1. I have to ask…where does the name Sally Jane Vintage come from?
Well, it’s actually a childhood nickname. My dad never called any of us kids (I have a brother and a sister) by our given names, and somehow I got the moniker Sally Jane. I’m not sure where it came from other than from his imagination.
2. You have been selling on Etsy since 2009 and have over 2,000 sales. That is not only awe-inspiring to other independent sellers, but it is also quite a feat considering you’ve only been at it for three years. What was the most difficult thing about starting out selling your beautiful vintage finds? Why did you choose Etsy, and how long did it take you to gain such a loyal following?
Thanks so much! I felt like it was quite a milestone to hit the 2,000 sales mark. I made the switch from eBay to Etsy in 2009 after I soured on eBay for a variety of reasons. Since I was already selling vintage online, it was a pretty easy transition. I found Etsy to be the quaint online mom & pop shop in contrast to the giant ‘shopping mall’ that is eBay. Frankly, I felt like I was getting lost in the crowd on eBay and really liked the atmosphere and aesthetic of Etsy. I still feel like I’m small potatoes compared to some of the amazing sellers that populate the Etsy site but I’m happy and it keeps me busy and that’s all that matters.
3. Your vintage collections are perfectly curated, from colors to themes and inspirations. How do you come up with all these unique compositions? I guess what I mean is, what are your personal inspirations behind selling the vintage you find? Are you on the hunt for certain pieces to pair together or is more of a natural whatever finds you kind of process?
Thanks again! I really enjoy putting together those little collections. Sometimes, it’s based around a certain color, other times a specific time period or silhouette. There’s no real science to the process. It usually comes together pretty organically. I think when I’m hunting for vintage I’m naturally attracted to pieces in certain colors or fabrics or shapes so I quickly accumulate pieces in a similar theme and the collections just come together. Although, sometimes, I fall in love with something that doesn’t fit into a collection and I end up holding onto it for months before I can figure out how to work it in. As for the inspiration behind the vintage that I sell, I love to find pieces that are truly wearable and fit seamlessly into any gal’s wardrobe. As much as I admire the sellers that stock their shops full of gorgeous party dresses (who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by that all day?), I really strive to find vintage pieces that can be seamlessly incorporated into a modern wardrobe and worn time and time again.
4. This is also an obligatory question: How did you get into buying and selling vintage?
I’ve always had a love for thrift shopping and vintage. Even as far back as high school (in the early ’90s!), I was scouring thrift stores for unique things to wear. Of course there was no Internet back then and it never occurred to me that I would be able to set up a virtual shop and sell vintage to gals around the world. By the time I moved to LA, the world of selling vintage online was exploding and I looked and what other people were doing and thought, “I could do that!” I took $200 with me down to Melrose Avenue and bought as much vintage as I could ($200 doesn’t go very far in LA!) and listed the pieces on eBay. To my utter surprise and delight, everything I listed the first week sold and I haven’t stopped since.
5. Given the New Year has just arrived and everyone’s got the future on their minds, where do you see Sally Jane Vintage in five years? Is this something that you want to do for the rest of your life, or will there ever come a day when you decide you just want to keep everything you’ve found because it’s all so awesome?
For the time being, I’m happy maintaining my current shop in its current state. Perhaps as technology advances, I’ll have to keep up and who knows what that will mean. I know I’d like to be involved with vintage in some regard forever. Again, who knows what the future holds! I do try to keep my personal collection in check so I’m sure I’ll always be passing along some of the things I find to new homes.