Meet the Seller: Small Business Saturday
In honor of Small Business Saturday this weekend, we spoke with a few sellers on Heroine to learn more about their businesses both online and off. From how they got their start in the fashion-resale space, to their favorite aspects of running a small business, we're introducing you to three Heroine sellers to watch. Meet the faces behind James Veloria Studio, AD1991, and Kabinet Vintage, and browse some of their best listings below.
James Veloria Studio
Names: Collin James Weber / Brandon Veloria Giordano
Ages: 34 / 31
Location: Chinatown, NYC!
Shop: James Veloria Studio
How and when did you first start reselling? We were both selling on our own as a hobby for years; Collin online and Brandon at markets. When we moved in together we realized we had a store's worth of clothing!
Is your online shop your main hustle or do you work elsewhere as well? As of this past summer we're full time clothing dealers! We just opened a store, James Veloria, in Chinatown in NYC. It's a hidden gem of a space in a Chinatown supermarket. Come visit!
What are your favorite items to collect? We love collecting anything that was/is subversive or pushed boundaries for its time period. Our collection is focused mainly on avant garde designer pieces from the 80s and 90s but we also look for any designs that are innovative, witty, fun or unique.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of owning a small business? It's felt great creating a space where people feel comfortable expressing themselves and having fun with fashion. People can take fashion a little too seriously sometimes and our business is all about having fun and living your fashion fantasies.
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who is looking to start their own archive? Don't chase your customers and what you think they want. Build a collection of things you're excited by and knowledgeable about. Your curation will be more interesting and your customers/people/tribe will find you, which is more fulfilling.
Who are your favorite designers and why? Most pieces in our collection tend to fit into one of two categories. We're equally drawn to stark minimalism and deconstructed pieces from designers like Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang and Ann Demeulemeester and the loud colors and campy prints of Franco Moschino, Gianni Versace, and Jean Paul Gaultier. Stephen Sprouse is another designer we've been into lately. His designs really embody the fun subversive side of downtown NYC culture that we love and want to keep alive today with our store.
Name: Madeline and Michael
Ages: 26 / 28
Location: Los Angeles
Shop: AD1991 Shop
How and when did you first start reselling? We first started selling clothing as a way to have a rotating wardrobe around 5 years ago. We were traveling and moving around frequently for some time so it was necessary to keep our possessions minimal. Clothing was a way of maintaining personal identity and expression for us when we didn't own much else. Early on we developed a strong interest in Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto. Both designers create beautiful yet still comfortable and even sometimes utilitarian clothing which made sense for our lifestyle. When we settled in Los Angeles three years ago we began collecting more seriously and it's allowed us to wear pieces from seasons that we used to only get to experience through grainy runway photos and pixelated youtube videos.
Is your online shop your main hustle or do you work elsewhere as well? Madeline: My other passion is photography, which I do freelance, but I also work in fine jewelry sales. Michael: I work at film festivals.
What are your favorite items to collect? Madeline: I have an obsession with jackets, which had become less and less practical the more time we live here. Generally, I love pieces that are well tailored and have interesting details such as buckles, straps, etc. Michael: Always searching for early 80s CDG trench coats and shoes in my size.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of owning a small business? We've been lucky to have wonderful customers, some of whom have become friends of ours. It's really cool to see how other people style the clothing we sell to them.
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who is looking to start their own archive? Ignore trends, only buy clothing that resonates with you. Anyone can collect clothing but the most interesting archives are personal.
Who is your favorite designer and why? Comme des Garcons, particularly pieces from the 80s and 90s. Learning about CDG has been a continuous gift and their influence is seen everywhere.
Name: Ferry van der Nat
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Shop: Kabinet Vintage
How and when did you first start reselling? About 15 years ago I started finding amazing dresses and showing them to stylists and friends, and then they started asking me to find stuff from specific collections. I started to sell dresses online early on—it was perfect timing since the vintage fashion golden age with Sarah Jessica Parker had just begun. From then on, I started sourcing pieces for designers and it was amazing to see how a small detail from just one piece could lead to a whole collection.
Is your online shop your main hustle or do you work elsewhere as well? Well, I used to be a stylist and now I'm a photographer. I ran a clothing shop with my mom for 7 years and we still do pop-up projects together, like on last year at The Temporarily Fashion Museum.
What are your favorite items to collect? Really well-made pieces from the 60s and 70s in wonderful fabrics.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of owning a small business? For me it's finding really nice pieces—it's like finding a treasure. For my mom, it is selling them! But actually, I’m very happy when someone really looks fantastic in a piece so I can be happy it found the right new owner.
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who is looking to start their own archive? Do not sell your darlings! I have a few regrets...
Who is your favorite designer and why? Ossie Clark forever! That whole era is glam-filled and exciting and it began a larger fashion and pop culture movement. It's just so sexy!