A few weeks ago, I talked about starting a sub-series within my Thrifting 101 Thursday posts focusing on vintage stores, online shops and businesses that specialize in selling vintage apparel, leather goods, and pieces created from secondhand or recycled materials. The response was so positive that I've decided to flush out the sub-series fully and continue interviewing shop owners.
Today I bring you an interview with Amy (a.k.a Punky), owner of the mobile vintage shop Haberdash and creator of The Swapaholics. Amy is a powerhouse - a smart, savvy businesswoman with a strong commitment to secondhand style and community. In addition, she's one of the most lovely and genuine women I have ever met. Read through and get to know Amy and Haberdash better!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?
Hmm…Let’s see, I’m a style blogger, dog mom, and a super nerd. I grew up outside of Boston, went to school for Interior Design and then Psychology. I got bored with both and decided to open my own business or businesses rather: Haberdash and The Swapaholics.
How did you first get introduced to thrifting?
I come from a long line of antique collectors, so my childhood was spend at yard sales, estate sales and Antique shops. But the first time I remember thrifting was in high school around prom time, I was so paranoid that someone was going to show up wearing the same dress as me. I had a huge issue with blending in.
When did you really become passionate about buying and wearing vintage clothing and accessories?
I think it was around that same time in high school. I remember finding this vintage lace slip dress that I wore religiously through high school and college, it was so different from all the American Eagle that was plastering the halls. I was hooked.
What inspired you to start Haberdash?
I started Haberdash Mobile Vintage Shop in February 2009. I had been selling vintage clothing online since 2005 and the stock was overflowing out of my house. At the time I was looking for a brick and mortar space, but I wasn’t falling in love with any place. I grew up around classic cars and trailers, so once I had the idea, I knew exactly which trailer I wanted (some extremely rare model, of course!)
You have a very active social media presence (including amazing Pinterest boards!) How has social media helped you grow your business and reach other vintage enthusiasts?
Aww, thank you! I love to inspire everyone to embrace their own personal style. So I post a lot of photos of things I find unique or one-of-a-kind and it has connected me to so many like-minded people. (Find Amy on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/Punkystyle/)
Any current projects you’re working on?
I am again on the hunt for a brick and mortar shop or second truck to house all the mobile shop overstock. But, The Mobile Shop is sticking around.
Do you have any helpful hints for those new to buying vintage?
I think the best thing to do when you are new to vintage is visit the upscale vintage shops first and get a feel for the decades and fabrics. The people that run these shops are a wealth of knowledge and they love to dress people. Sure, you can find vintage cheaper at a thrift shop, but if you don’t know what to look for it can be discouraging.
Follow Amy on Twitter at @PunkyStyle, the Haberdash at @TheHaberdash, and the Swapaholics at @TheSwapaholics.