Monday, May 20, 2013

The birth of

People often ask me how Vintageous began... so here we go:

I grew up in the back room of an art gallery.  A few months before I was born, my father, a nuclear engineer, and my mother, working on her master's degree in urban planning, decided to open an art gallery.  My brothers and I grew up making projects out of stray art supplies, matboard scraps and frame samples, wandering around looking at exhibits over and over, flipping through art books and endless poster catalogs... when new shows opened we milled around the gallery importantly carrying a wine glass filled with Martinelli's sparkling cider, while superbly dressed gallery goers noshed on wine and cheese (looking back, my interest in fashion was probably born watching the fashionable gallery patrons as a child).

At some point my parents expanded into the antique print and map market... this meant endless (and to a child, painfully BORING) trips to antique stores, antique shows, etc... and then one day, when my parents decided to start selling at the antique shows (2-3 days of childhood boredom at a time)... I decided something had to be done.  I decided to become a collector... of what, I had no idea, but SOMETHING, just SOMETHING so that I would have something to do.

At the time I was playing the cello (and would later become a conservatory trained cellist), so antique sheet music seemed to fit the bill.  My parents let me have a little corner to sell my treasures and I sold enough to keep expanding my collection.  But then one day as I was out stalking for my next sheet music treasure, I saw it... the silliest little confection... a pale blue organdy and tulle 1950's hat... dingy and stained, but still calling to me from a 50 cent bargain bin... that was it... I was HOOKED.

I bought and sold hats throughout high school.  By the time I went away to conservatory/college, eBay was flourishing and I was selling hats online... I would manage my auctions from school and my mother would ship from home (I would call home and say, "hey mom, could you please ship h457, the brown felt hat with the leopard trim?" and she would, because my mother is amazing).  By my second year in college I was selling dresses off the back of my dorm room door (thanks Meg, my very understanding roomate!).  Finally, in 1999, at the age of 21, was born... shortly thereafter I left music school and got a degree in fashion merchandising, putting myself through school working 40+ hours a week at Vintageous.

Now here we are, no more hats, but thousands of dresses strong.  And now I have my own three little boys, and yes, they do come to work with me, and yes, I drag them to antique malls and estate sales (if you're ever in the area and you see a woman at an estate sale with a baby in one arm and 20 dresses in the other, chances are that's me... please come say, "hi."  I'd love to meet you!).  And maybe one day one of my boys will start his story, "I grew up in the front office of a vintage clothing store...."