If you have your own business selling vintage, be it in a shop, working from home online or just popping up at fairs in your spare time, I’m sure you can relate to working for yourself is challenging and rewarding but it can get a bit lonely when your on a team of just you.
So here’s my guide to bringing in more peeps into your working life. (It can work for other small biz too!)
1. Combine forces with other small vintage traders.
Just starting out? or if your selling every now and again at fairs and events as a part-time gig, then sharing with another vintage trader might work for you. In fact this is how I do fairs with my vintage brand Super Queenie Retro. I share a pitch with my best friend and it works really well! We have been doing it for a double figure number of years! We both have our own stock and we share the rails and mix it up and split the pitch fee. As long as everything’s labelled or we know what’s what it works a treat. If you don’t use a vintage supplier and pick your own stock by hand, then combining forces broadens your vintage offerings, and can appeal to a wider audience. My bestie and I buy slightly differently and drawn to buying different vintage things so then we have a better selection. We lernt from experience what fairs work for us, and then we share the lifting and setting up, storing rails, buying supplies etc. Plus it makes working long days at events really fun hanging out, selling vintage and eating sausage rolls.
2. Have a concession in an established shop.
Get your vintage brand out there and work with other vintage shops or boutiques by having a vintage concession. Since January this year, I work alongside another local vintage trader Attik & Seller. They have beautiful vintage barns near Dereham in Norfolk, full of cool boho vintage dresses and vintage and retro home wares. I work with Katie two days a week (Weds & Thurs) as their shop manager helping getting all their stock online. I have a Super Queenie Retro concession of 3 rails at the barns. It works really well. A lot of the dresses I have online is over to the barn. Freeing up much-needed space at home and reaching new customers and I get to work with an awesome like minded lady where we can come up with new ideas, events and promotions that will benefit both of our brands.
You could approach local vintage shops, independent boutiques or antique centres if they would stock your vintage brand. They’ll either want to take a cut of your sales on a ‘Sale or Return’ basis. Perhaps ask you to work in return or even charge you a small weekly rent. If you choose the right place, somewhere that has their own following of loyal customers and shoppers then chances are they will become your customers too.
3. Work with stylists, photographers and models and do some fashion shoots.
Organising fashion shoots is a great way of meeting and working with new people who share the same passion as you do and can bring different skill sets to your business. Skill sharing is a fab way of working with others and everyone benefits, creating a finished piece that everyone can use. Having professional images is so important and usful to have and can be used for all sorts of promotional material.
Source out some cool local photographers, models and stylists. If you’re not sure where to start, ask other local sellers who they’ve worked with.
4. Link up with fellow vintage bloggers.
This is a great as it can be worldwide collaboration! Start by being more active in the blogging community. Follow, comment and add some imput. See if any vintage shops or brands you like also blog, and see where you end up! Get in touch. If blogging’s not your thing then use Facebook and twitter to keep in touch that way.
I hope these ideas help you in your vintage business and get you networking in your local area! I’d love to hear from you if you have any more ideas!