Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Runaround Sue Vintage Boutique

Kelly Rae Smith tells us how Runaround Sue Vintage Boutique came to be:

It took me years to decide that I would make my dream business a reality. 

I remember conversations with friends from as far back as 2003 when I spoke of owning a vintage clothing business. I knew every detail of how I would run it from where to source products (my hometown) to how to package them (wrapped in tissue paper, vintage ribbons and fabric) to the little extras, like giving customers a compilation CD full of vintage songs. I also spoke of somehow creatively integrating local artists and businesses. I just didn’t know where ‘local’ would be, for I left home (South Carolina) for Scotland in 2004 and didn’t come back until last year. 

In Scotland, my passion for all things old only grew. I danced at every retro club night in Edinburgh, became a northern soul connoisseur, and honed my vintage knowledge with not only a full-fledged collection, but also through a job I got at local vintage institution, Armstrong’s. I was one of their Ebay girls and learned all the dynamics of and tricks to selling vintage online. 

A little over a year ago, I had barely been home long enough to have a couple of home-cooked, southern meals when I learned of several different people who had or wanted to open up a vintage shop. I got a little angry, and realized I was only jealous. I decided there was no point in being bitter about something I was fully equipped to do on my own. So I did it. 

Instead of wallowing in unemployment depression, I started up Runaround Sue Vintage Boutique on Etsy and treated it like a full-time job, because at the time, it was. When I had at least 60 items listed, many derived from my own collection, I went public with a Facebook and Twitter page. I guess that’s when it felt official! Both of these social networks have been instrumental in getting the word out. So was Etsy. Instead of creating my own website, I chose to do work through Etsy since it’s like a social network in its own right. 

Since my favorite thing about vintage clothing is the many stories a dress or a pair of shoes can tell, I think it’s important to indicate any known stories in the listing, as well as let everyone know where an item is going in order to make more memories, and more stories. 

One of my favorite stories lies in an item that holds so many memories for me, let alone the ones it must have made back in the 60s. It’s a pink, orange and white psychedelic top with sheer, pink sleeves. Not only is this the very first of many vintage threads that I would buy at Armstrong’s (the place I would work at five years later), it is also the shirt I wore to my very first of many nights of dancing at The GO-GO club night in Edinburgh. As nonsensical as it sounds that I would sell this, I believe, as I presume the previous owners did, that these memories will stay with me long after the shirt is not.

I hope there are people out there somewhere dancing to the tune of Runaround Sue by Dion & the Belmonts, clad in their Runaround Sue Vintage attire, creating their own stories to tell of that garment and making their own dreams come true, too.

Monday, October 29, 2012


*Update 11/13 - SOLuxurious will be not able to participate in the Dec 8th market. Her shop is open online, if you were counting on her for your Christmas shopping!

The mission of SOLuxurious is to create an all natural soap that feels great on your skin at an affordable price without jeopardizing what's important ... not just our skin, but our planet. Not only are SOLuxurious soaps made with all-natural ingredients, even the packaging and printing are made with recyclable/biodegradable/planet-friendly materials.

SOLuxurious soaps are 85% organic and made with all-natural ingredients; no synthetic fragrances or artificial dyes. SOLuxurious soap has a rich, thick, luxuriously smooth lather that hydrates your skin. No dry, tight, itchiness from these soaps! 6 bars; 5 scented with pure essential oils and herbs and 1 made without scent so even the most sensitive types of skin can use SOLuxurious soap.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Polyester Stella

Meet Stella, the woman behind Polyester Stella:

I love to create beautiful things. I have been beading, sewing, and making jewelry most of my life. I currently create my pieces in my home studio in historic downtown Charleston, SC, usually with a cat on my desk.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


The beautiful story of Inherited, from Sabrina:

"A lot of things have inspired my love of vintage clothing. I love the shape and cut of old clothes. I love their fabrics and palettes and metal zippers. There is a romance in old clothing--I spend way too much time imagining the first owners of my vintage finds, wondering what purpose each dress was purchased for.

The other reason is envy. I hear all the time about how people are trying to get rid of the piles of clothes left behind by the stylish women of their family.

Both sides of my family became, after World War II, people without place. Boundaries were redrawn, and postwar Germany was in shambles. Prussia no longer existed--where my family is from was absorbed by the Soviet Union--and neither did the German settlements in Poland. My fractured families all decided to try to start new in America. A war-ravaged economy and emigration do not make for a glamorously packed suitcase, so everything besides the necessities was left behind.

My mother's mother, Antonia,  married in Germany, shortly after the end of the war. People didn't have very much, and my grandfather gave his soon-to-be bride a white dress from someone he knew in another village. After some adjustments, it fit my grandmother like a glove. On her wedding day, she hung small garlands of herbs on its sash. Afterwards, it was passed on to friend who needed a wedding dress. No one knows where it ended up.

My father's parents first met in a refugee camp in Schwartau but were separated as the families moved on. They reunited several years later in America, having kept in touch for that entire time. When they married, Lucia wore a brand-new American dress, but it was then passed from cousin to cousin to friend, each one making alterations to it--letting it out, hemming it up, adding and removing details. What happened to it in the end, no one can quite remember.

I wasn't lucky enough to inherit wardrobes bursting with silks, sequins, and lace (though I did inherit that good old German stubbornness from both sides). But I love rescuing beautiful and unique pieces of clothing that have lasted decades, and with care, could be passed down again and again.

With that in mind, I'm relaunching my vintage shop under a new name: Inherited. My goal is to keep it stocked with unique pieces for everyday wear and special occasions--hopefully pieces that you'll reach for in your daily dress, and pieces that you'll pack away for your own daughters, nieces or granddaughters."

Inherited is stocked with vintage clothes inspired by the stylish grandmother or adventurous great-aunt you wish you had, from wedding gowns, to party dresses, to ruffled tops, to the perfectly-tailored pencil skirt.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meet Zoe Natural Creations

Let the preshopping begin! I'll be doing a little rundown on all our December 8th vendors, so you can be ready to shop when the day arrives. Get to know:

Zoe Natural Creations focuses on making skin care products with all natural ingredients, selling hand crafted soaps, shea butter, body scrubs, and liquid African black soap.

They use essential oils instead of fragrant oils because fragrant oils have synthetic colors and scents. They also use only natural coloring.