In a world dominated by social media, it seems nearly every aspect of our lives has become dominated by things, brands and people who are "fake". Accusations of news being fake, fake accounts leaving fake feedback and opinions, fake faces representing brands, fake lifestyles on display on our phones and computers daily. The results have been devastating. It has become very difficult to trust what your own eyes tell you.
In that vein, I have changed my tag-line to "real vintage for a real life". I refuse to be one of the vintage dealers who pretends to live a carefree, 100% vintage lifestyle. I refuse to be friends with those who pretend to be my friend while working to undermine my business and financial stability with lies and cattiness. I refuse to be told that being real and honest with people is a turn-off to customers.
I've been thinking about this for a very long time.
I've tried, over the years, to play the game- to pretend my very vintage life is very perfect and very pretty and very trouble free.
It isn't even very vintage. Sure, I am surrounded by vintage fashion and vintage decor in a 100 year old house. So in that regard- pretty vintage, yep. But it's also real. Real stuff happens every day. I work a full time retail job to supplement my income and provide a steady paycheck and health insurance for my family. There is no vintage involved there at all. The necessity of doing that, spending 40 hours a week away from my home, places stress on every other aspect of my life. I'm not home to cook dinner, or able to pick my daughter up from school. I have to do website work either in the early morning hours before work or later at night after. I get 2 days off a week to do everything that isn't done during the other 5 days, plus help my disabled mother, plus spend time with my child, plus laundry and house cleaning, house maintenance, yard work, etc. I spend a solid 70+ hours a week working between the FT job and the website just to keep bills (mostly) caught up, and try desperately to have a happy fulfilled life with my family.
My life is messy and full. I can be organized one day and then 3 days later be completely behind again. Sometimes I'm there for my daughter when she has troubles- sometimes I'm not, and feel like a total failure. Some weeks I'm on top of planning meals for the week- some weeks we eat whatever we throw together at 7 PM. I'm not done up in victory rolls and cat eye liner every day, attending pin-up events. Some days I don't even brush my teeth (days off, at home of course!). I struggle to sleep, battle anxiety, worry all day every day about keeping my house out of foreclosure. I'm juggling a lot every single day and I'm not going to pretend to be anyone I'm not just to fit into the expectations some have of what a vintage dealer's life should be. Those who do live that life- more power to them, sounds fun. Those who pretend to live that life to feel like they fit in- more power to them, sounds difficult. But it isn't my life and I'm going to be real about that.
I have thousands of pieces of vintage in my storage that are very real. Much of that is on the site, a lot of it isn't and that's something that weighs on me as well and something I'm working on. Closing my shop, while necessary financially, created a mess of merchandise that I've yet to totally organize! With little time to do it, it happens in bits and pieces. But it is indeed all very real, and very well stored and cared for.
My passion for vintage is real, too. From day one the reason I started doing this was because I wholly believe that these pieces of clothing (or accessories) were loved enough to be held onto by someone for decades, and that they deserve a chance at being worn and loved and cherished again. The joy it brings people to know that that those things will have a new life is one of my favorite parts of what I do. It pains me every day to go work a job that isn't doing this because, after nearly 10 years of doing it full time, I miss it horribly. But know that I'm trying as hard as I can to stay on top of it despite the hours away.
I won't always get it right. But I will always try. And I will always be real with you.
Thank you for still being here.