Today we are interviewing Lizzie of fuzzylizzie Vintage.
Viviene: What made you decide to get into the vintage clothing business?
Lizzie: I've been selling vintage clothing for over 20 years. I got started because I was buying for myself, and from time to time I would find a great piece of vintage that did not fit me nor suit my style, but I couldn't leave such a gem behind. I soon had lots of inventory. I first started selling by mail order, advertising in a little publication call the Vintage Clothing Newsletter, which was published by Terry McCormick in the mid to late 1980s.
Viviene: Did you start out with your website, http://www.fuzzylizzie.com, or was it something that evolved over time?
Lizzie: My website was started about two years ago. A lot of other people at the Vintage Fashion Guild were starting them and it just seemed like a good idea!
Viviene: What types of resources did you search to obtain your knowledge about vintage clothing?
Lizzie: I've been a collector of books on fashion history for as long as I can remember, so I have a pretty large library. I especially like books written during the era - such as 1940s fashion books as a source of information on 1940s fashion. I love and prefer primary sources.
Viviene: How has the internet impacted how you sell vintage items?
Lizzie: It's certainly made to easy to connect with a large body of buyers.
Viviene: If you had to pick a favorite era what would your favorite vintage clothing era be?
Lizzie: Probably the 1920s. I think I'm a flapper at heart!
Viviene: When was the first time you bought a vintage clothing item and what was it?
Lizzie: In the early 1970s, when I was in high school. An elderly neighbor was cleaning out her house and I bought a 1920s beaded bag for a quarter! I still have it.
Viviene: Do you wear vintage clothing yourself?
Lizzie: Yes, but not as much as I used to. When I taught school, I wore vintage sweaters or jackets almost every day. Now my dress is a bit more casual. But I plan to live in novelty skirts this summer!
Viviene: How did your love of vintage patterns come about?
Lizzie: I was taught to sew by my grandmother when I was 10, and I've loved sewing and patterns ever since. I used to go through her 1940s patterns when I was a kid in the 1960s, thinking how great they were! I sure wish I still had them.
Viviene: Have you seen an upsurge in customers wanting vintage patterns and if so why do you think that is?
Lizzie: Yes, I have. Crafts are very popular right now. Young women have discovered that making a garment really gives a feeling of accomplishment.
Viviene: Is there a particular vintage clothing label that seems to be all the rage that you just don't understand?
Lizzie: I've never really understood the attraction to Gunne Sax, but I think that is mainly because I can remember wearing it!
Viviene: What designer that is around now will be the "have to have" designer in years to come in the vintage business?
Lizzie: I sure wish I knew the answer to this one, but I don't!
Viviene: You are a member of the Vintage Fashion Guild. How long have you been a member and what has the guild provided you that you could not get elsewhere?
Lizzie: I have been a member since the VFG was formed in 2002. It's such a great organization, with lots of different experts on fashion. I know that if I have a question about any vintage fashion item, or about fashion history, that someone at VFG will be able to help me.
Viviene: You are in the process of re-organizing the Vintage Fashion Guild's label resource. How daunting a task is that or is it a labor of love?
Lizzie: It's both, actually. I've worked untold hours developing and refining it, but I've got to say how much I enjoy it. And I'm all the time hearing from interesting people who have information to add. I recently heard from cashmere sweater maker Bernhard Altmann's son. That was very nice!
Viviene: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone just starting out in the vintage clothing/pattern business?
Lizzie: Learn all you can about your items. Sell what you know and love. Don't think of selling vintage as a quick trendy buck, because it is hard work!
Viviene: Lizzie's stores are located at:
The Website http://www.fuzzylizzie.com
Babylon Mall http://www.babylonmall.com/browseshop.php?storenum=54&previewpage=department
Specialist Auctions http://www.specialistauctions.com/shop.php?userid=104537
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