Hi, I am Luisa and I have an online vintage clothing shop. I share my time between being a teacher and my shop, which means: a lot of work and challenges. I will be pleased to answer your questions. Ask Me Anything!

Lulu Poppins
Aug 24, 2018

I had a sickness which stopped my entire life, when I couldn't do anything at all, just waiting to feel better. Well, This is the sad part of the story.

The good part starts when I begun hunting clothing when I started to recover and decided the name of my shop thanks to an old suitcase I have:  I still didn't know a lot about how to run a shop and where to start from,  but all I did really helped me to go through the bad moments while recovering. It started to be a challenge to get my mind busy and learning, which is something I always have loved. Now it's 5 years this happened and I am Living to improve my new job. I've learned quite a lot about vintage Clothing, online sales, photography, social media... And I am still learning and will be for a long time as I Think it's the only way to get better and doing a good job. I have a lot to learn yet, and I am working on It. I have an Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaletaVintageClothes  and an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/maleta.vintage.clothes/ and I would like to get more exposure in the US and around the world, as I am from (and live in) Spain but ship worldwide and some of my customers are abroad.

I am more a collector or searcher than a fashion girl, but there's an intermediate point where this two sides of me get together: I appreciate the details in the garments and enjoy feeling the thrill if the hunt, and giving life to a garment in someone who will enjoy It anywhere, saving it from a sad end ( garbage, probably) and who will find her own style with this piece that is not going to be produced never more, and which has a personality that matches with her and lots of different details than nowadays clothing. I also like to know that this garment I sent somewhere will be a part of someone's life and we are contributing to taking care of our environment. 

My biggest amount of sales go to US and my shop in Etsy is one year and a half old and as a new shop any opportunity exposure will be great. It would be helpful if you visited my Instagram account and if you like It and follow It will probably make able some visits from there.My Spanish followers are able to Talk to me and that's great for building confidence, which I honestly offer (see reviews).   One of my best points is customer service, so I would like to let the world see more of it :-)

And that's my Story. Now it's time for your questions. So, AMA!

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Besides washing and ironing, what other restoration steps do you usually perform on the clothing items that you sell?
Sep 2, 6:51PM EDT1

Hi Myka,

I usually only seek for clothes that doesn't need any repair. That's one of my shop's characteristics: good condition in vintage not modified garments. 

Last edited @ Sep 3, 10:06AM EDT.
Sep 3, 10:06AM EDT1
What is the most common misconception about vintage clothing?
Sep 1, 8:00PM EDT1

Hi Teerin, 

I thinkg It might be it's just old clothes, while the reality is often is much good quality than a lot of nowadays Clothing and sometimes is brand new or remains in very good condition because of that for longer time. And It also may fit into current trends. 

Sep 3, 10:10AM EDT1
How do you set the price for a specific garment? What things do you take in consideration? How do you keep it all affordable?
Aug 31, 11:39PM EDT1

I like to think everyone who wants can buy. 

Price is set depending on ages condition, quality and pattern.

Sep 1, 5:31AM EDT1
Have you considered starting the production of a clothing line based on the best vintage clothing pieces that you've found?
Aug 31, 10:06AM EDT1

Hi Mistraldanao, 

Sincerely I didn't, I love yo go finding vintage clothing ti give them a Life. I love to preserve It. 

Aug 31, 11:31AM EDT1

What makes you motivated everyday specially that you have 2 jobs?

Aug 31, 3:09AM EDT1

Hi Donna, 

I need two Jobs because I can't work at school all as I am still recovering and it's not enough for my economy. 

I like a lot the shop, and we all need to live. 

Sep 1, 5:34AM EDT1
As an individual, would you say most of your clothes are vintage? How has you wearing vintage impacted your business, especially by people in your community?
Aug 30, 11:37PM EDT1


Yes, I wear vintage although nota always. 

People un mundo community sometimes is surprised about fun or original clothing I wear. But I am quite descrete and I don't wear clothing that makes people look a lot to me. 

You can see at the link in the shop the clothing I sell is quite wearable. 

I think It had make people think a bit more about taking care of environment and value little things that can be gone. 

Sep 1, 5:41AM EDT1
What is your favorite style of vintage clothing? What decade's style suits you best?
Aug 30, 1:47PM EDT1

LULU POPPINSI am a Teacher and a Vintage shop "everything".

I like specially 20s era but it's not easy to find,  I've seen some pieces that are super nice, colorful and wearable. I like the materials, so delicate and carefully made, and its elegance. But I nevera have been able to acquire any of them, although I now it's possible and some specialized shops sell them. 

My favorites are 70s and 80s, I feel drawn sometimes to wanderlust style and a part of 70s fits in there. 

I also like 80s because if it's colors for casual clothing, which I use to wear.

Aug 30, 2:03PM EDT1
You mentioned that the US has a big population which appreciates vintage clothing. Do you think you have an opportunity to educate people in your locality on the advantages of investing in vintage clothing?
Aug 30, 9:25AM EDT1

Hi Deveoper! Beautiful question!

That's something I think about. I really don't think that I should educate, but I do strive to transmit the values that I like and believe are good for our society, such as reusing, valuing the old and giving it a place, the quality of vintage clothing, support for small businesses... These are things that I think can be good, and I try to find a way for others to be interested.

Last edited @ Aug 30, 12:59PM EDT.
Aug 30, 12:58PM EDT1
If you were in position to, what are some of the changes you would make as far as acquisition and finding market for vintage clothing is concerned?
Aug 30, 8:13AM EDT1

Hi everyone! 

Thanks for your questions. A lot of them were interesting! 

I'll try to answer questions missing today. 

I also want to add that I am un the bussiness nos for 5 years but only INE in Etsy. As I told I am the one mainly doing everything in my shop and my academyc background is another one. So as you can figure out my Shop and I am in evolution to do It  always better. 

Etsy takes long time for a small bussiness as mine to get shown on search results, so I would be very thankful if I could get more exposure. 

Any chance about It would be appreciated, as I didn't get any visit from this AMA to my site. You can write me by private message or Here if you prefer, and questions  are still able to do until tomorrow. 

Thank you. 

Aug 30, 4:03AM EDT1
Do you sometimes find yourself trying to figure out how old the vintage clothes you get are? What features do you always look out for?
Aug 29, 9:55PM EDT1

Hi Amira

Yes, I think this is an essential part in my work and I always date the era of the cloth. Also when I choose the garments I am thinking about It. 

I've learned to do It by the patterns and materials and label of the garments. 

Often this is enough. When there's still a doubt, which is a few times, I ask for help to some more expert colleagues. 

Last edited @ Aug 30, 7:40AM EDT.
Aug 30, 4:20AM EDT1
Do you think recreating the era in the back ground of clothes you sell in your vintage shop could increase sales?
Aug 29, 11:12AM EDT1

Hi Mary Jean,

It's a nice idea, I am kind of doing It (I'll explain below),  but I keep looking for something.  I think I will implement it when I find the right object/s.

By now, I ambient photo scenario with a light prop, but in a way that still clothing is in the first place.

I use decorative prints from Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn that are colored in very 80s shades, which is what I sell most right now. I also use one of Amélie's, (the film) because she is a current character who generates a lot of interest and has a vintage style.

And when I go for a walk, I am often aware of places where I may find something related to this. 

Thanks for your question :-) 

Aug 30, 1:14PM EDT1
How has your great customer service influenced the sales in your Etsy shop? Has this earned you any referrals?
Aug 28, 12:52PM EDT1

Hi Shahriar, 

The most direct influence is  customers comming back to the Shop, and leaving best reviews so others potential buyers gain confidence to buy.

It's also true that most of the buyers don't leave a review on most Etsy shops. For what I am so thankful to the people who does. 

Aug 29, 8:11AM EDT1
What are some of the lessons you have learnt about your clients and the most popular interests when it comes to vintage clothes?
Aug 28, 11:19AM EDT1

I like to have contact with them and be aware of what they like so I can bring It to the Shop. 

When It's easy Iike in my city I meet them to give the clothing in person. Sometimes we become friends and they write me through Instagram or Etsy to ask whatever they need (if I have a kind of garment, if a garment will fit them...) So I can help when they want to make a purchase. 

I would like It to be like this on Etsy but distance doesn't make It easy. Instead of that, I write a note to say thank you and I am always glad to help if they write and give me the chance. 

I guess I've learned I love contact with people taking care about them in this way.

I can only talk about my shop and what my customers like more is 80s clothing. 

Last edited @ Aug 29, 11:18AM EDT.
Aug 29, 11:16AM EDT1
How important is it for you to make sure the clothes you sell fit the buyers? Have you had instances when a client was disappointed with the fit?
Aug 28, 7:28AM EDT1

Hi SEBBY26, 

I do a lot of work so this doesn't happen and I never got a claim for that reason. 

For me It's very important. I want my customers be happy and I do my best:

1. modern/current size for different countries, 

2. Measurements of the garment, 

3. Model or mannequin size or /and measures. 

4. Sometimes I add a picture on how to measure to the listing. 

5. I am always open to help with any doubt the customer has before she/he places the order. 

Aug 28, 7:38AM EDT2
What would you say is the reason why your biggest clientelle is from the US?
Aug 28, 12:09AM EDT1

Hi Wynner! Thanks for your question.

I think there are different reasons: 

1. There's an interest on US about Vintage clothing from years ago. There are very stabblished shops and thrifstores, which means there's an interest of a part of the population. 

2. Maybe some people feels attracted to some of the european clothing they can find in my shop, as often people wearing vintage is looking for original clothing. 

3. Etsy is very known in US so probably as It is a big country there's more traffic from there.

4. The express shipping at the affordable price I offer helps to avoid the distance barrier between our countries. 

Last edited @ Aug 28, 8:37AM EDT.
Aug 28, 8:36AM EDT2
Given the chance, would you expand your vintage clothing store to include other vintage sales?
Aug 27, 1:46AM EDT1

Hi Coreita!

I've thought sometimes about It. I would like to keep my shop Focus to a customer that fits in the same or similar profile. So I think I only would expand to very related vintage items. Complements or buttons may hace a chance. I also I am thinking to write a few download articles related to vintage fashion Evolution, or gift cards for vintage Lovers.

But although I like some other items for the home, for example, at this momento I think it's better to keep It focused in very related things with what there's already at the shop. 

I prefer to become an expert in one thing than opening yo other's. 

Thanks for your question!

Aug 27, 7:06AM EDT2

Does vintage cost more? 

Aug 27, 12:28AM EDT1

Hi Catherine, good question. There's a lot to say about this!

It depends on a lot of factors. 

It always cost more, but there's a wide range if prices and you can also find very cheap clothes. 

I sell at an affordable price, not extrememly cheap, and not a expensive price. 

Each shop needs to evaluate the quality and condition of their garments,  customer whom the shop is adressed, the effort employed in finding clothing, store It, taking pictures, measures... The age of the garment... 

I make my pricing decisiones with a mix of these factors and a lot that are not seen as washing the Clothing, ironing, etc and my needs.

When a garment is older, the condition and photography is really good you may probably charge more as a seller.

But th reality is if you don't know how to get buyers into the shop, you can offer a cheap ir expensive price and It won't work. While if you find the way to do It, the shop will work. 

I am not ashamed to say I really offer a good service (reviews Talk) and I would like to get more visits to my shop to increasing sales and compensate the effort. Sales are not bad , but I think It can improve. 

I am working on It. 

Thanks for your question! 

Last edited @ Aug 27, 7:52AM EDT.
Aug 27, 7:22AM EDT2
Why are vintage clothes popular? What are the current market trends that make people opt for vintage clothes?
Aug 26, 6:42PM EDT1

Hi Maria, 

I think there's so much offer about everything nowadays  that some people feel drawn to vintage Clothing because It offers an original way to dress: there's a wide variety of garments that hace gone through different pattern, anyone can choose vintage clothing fitting into a current trend, or not. There's "do" and not to do in society that some like to choose a garment like this avoiding the "mainstream". 

As I commented in another post,  some people also wears vintage being a part of their style of life that often includes taking care of our environment in diffeeent ways.  

There's also people who likes to contribute with small bussiness more than buying to the biggest, that are the same in a lot of countries. 

Last edited @ Aug 27, 8:36AM EDT.
Aug 27, 8:35AM EDT2
What are some of the lessons you have learnt when it comes to the impact a good photograph has on the sales you make? Is the type of camera used important and a contributing factor the success of your shop?
Aug 26, 5:22PM EDT1

Hi Jithin,

It has a good impact to have good photography. It always help as It shows a more professional look.

Even though, I am selling on Etsy a few more than a year now and  I am running the shop on my own so I am who do this job. I use some editing apps and programs to do It and offer the most professional image I al able to without been a photographer and keep working on it. 

Last edited @ Aug 27, 8:40AM EDT.
Aug 27, 8:39AM EDT2
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