on etsy. We then learned exactly how much work it is to have a shop! Basically it takes more than just posting items to the store. You have to promote the items and your shop wherever you can, on social media and in person. It takes time, but we’ve been enjoying all the hard work.
Learning and Growing
Since the start of 2014 Marisa and myself have really narrowed our focus of items we buy. We try to buy mainly 1950s or 1940s items. Any 1930s, or early, items we also buy, but at least in New Mexico those seem harder to come by. When we started the store we were buying more 1960s items. Not that we don’t love that era, we do, but we seem to love the 40s and 50s more. So as our store continues to grow that’s what you’ll see more of.
With every item that we buy for the store we learn more and more about vintage clothing and fashion. We read endlessly on the topics. We’ve even fallen in love with a new reality show all about, you guessed it, vintage clothing. It’s called L.A. Frock Stars. We now know how to clean stains of all sorts; I’m sure our moms are finally proud of that one. We also have been able to use our sewing skills to mend many pieces that had a seam coming apart or a hemline that had fallen. It’s all been a wonderful education and has made us even more passionate to find and bring back to life wonderful clothes from years gone by.
Setting Up Shop
This weekend we will be bringing our store to a local lindy hop workshop (505 Stomp)* for the very first time. We’ve been gearing up for this for a few months now, buying extra items that we think lindy hoppers might enjoy and hoarding them away. These items haven’t made it to our etsy store yet. The crowd at 505 Stomp will be getting first dibs! There are some amazing dresses coming their way! We don’t really know what to anticipate yet for the weekend “live” shop. It will be our first experience and we’re sure we’ll be learning more as we go on how to make it even better next time.