Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Where to Shop for Non-Vintage

Vintage clothes are awesome, but they're not appropriate for every situation.  Sometimes you need to look trendy and sometimes you just need to blend in a little more (ugh).  So where are the best shopping sites for new clothes at decent prices?

1. I know I am all over the thrift store all the time, but you just can't beat the price.  Often you can find new or nearly new clothing items for less than $5.  I run across those basic target boyfriend tee shirts at least once a week, and Forever 21 clothes wind up there quite a lot.  I'm not saying it's always a jackpot, but it's worth a browse before you move on to more expensive options.

2. Target.  It's not that well-made, but Target has a lot of really cute options.  They carry tons of basic tee shirts in a variety of colors, plenty of adorable summer sun dresses, and even some decent work wear.  However, if you're going to shop here for clothes, be prepared to run into someone wearing the same thing nearly every time.  You will look pretty cute, but it's going to be cookie cutter.

3. Forever 21.  It smells bad, it is disorganized, and it can be pretty tacky.  But it also has super trendy things at really good prices.  You get what you pay for, though.  The clothes aren't going to last more than 1 season (2 tops), and they're so trendy that you're going to hate them by next year anyway.  But it's good if you need a flashy dress for a party and don't have a lot of cash.  They also have some ok basic tanks, tees, and leggings.  Don't get the bulk of your wardrobe here though.  This stuff is cheap, and it looks cheap.  Plus, the factories where the clothes are made are pretty much sweat shops.  Some of the clothes pretty darn cute, though, if you can get past that guilt.

4. H&M.  Cute clothes at great prices.  Same issues as Forever 21.  A little more grown up looking clothes though.  You MUST try it on before you buy it.  The fit on this stuff varies pretty widely.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why Buy Vintage

1. It's ethical.  Whether you scour thrift stores for diamonds in the rough or browse etsy for a more refined vintage shopping experience, buying vintage means that you're not supporting big companies that outsource their labor to factories in poor countries with bad working conditions.  You're not sending your money to a corporation that underpays its employees, uses sub-par materials, or exploits its workers.  

2. It's green.  When you buy used clothing, you're preventing good clothing from going to waste.  You're also not taking part in the phenomenon known as "Fast Fashion" - where you buy something that is more or less disposable  that you only plan on wearing for a season.  

3.  It's interesting.  You're not going to walk down the street and find someone wearing the exact same outfit as you, and that is a good thing.  You'll stand out in a crowd in the best possible way.  

4. It's well made.  If an item has made it this long without falling apart, it was probably crafted with some skill.  You will find that many vintage items were either handmade and/or made in the USA.    You won't get that with clothing from most low to mid-range priced stores.  Even higher priced items are often made in China.  

5. It can be very inexpensive.  If you're willing to dig through piles and racks at the thrift store, you can get beautiful garments for pennies on the dollar.  If you're not, you can get plenty of really great clothes on etsy for the same price as Forever 21.  No, really.  You can find plenty of dresses in the $20-30 price range, and you can wear them for way more than a season. 

6. It's really fun.  It is sort of like playing dress up, except everyone will think you're unbelievably cool.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Photography Lessons

My etsy store photos are pretty mediocre dismal.  Luckily, sometime in the near future, I have a friend who is going to teach me some basic photography stuff!  I'm so pumped to learn something that might help increase sales!

In the meantime, I've been using a tripod and self timer to get some pictures of my clothes with a model (moi) in them.  They were pretty out of focus for the most part.  I did get one halfway decent one, though (you know, other than going bare-faced out of sheer laziness)! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Papa Was a Rolling Stone: A Father's Day Gift Guide

Dads are really difficult to buy for - or at least my dad is.  When I was a kid, my sisters and I always got him socks or a tie.  He always acted appreciative, but obviously no one wants socks and ties for a gift, like ever. So what should you get dear ole' dad (or the father-like dude in your life)?  Here are a few ideas, some from my shop and some from other shops.

1.  Does your dad have a hobby? Pay attention to what he does in his free time, and buy him an accessory for that.  Maybe a model airplane kit.  Fishing pole.  Tools.  Whatever.     Does he like photography?  Get him a vintage camera like this one.

vintage polaroid
2. Clothing and accessories are good if you have a good feel for your dad's style.  Find out his size and purchase accordingly.  However, don't buy something you like for him if it's not his taste.  Remember this is about him, so buy something he will actually enjoy.  These are a nice option if you have a little more money to spend and know your dad's shoe size.  

leather shoes
3.  Food or booze.  Sign him up for a beer of the month club, make him dinner, or bring him his favorite candy if he has a sweet tooth.  Or these spicy pickles are neat, if that's more this thing.

jalapeno pickles

4. Books - maybe a gift card to a book store if you don't know what he wants.  Or if you know your dad well enough to know what his interests are, find something cool and wrap it.  Wrapped gifts are just fun all around.

Whatever you do, don't get him socks or a tie, unless he asks for it specifically (he won't).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Diving In

Sometimes, you just have to do something that seems really dumb. (Sidenote: this is not my first seemingly dumb but ultimately right choice.  I did drop out of law school two weeks in, after all.)

Every once in awhile, you just need to throw caution to the wind and give yourself a chance to do something that you really want to do.  Because the only thing worse than failing is not trying and then wondering what could have been.

This week is my last week as a full time nanny.  My husband is pretty much the best and has decided that he can support us financially while I try my hand at making my etsy store work.  I'll still be working keeping books at a therapy clinic very part time, but he'll be carrying essentially all of the financial burden.  Hopefully my store will continue on the path it has been on for the past month, slowly but surely increasing sales and helping with bills, but if not, it will be a learning experience.  And it will be fun.  I haven't had a lot of fun since I graduated college, and I'm really excited to do something that I genuinely enjoy.

Plus, my sister-in-law comes to visit us for a week during each summer, and I've dragged her to babysit with me this past year.  I'm looking forward to being able to relax while she's here.

It's going to be a good summer.  I can feel it.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Day in the Life

Right now I work as a nanny (transitioning out to work on my shop, but on the occasional day off to work on my store, here's what my typical day looks like.

6:00 Wake up, check etsy for sales.  Obsessively check my store metrics 10-12 times.  Drink copious amounts of coffee.  Surf web.
7:00 Make breakfast.  Check store metrics.  Check store metrics a few more times.  Add a new listing to store.
8:00 Shower, get ready, possibly write a blog post.
8:30 Post office to see my favorite lady Marva and ship any sold items.
9:00 Start hitting thrift shops, flea markets, etc.
12:00 Finish up shopping.  Make lunch.  Eat.  Check store metrics.
1:00 Record new items information.  Take photos.
1:30 Edit photos.  Check store metrics.
3:00 Catch up on Mob Wives.  Check store metrics.  Straighten up the house.
4:00 Walk dogs.
5:00 Start to make dinner. Check store metrics.
6:30 Eat dinner with husband.  Talk about store metrics.
7:30 List a new item.
8:00 Check store metrics.  Relax(ish).
10:00 Go to sleep.

Yeah.  That.