Shops We Love! Lost Property!
If you’re looking for an up and coming vintage store to keep your eye on, you should definitely check out Lost Property! Founder Bella , is a 19 year old aspiring vintage collector and fashion it girl to watch. We reached out to her to have a chat about her experiences over coffee and being a young woman in today’s society interested in vintage fashion. See our interview below and check out Lost Property on Instagram and shop on Etsy!
Interview with Founder of Lost Property Bella:
Q. Tell me about the last vintage item you bought:
A. It was a Laura Ashley dress on eBay. It has a pastel pink and blue in a watercolour print.
Q. Where do you buy most of your vintage items? Online, what websites? In person, what stores? Op shops? Markets? Which ones and why?
A. I prefer to find them in person to feel the fabric, see the size, check for stains etc. In Melbourne I love the Fitzroy and Camberwell markets, as well as vintage shops, op shops and second-hand trade shops. If I’m shopping online, it’s either on eBay or Etsy. Online however can be a little risky as you don't always get what you expect.
Q: What vintage items do you buy and sell the most and why?
A: Definitely dresses mostly, they sell best as they are easy for people to fit into without needing to try them on. This means you can buy them with more confidence and less hesitation.
Q. Do you have a favourite decade or vintage style or do you look at all age periods?
A. Although I love all age periods, at the moment I'm particularly interested in anything 80s or Victorian. My favourite is actually 80s does Victorian. But I'm also starting to fall in love with the 90s.
Q. Do you look for cheap finds, or invest in something special every now and then?
A. I am definitely an 'invest in something special' kind of person. Although I’m a sucker for cheap finds, I think that buying something well made, in good condition, a timeless piece that you know you'll get a lot of wear out of, is so worth it. Even if we are talking about buying first hand clothes, it's even more worth paying that little bit more knowing that it's been ethically made and the materials have been ethically sourced. Being a seamstress is being an artist and I think people that appreciate vintage fashion understand that. A lot of what we see in the commercial fashion industry isn't well made and it's clothing that isn't made to last. But vintage pieces are well made, seamstresses were respected. That's why we still have so many beautiful vintage pieces in the op shops and vintage shops today. They were made to withstand being washed, being worn, being loved for its buyer's whole life! Not just the length of the trend, which now days seems like a week.
Q. When did you set up your own online vintage business and why?
A. It was the end of September last year (2018). I went straight from year 12 to university but decided to defer university for the second semester, first year, because I felt it was time to work on my own project. I'd always wanted to have my own vintage shop. I already had a lot of vintage clothing that I had been collecting ever since I was 14 years old. Pieces that were too big, too small but pieces that were well made and simply spectacular. But a lot of the pieces I had collected weren't being worn because I didn’t really have anywhere to wear them (mind you a lot of the pieces were 80s prom dresses) but I did always love to dress up in them. So, then I thought about selling the pieces and I got more excited thinking about how to style them, what make up to put on the models and taking photos. More so than having them in my closet. So, I decided that this was the project I was going to work on and I'm glad to have stuck with it.
Q. What do you think is the key to your success with an online vintage retail shop?
A. I think to find what you love and to stick with it. However, when I stay stick with it, I mean stick to what you love. You might try styling but then decide you want to be a makeup artist or a painter, whatever it is, stick to what you love. Sometimes your passions will change but be attentive to what you want. My dad always talks about how the innocence of youth is powerful and admires how youngsters can be so ambitious. Uncorrupted by the reality of life. So, I think from this I've learnt how important it is to keep your younger inner voice alive. Don't let the hurdles of business get in the way of what you love. I know I sound like a massive cheeseball but it's true!
Q. What would your advice be to someone looking to start their own vintage Etsy shop?
A: To just keep on going with it. There are times when it is quiet. If you love it, you’ll keep doing it. Eventually people will find you. Be patient it takes time.
Q: Do you ever host markets or pop up shops or do you stick to the online? How come?
A: Pop ups and markets are so beneficial for customers to be able to feel the material, feel the quality, see the colours. I've done two market stalls. They are definitely a tough gig but I learnt a lot. I am hoping to have a pop up within the next year and will continue to do market stalls. For now, online is best and I’m just working on building a following.
Q: Is there anything else you want people to know about being a vintage seller?