I like to keep busy and I do everything with passion. Which is how I ended up working two fulltime job. gran's loose change started from a conversation between myself and my now business partner. She, like me, is a dreamer, a believer, a do-er, a go-getter, and together, we came up with an idea that just might work. And well, it does. If you haven't checked out www.gransloosechange.co.nz, do it now.
I don't profess to be a fashion know-it-all, I just like it. A lot. And gran's loose change was born out of passion, love and dreaming big. Hopefully dreaming even bigger will work out in the end too!
gran's loose change works like any other retail fashion store. We source product, buy it at cost and sell it for a profit. Although second hand goods don't have a mark up or a profit like any other retail store, so we have to work twice as hard to get the same results. We use our personal spare time to scour the country to get the best buys, and let me tell you, you don't get vintage and second-hand at as good a price as gran's loose change unless, well, you find it yourself. Which, in modern day times, most of us just don't have time for!
gran's loose change is based in Mount Maunganui but services New Zealand nationwide and also ships to Australia. The Mount is a fabulous and inspiring place for vintage fashion because most of the residents have travelled, explored, experienced and then come home. They bring worldwide styles, ideas and inspiration and that is seen in the styles of the residents every single day. The 20-30 year old bracket are the best advertising for vintage fashion (and gran's loose change) because they, I included; genuinely enjoy the thrill of the chase and dress effortlessly to achieve an end result.
gran's loose change was born to service these guys, you guys, and also to bring easy, effortless vintage clothing to those who DON'T enjoy the searching, the scouring, the chasing. It was to give those who are a bit scared, a bit nervous, of second hand shopping an easy avenue to test it out. And then come back again and again.
The definition of vintage is highly contested. Vintage to 'them' (them being Wikipedia) is “Generally speaking, clothing from the 1920s to 1980…. Clothing which was produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing and clothing from the retro, short for retrospective, usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era”. Vintage to me, is something that is not just second hand, but has a past, a story, a memory to tell and explore. gran's loose change tells you we are 'your new vintage' because it's an amalgamation of new and old, history and present, modern and timeless and we combine these things to bring you the stock that we do.
Celebrities have been amongst those who have made vintage re-famous in the past few years – Kate Moss, Kate Bosworth, Mary Kate Olsen, Chloe Sevigny, they've all integrated the old with the new and revived fashion in a way we saw yonder years ago. Fashion seems to work in cycles and often turns to past times and history for inspiration. Therefore, vintage has been on the rise since the early 1990s and continues to grow a following due to several reasons, (I believe):
1. Modern day society allows us liberation like we have never experienced before. We are riskier, bolder, and braver in career, fashion, hair, and every other aspect of life. This allows us to not follow trends so closely, but to create our own style, express our personalities and mix and match fashion.
2. Environmental sustainability has given some of us a conscience that we didn't know existed. So if recycling clothing is doing our bit for our children and our children's children, then all hail vintage clothing!
3. Quality and detailing in the good old days had a lot more time, effort and low cost associated with it so many of us admire vintage clothing for the high quality, good materials and exquisite detailing that some of the mass manufactured clothing today lacks.
When buying vintage clothing, keep in mind the following….
Make sure there are no holes, stains or obvious pulls in the fabric.
Take note of the cleaning/washing requirements. If its silk or wool, it will more than likely be dry clean only.
Remember sizes were much smaller back in the good old days so dont be afraid to go up a size or two.
If something is too big, its easier to have it tailored than to find something similar in a better fit.
Knits; floral; leather boots and jackets; and fur coats will ALWAYS be an investment to your wardrobe.
If you see something you like, dont delay, vintage pieces are more often than not one-of-a-kind and you WONT ever find it again.
In an op-shop, look in the retro section and avoid the designer section. Most staff at op-shops are volunteers who are not aware or interested in the fashion industry so what they categorise pieces as, are probably not what you think they are.
Shop at grans loose change. It takes the time and effort out of scouring the op shops and only stocks the very best vintage and second hand around. And we only buy what sells! Which means we sell only what you want to buy!
When you wear second hand or vintage, the same rules apply as when you wear designer – don't do it head to toe! I like to mix stand out vintage pieces, like my leopard fur, with my designer pieces, like my favourite Cheap Monday jeans; or my Lonely Hearts bustier with my vintage Levis mini… you get the idea.
Ill be back with more tips and tricks for vintage shopping next month. Until we meet again,