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testing, testing, "Permie Drygoods?" online? is there a customer base?  RSS feed

 
Jen Gira
Posts: 44
Location: Northern New Mexico/Heart of Espanola Valley
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I wanted to throw an idea out there that has been brewing in my mind's eye for awhile. I enthusiastically support artisans in the Permie universe. (The folks here at WL, by buying books by Geoff, Sepp, and oodles more, as well as purchasing tools/materials/supplies from good folks like ScytheSupply, Meadow Creature, and lots of seed companies)

I've noticed here and there, I see posts regarding good gear-clothing, shoes, as well as gear that is affordable/even frugal. etc etc. My background prior to becoming a permie 'weirdo', and changing my entire lifestyle-was in antiquities and late 19th to early/mid 20th century textiles, furniture etc. I operated a company that did everything from ultra rare items for museums, 1880s western clothing for HBO, to several vintage clothing outlets. I did it all over 18 years. That being said, I definitely know what is quality, especially in regards to clothing and shoes, (as well as tools and furniture) American made, artisan quality (especially during the late 18th to early (Pre WWII) 20th century. I still consult in the field, and am frequently approached by individuals, estates, other dealers-with large quantities of these fantastic Americana goods. Think high quality shirting, denim, work boots, cottons, yarns, etc etc) Although I do still curate on the might more "specialty" scale (think high $$$) when trying to think how I could contribute to the Permie scene now, while I begin my journey on my land. I immediately thought of the service I could provide to the community in terms of offering some of these items at very affordable prices. (think half or less than that favorite vintage shop that you visited, or that flea market)

So, I guess the question is, Are those folks out there? I could easily set up an e-shop, etsy, what have you, and offer these items. In my shops and during my expos, I had, (at least to the antiques/vintage community) a pretty wild take on returns/customer service- basically I didn't want any "bad vibes" so if something didn't work or fit, you could bring it back. (I got maybe 9 returns in ........9 years and tens of thousands of customers. people thought I was out of my mind, but guess what, really standing behind whatever it was you did-worked.)

So, if there was a site, where you could purchase, a completely awesome pair of 1950's steerhide workboots, for say $60 versus $250, and you had the confidence of knowing if they didn't fit, or just didn't feel right you could return them... or you could get a 4 ply cashmere cozy warm sweater for... $30, versus $150, or a perfect flannel shirt from the 1960s in your size for $12. Would you give it a try? There are a lot of Etsy sellers who sell great Americana and workwear, overalls, denim, chore jackets, flannels- but what if someone had a shop that expanded those items, and then sought to find other goods (like garden tools, or iron tools, or things useful for a farmstead) would you patronize the shop, like perhaps you do other permie/sustainable/organic/local artisans?


Usually, my natural inclination would be "If I have to ask, then I am not sure about it enough to do it", but I am using the excellent example that Paul has set with throwing out/brainstorming ideas like the ant village, PEP1, PEP2 certifications, and other ideas- That it is actually a strength to get some feedback.


My only pause would be that I do know a great deal of a Permie community is incredibly frugal. the items I speak of providing in a "mercantile" e-store format, would be of highest quality, and something you would expect to see in a nicer, (key word is sometimes head scratching-ly expensive) vintage/antique shop- These would be favorite items, special items, not some "meh" flannel shirt in poly blend, that if you dug a lot, you might be able to score at your local goodwill for $8.

I would be able to provide these things at affordable prices-affordable to nearly anyone (especially in light of what things cost today, and I don't think I need to say that "they don't make things like they used to" -but I will anyways! ha ha)

I'm only asking as setting up the curatorial relationships again, (where I can source the items in such a bulk that I can provide the lower cost to you) as well as photographing, e-store setup, etc etc would take a chunk of time, and I would like to know if there is a fair share of folks out there that would have an open mind. I had quite a following in the normal vintage/antique world that loved my offerings of americana-I just wonder if I was able to do something special for the Permie scene, and really try to keep the costs down, if it would get support. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing customers wearing the same work boots they bought from me 12 years ago, this week. So the retail "model" is more of happy customers referring others-than lots of repeating buying. The good ole fashioned American stuff -really lasts.



Thanks for the feedback!
 
Joylynn Hardesty
Posts: 275
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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I am interested. Had I stumbled on you accidently, I'd likely not purchase from the e store. However, your post has sold me on you!
 
Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I would absolutely support a shop that did that. The hardest thing for people on etsy, e-bay, whatever, is getting word out to people when there are tens of thousands of people doing the same thing. I'm not willing to try out dozens of shops to find out which ones are selling quality items, but if I knew of one that did, I would certainly use it.
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Add me to the list of interested people. I love vintage gear that is in good shape still!
 
Jen Gira
Posts: 44
Location: Northern New Mexico/Heart of Espanola Valley
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Oh great! I just saw all your messages, (my new rescue dog has had some medical issues and I have been away from my computer the past 36 hours) This made me smile. Prior to becoming a permie goofball, I had quite a successful vintage/antiques business. I started to wind it down, wanting to live "slowly"-I had been struggling with feeling like I was stuck in NYC/LA and around a bunch of design/film professionals who really did not have the same life view as me. It gets really depressing when you spend 85% of your time around people who could care less about the planet, sustainability, or self sufficiency. Despite my design and curatorial talent, I began to recoil at more and more consult/meeting gigs, the more I decided a "slower" life was for me. Becomes a conundrum when that is your career. I've spent a great deal of time trying to think of ways to combine my skill and career with what I consider a passion for my life, and the interest groups I have grown to be a part of.

I know it goes without saying, that a huge portion of folks on this forum, found themselves in a rat race or a corporate jungle, or stuck in traffic on a freeway commuting to/from a job/living situation, that all of a sudden wasn't what they wanted- ME TOO! ha, glad I got out, encourage anyone to try and make the leap, even in small steps!

I am going to do this!
My goal will be to have items that are really fantastic, and won't break the bank. I would like to think that those in the Permie community would appreciate high quality and a fair price, and feeling stylish isn't a terrible thing either! The one thing I love about vintage/antiques is there was great artistry put into even the most humble tool or piece of furniture. Not only did it function and do the purpose intended, but it often had a beautiful design-this also goes with clothing/shoes/household items that would be useful to those in the community- (and those outside, who just like cool things from long ago)

I will spend some time tonight photographing some items that I have in my archives which might already 'speak' to those here.

I would love to hear what items you are looking for, or would be interested in purchasing, or what things, that you may see online and like, but would like to see a better representation of- From reading the forums, I can see that people do seem to want high quality clothing/shoes that stand up to a lifestyle in a garden or homestead-nothing wrong with feeling like you look stylish at the same time!.
Personally, I think it might be cool,( and I would make a point to draw my attention to these items when meeting with estates and clients)
-to offer tools, garden "stuff", homesteading "stuff", and housewares (linens, blankets, small home goods) you can find a scattering of these items online-but it might be great to unify all these visions in one shop. I have bought a lot of bits and bobs on etsy in this department (especially used books) but I would have loved to have one shop selling things, as the shipping got a bit expensive from all the different sellers.

I have registered "PermacultureVintage" on Etsy, and also created a wordpress blog- so if you are interested bookmark, or follow me or what have you.

If I have some luck this afternoon/evening in digging through the boxes and boxes of archives I have already shipped from NYC to my new homestead, I will update this post with a teaser!

Thanks for your support!!
I am rather excited, as I'd love to use my skill and background in a way that benefits others who are embracing a similar lifestyle and "vibe"- anyone who already likes vintage/antique stuff, knows that finding something awesome that already has been useful and loved for 80 years, and now you get to love/use it, Is a great feeling!!

It is also GREAT that you are putting your dollars into something that already exists, instead of into the hands of corporations, most often overseas, that pollute the environment with their factories, do not use sustainable materials, do not pay their workers a living wage-or often provide them with a safe and comfortable working environment, and you are not contributing to pollution that occurs when this item is shipped via large container ship across the sea, then loaded into a truck, that drives and pollutes across the country to get to that store, and because retail manufacture and fashion moves in about 8 "seasons" of style a year, an alarming percentage of goods manufactured eventually end up in a landfill-even before they are utilized, written off as "loss" due to not selling after a prescribed amount of time. By buying vintage and antique "stuff"- you don't contribute to this long supply chain of "fast fashion" or the run of the mill consumerism/corporate culture that in my opinion is a huge player in environmental and societal downturn. Even before I got into "Permie" lifestyle, one of the reasons I was such a proponent of using products already existing, is that for the most part- we don't need any more "stuff" on this planet. At least a far share of it. I still find that 90% of the time, no matter how "cool" a new product is, the majority of items I see (clothes, shoes, furniture) I can reference an item made nearly 100 years ago that is better made and more stylish. I have an open mind, and patronize a great deal of independent designers/artisans, but from working in the fashion industry, and with most of the manufacturers that even the average joe will recognize, (I am sure that everyone on this site, if I looked in their closets, I would find one piece of attire or manufacturer, that I had some hand in consult, relationship, or curatorial hand in) If you actually took the time to trace the supply chain back to the manufacture of even the most banal Hoodie, or item sold at your local department store-you probably wouldn't want to purchase it, or support those who supplied it to you.

I much prefer the supply chain of "My grandma made this dress by hand out of feedsacks in 1940, and kept it her whole life-their grandson sells it to me at an estate sale, and you buy it from me on Etsy. If I rode my bike to the estate sale, the only energy expended is my own using my computer, and USPS getting it to you. A better situation if you ask me, and nearly always, a better piece of merchandise than you'd buy new.


 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 171
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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This sounds awesome.

Provided you can ship to Europe
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 171
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Jen Gira wrote:I have registered "PermacultureVintage" on Etsy, and also created a wordpress blog- so if you are interested bookmark, or follow me or what have you.


Do the shop and the blog exist at the moment? I am unable to find them on Etsy and Google is no help either.
 
Jen Gira
Posts: 44
Location: Northern New Mexico/Heart of Espanola Valley
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Crt Jakhel wrote:
Jen Gira wrote:I have registered "PermacultureVintage" on Etsy, and also created a wordpress blog- so if you are interested bookmark, or follow me or what have you.


Do the shop and the blog exist at the moment? I am unable to find them on Etsy and Google is no help either.



Hi, Hi ! Thanks for your interest! I am doing it! I've been spending the past few weeks sourcing goods and photographing items. The etsy shop is "PermacultureVintage"- It should pop up even if there are no listing yet.

There is a wordpress blog with the same name. Since I had/have a career in antiques/vintage clothing, just trying something 'new' with offering quality goods to "Permies", isn't just something I would approach in a lax fashion, or do less than I do with the ultra rare 1880s fabrics etc- I also wanted to makes sure that I had a significant offering out of the gate as a new "store".

That being said, since I am doing a lot of traveling sourcing (And having fun! never really paid much attention to farm tools or other homesteading things-other than to snatch up for myself!) Please let me know if there are any goods that you could use. Things that you would love to purchase from an independent seller. High quality, much lower (and better, 99.999 percent of the time) than new comparable goods, and need. This could be work boots, warm sweaters, shirting, overalls, jackets, etc. I am doing my best to offer things that people really need, and want-and will take the leap with buying online-especially if they feel comfortable with my happiness guaranteed sales motto. I guess, what I was known for with selling high quality antique and vintage goods in the USA, was items that became favorites, I wasn't "cheap", but very few people every groused because the items were so great, and I was so much more affordable than the vintage seller or shop (usually 40% less) they went to. The goods, like everything I sold, will be cleaned, polished, professionally mended (if need be) or headstock (unused old stock stock from the early 20th-20th century-one of my favorites) Though I am usually covered in dirt and am more concerned with Compost now than fashion, I was a big curator for the Ralph Lauren corporation-who is quite well known for their "Americana" and high quality denim and vintage clothing. (As in their store in Soho NYC)

I just threw this idea out there, because I love Permaculture, it is my main interest now, (even though I still do my curating job) and it would make me happy if people into a similar lifestyle as I am, wanted to buy goods. Often I would not purchase certain items, except for myself- (like a great pair of 1940s overalls) because I was unsure if my usual customer demographic would be interested. (Unless of course, "overalls with high heels" is a hot trend this summer) I spent 20 years doing what I do-so I have an ability and skill that is very honed, and I was thrilled that anyone responded and was interested.


Please let me know what kind of items you would be interested in. Also what issues, if you were shopping, did you encounter? (size problems? bad return policy? not the quality you wanted?) Shipping worldwide is no issue for me whatsoever. I always told customers that whatever the USPS was charging for their mail to get to them, was the cost. No hidden fees. I did recommend getting one step up the cheapest shipping (but I didn't require it) because you received some kind of tracking #, which can be really helpful, if your awesome boots, get stuck in some customs vortex, (and it occasionally happens)


Your post made my day! I am working on photographing and doing all the polishing (I always polish boots, make sure everything is clean/as perfect as possible-) and also washing delicate victorian/edwardian/20s ladies camisoles and tops today with my top secret batch of organic cleaning bubbles- I didn't want to be too "self promoting" on Permies, as I'm a new member, and I thought it was tacky. (though I know that permies selling cool things to other permies is encouraged-I just felt a bit shy) but I will upload some photos if you would like, and please bookmark the etsy, and let me know your requests. I have clients 12 years back, that became lifetime customers and friends-because I found them those 1950s redwing boots in the perfect size, they wanted....forever. It was a huge part of my business, and even though I am focusing intensely on creating a homestead and just started a permaculture internship (yay!) this is how I pay my mortgage, so don't be afraid to get specific.

I guess I just want to stress, that I can find you, that awesome thing, (or household item, say- you want some amazing linens for your table, or hudson bay blankets in perfect condition) and you won't feel taken to the cleaners. I have sources worldwide, and a network of friends who also are in my business. In some cases, it would be a cool way for you to help me get back in touch with all of my nutty friends (some who travel around the USA in RVs looking for 1940s Levis that they sell for $500 in Japan-now that is a subculture! ha ha)

Thanks again for giving me a little kick.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 171
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Well, it's like this -- I don't really have any previous experience with vintage Americana clothing so I can't elaborate on the things that I dis/liked with other sellers. The reason this thread attracted my interest is that maybe I'm ready to start.

I'm not sure how to articulate this - let's say I have a lot of respect for anything that was made XX years ago and was made to last. It's a welcome counterpoint to what the consumer market looks like today in all its aspects. Also, maybe it's just my not-so-young-anymore age showing I generally observe that as people get older, their perspective and relation to the past changes. For a very young person often it's all about the future and that's natural because for that person, it really is. Then gradually things change, one's relation to personal, local and world history develops and gains focus. Eventually it becomes all about the past. Well, I'm not quite there yet, but I'm far enough along to appreciate the process.

I've talked about your project with my wife and she's even interested in the option of buying wholesale from you and distributing locally. Even though Slovenia, our home country, is by itself a very small market (population 2 million), sometimes small things can grow unexpectedly. But that's just an idea floating in the air at the moment. We'll be glad to see the photos you're preparing to get a better idea of the items you're offering.

Best of luck!

 
Vera Stewart
Posts: 244
Location: 7b at 1050 feet, precipitation average 13 inches, irrigated, Okanagan Valley
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I personally have been on a search for the last six months or so for a long sleeved white/ivory/cream coloured ladies blouse that is

a) not in any way see-through
b) "fancy" enough to wear for a night out at a restaurant
c) functional enough to wear about the house
d) flattering, but not overly revealing
e) my size, which is large.
f) long enough that I can raise my arms without showing off my belly fat
g) less then $100 delivered.

I haven't looked EVERYWHERE, but I haven't found it yet, either. So I would be very interested if you could find something like that!

In terms of problems ordering/being comfortable getting things online - I now live in a small town, and have to accept that if I want something specific, it needs to come from the internet. As long as there is a return policy that works, then I feel comfortable, although I also have to include in my target pricing that shipping is always higher for me when ordering from the USA, because, I am not in the USA! It puts some things out of reach that otherwise I would buy. Oh well.
 
Jen Gira
Posts: 44
Location: Northern New Mexico/Heart of Espanola Valley
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Crt Jakhel- I had a part of my company that did wholesale to vintage shops and designer boutiques that had high quality vintage offerings. As I stated previously, one of my main clients or many years was Ralph Lauren, RRL (which specializes in the americana / marlon brando jackets, chippewea boots, etc, -their markup of course was very high as they are a high end designer) but i also sold to independent boutiques that trusted my eye, and also with their other offerings, were able to make a decent profit off of buying things wholesale. I even did business with one of those fancy americana stores in Tokyo where they sell Levis from the 1930s for $1600 (crazy! it was really fun to see it in person though) I also did business with Paris Vintage which is a very high end ladies vintage boutique in Paris, a shop in London, and a store in Australia.. I think it was Nicole and ... something.. Australian persons will probably recognize the name. The stock depended on the boutique /needs, and it was just a small part of my business, but I enjoyed the challenge.

Especially if you were looking to sell quality things to a market that is looking for them and would appreciate them, that is a nice extra motivator for me to start to curate again. As I said in my first post, I really was just throwing the idea out there, as soon as I hunkered down on my new homestead, (and unpacked boxes and boxes of my archive) as i'm out in rural New Mexico, and the curating is my "cottage industry" (to fund my permaculture projects) I have to do my work anyways. I know that the sexy Versace bandage dresses won't necessarily appeal (but not always, I bet there are some Permie Vixens on this form!) but I would be thrilled if I could use my 20 years of work, to help other people find quality things that feel good and were made with pride. I think, one motivator was in looking for certain "chore" items myself, as I am really working the land, getting really dirty, and burning through shoe/boot soles left and right, I started to search some of the brands mentioned in this forum. Other than the custom made tools, (I LOVE MY MEADOW CREATURE BROADFORK & MY SCYTHE from Scythe supply!) I found when I visited the websites for clothing/shoes- I felt kinda "meh" or like the item offered wasn't worth the price tag. That got me to to thinking. I will be doing a bunch of photography of items that fit the "permie bill" (in my opinion) and I will post them on Etsy, and share here for you to check out. As I said, I did this in a pretty large scale way, so I have sources and suppliers, as well as relationships with upscale charities, estate sale companies, auction houses, that allow me first look-and offer to purchase before even most professionals get a view of the merch. I guess that came with hard work But Im happy, so happy, if that can benefit at all the Permie community, as It is truly my passion now in life, and I have come to know, (at least on this forum, "know" is relative! ha ha) such a fine group of nice people who also seem to be working towards similar goals-ones that I think are good for humanity and the earth

I can explain that aspect of the business of wholesaling in bulk later. I will get to work for you. I think the farthest east I sold clothing was Prague, a very popular shop in Prague too. I will try to remember the name...

 
Jen Gira
Posts: 44
Location: Northern New Mexico/Heart of Espanola Valley
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Vera I can most certainly find you any sort of blouse you are looking for. I understand the frustration of not being able to find that particular "piece". Even in what I did for a living, I had a small little list of things I just really wanted, and sometimes they were incredibly basic (like a nude camisole with a certain type of lace) and it taking 8 years to finally stumble upon the piece at an antique auction. Had I not been there for business, I never would have found it.

You can "puurple Moosage" me this info, but I'm more than happy to help you, and chances are, since prior to finally moving to my homestead, I spent 6-9 months shopping and augmenting my archive (some of that stuff though is for study, for museums and films etc) but because I knew I would be on my land in a rural area, (and most likely wanting to stay around, due to just getting there) I shopped a lot. I probably have 40 really nice white blouses that I can just think of off the top of my head, and that doesn't include what is stored away.

Main questions would be measurements if you can get a tape measure bust, shoulder, natural waist, around your arm.

a photograph (if you can find one, just googling or whatever) of the "type of "style" you are attracted to (generally, I have had clients draw over a blouse they clipped from a magazine, changing the neckline to show me what is more their "ideal")

Fabric preference. I know you said not see through, but there is a wonderful world of fabric choices out there. silk, linen, high quality cotton, silk cotton blend, even brushed canvas, rayon, etc


And then I would always say this to people, (and sometimes people would look at me weird) "other notes" meaning like, I joke around with my mom that the women in our family seem to somehow, after about 35 get "weird arm fat" It is definitely our "built" Scandinavian lady stock, but for myself, even though I wouldn't say it is "weird" or anyone else would say "Hey your arm is fat!" I tend to not wear short sleeve blouses that are tighter or cut a certain way. It is just some dumb neurotic thing, but we all have our own little quirks. By telling me any of these little quirks. (they also can be like. "I don't like it when blouses cut in the waist, I tend to like a straight more box/boyish/relaxed line on the shirt, or "I don't like blouses that go past my waist line. I like to wear a blouse that I don't feel the need to tuck into pants" Just help me get you what you need.

I guess because it is email and all on hard drives, but I have THOUSANDS of these type of requests and "notes"- everything from work boots for a guy who did reclaimed flooring in Brooklyn, to women wanting that "flapper" look for their weddings, To a lady who has large calves-but wanted to wear a tall equestrian boot and felt like she was doomed (unless she had them custom made) to guys looking for the perfect 3 piece suit for their new job. I have done it all, and I'm happy to say, even if it took me 6 months. Everyone got what they wanted. I just got a message a week ago, randomly on Facebook from a painter, who was still raving about the suit he bought from me, 7 years ago for his first "big" gallery show. Honestly I find it fun. Not every shop owner would say that, or even Etsy/Instagram seller would say that, but I actually mean it.

Your price point is well within the guidelines of something beautiful that I could find you, and ship it to you, wherever you are. - In fact it is a great price point that includes international shipping.

So drop that info my way, and I will also take some photos for you. I also specialized in clothing from kids to all sizes of adult (petite, reg, plus, tall, etc) and prided myself on being able to find cool vintage/antique things for all shapes and sizes. Some are more challenging than others, but I found the folks who only sold things size 0-8 or mens to a 44- just being lazy. People were a tad smaller in general (due to vitamins, and yes I think we have gotten larger due to hormones in our food) but it is not the travesty that some vintage sellers claim. There have always been people of all shapes and sizes (shoes included) it just requires more effort on the part of the curator to find those goods. I also am a big fan of customizing a garment, and I did it for customers at no cost in my shop. I just moved to NM, and don't have any relationships like this, but if it came to light that I felt a few small "tweaks" on your white blouse were necessary, I could drop it off in Santa Fe, and find someone to do it. That way it arrives and you feel great. I know perhaps some of what I say seems too good to be true, but I guess, arriving with nothing in nyc (but an interest in antiques and vintage I inherited from my parents) after Hurricane Katrina took all my worldly belongings away at 23, and truly being worried I'd starve to death. I focused on this interest/hobby with a keen determination. In less than two years, just being nice, and finding people things they wanted, selling them fairly and at a good price, and not making people feel weird to bring them back if they didn't fit of feel right- was a business in the black to the tune of $300k- from nothing. I had posted on other forums when clothing comes up, and one of the reasons why I wanted to walk away and lead a "simpler life" is that despite my love of old things, when I went into consulting- I could not get the brands (many you most likely wear or like) to at least, with the things they were making new- to make them good. this means higher grades of leather in the shoes, a little more seam allowance at the cuffs, better buttons, higher quality wools for the coats- It is sad that most major corporations and fashion manufacturing companies, (well like every thing else I guess) depend on planned obsolescence, not even depend, It is integral to their capital model. hence the landfills filled with Gap and H&M or Forever 21. In 2010 I kind of washed my hands of it, feeling guilty, and feeling bad when I would see that great blouse I provided to a design company... in really crappy polyester with cheap buttons sold for 39.99. It seemed disrespectful in a way to the original which was sewn by someone's grandma, who added some Battenberg lace that her aunt gave her in 1936.

However, (rant finished. ha ha) If I can somehow use all the years of pouring over text/archival documents pertaining to historical dress, militariana, workwear, leather goods, etc to a) support myself and be able to pay for the improvements in my new permie paradise, and B) thrill someone with a great item, that works, and feels good. then bring it on!

Drop me that "Message"- I guess I will figure out how to find it. (I haven't gotten a "purple moosage" yet. ha ha



Vera Stewart wrote:I personally have been on a search for the last six months or so for a long sleeved white/ivory/cream coloured ladies blouse that is

a) not in any way see-through
b) "fancy" enough to wear for a night out at a restaurant
c) functional enough to wear about the house
d) flattering, but not overly revealing
e) my size, which is large.
f) long enough that I can raise my arms without showing off my belly fat
g) less then $100 delivered.

I haven't looked EVERYWHERE, but I haven't found it yet, either. So I would be very interested if you could find something like that!

In terms of problems ordering/being comfortable getting things online - I now live in a small town, and have to accept that if I want something specific, it needs to come from the internet. As long as there is a return policy that works, then I feel comfortable, although I also have to include in my target pricing that shipping is always higher for me when ordering from the USA, because, I am not in the USA! It puts some things out of reach that otherwise I would buy. Oh well.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 171
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Jen, are you familiar with LARP - live action role playing? It's kinda like amateur theatre only it's done for the actors' own enjoyment - people get together and play out fantasy scenarios. Usually (but not exclusively) in a medieval setting. Here are some photos - http://www.businessinsider.com/we-went-larping-2014-10?op=1

Do you think one could find clothing for such events among the items you're able to supply? I'm thinking it could be a good fit because primarily it's about natural materials - leather goods, linen, cotton, slik, wool.
 
Jen Gira
Posts: 44
Location: Northern New Mexico/Heart of Espanola Valley
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Crt Jakhel wrote:Jen, are you familiar with LARP - live action role playing? It's kinda like amateur theatre only it's done for the actors' own enjoyment - people get together and play out fantasy scenarios. Usually (but not exclusively) in a medieval setting. Here are some photos - http://www.businessinsider.com/we-went-larping-2014-10?op=1

Do you think one could find clothing for such events among the items you're able to supply? I'm thinking it could be a good fit because primarily it's about natural materials - leather goods, linen, cotton, slik, wool.


I am familiar with LARP-ing, I could totally help you with any type of "schmatta" you are looking for, in any genre whatsoever. (and at any budget) As I said in other posts, (and sorry to be redundant) I started out in my late teens at flea markets, then had a vintage clothing store, then did high end vintage and antiques, and then went into design consult/ historical archiving/curating for film and television. clothes are kinda my bag. Since I'm a Permie (and I think, as many know, this can extend to all parts of living/interacting with others and the planet) I tend to encourage others to look at things that currently exist (since our earth has a lot of stuff, some diamonds in the rough-just needing a little love/repair, polish etc) BUT- I can certainly help someone who has a character (I have worked with folks who also like to do "reenactment" stuff Civil War / 1800s- all the way up to Vietnam era (I have a strong background in workwear and military clothing- mostly just because I like it, but I know period authentic and precise wardrobe)

My whole deal, and philosophy, (which I tell you, was looked at with raised eyebrows, slight irritation, or rolled eyes) is that you can outfit yourself at any budget. If you had a LARP character you wanted to wardrobe yourself as. I could assist you in finding the look for whatever budget you have. Depending on what that was, (and that could be $125 for the whole outfit, or $500+ if you wanted to go whole hog) you will achieve what you want. This was my gift, and it came not only from the fact both my parents were antiques dealers, and I started in my teens- but also from my studies in college in Sociology and Public Action- I am 100% for equal opportunity to be...........awesome. (in this case, dressing like you want to dress, and feeling good about yourself)

Some people think they need to pay someone to create reenactment /Larp clothing. Yes, you could do that, but that can get pricey, sewing things from scratch takes time and people deserve to be paid for that time, and it is a skill in itself (note other threads about mending, etc) So unless this is a BIG passion (and maybe it is, and that's cool Purple Moosage (ha that still cracks me up, that name! love it!) a photo or two, and I will either give you totally free advice and ideas

(because I have received PRICELESS advice/help on this forum from so many giving members on my Permie journey so at least, in this subject, I am an expert. I did my fair share of geoff lawton style board meetings, so it makes me feel good if I can help a person on this forum, as I feel I have a mastery of this subject)

If you want help in finding clothes, or for me to find you some clothes (I'm happy to, my adobe home is a massive archive of historical clothing and textiles and................gardening gear ha) tell me a budget with your photos (or a drawing, or whatever a youtube link, etc) your size, (you don't need to get all crazy dressmaker, just tell me what size jeans you usually buy (and the brand, because I know how each brand is cut) shirt (t-shirt, and maybe a button up shirt) shoe size, etc.
the only thing you might have to get a friend to help you, or buy a measuring tape would be if you wanted a hat, and I'd have to have you measure your head-
gloves you can just trace your hand and a take a photo of it and email it to me.

Either I will help you, with my PermacultureVintage Etsy store, or I will happily refer you to great people, who will do what you want, at the price you have specified and do great work (whatever it is)

I have said to colleagues who think I have lost my mind, picking up and moving from NYC, slowing down my consult career, and posting pictures of Facebook of myself shoveling horse manure, that I loved what I did, but......"you can't eat clothes" and my impact on the world needs to be more than finding an antique lace that will go on a dress for the 1%. regardless of salary change. I am proud that I feel this way, truly, and I think that is half the reason why, even though I am exhausted, sore, somewhat overwhelmed, and in many senses have absolutely no idea what I am doing (other than referencing my books and this site a couple times a day) I feel great!

hope to hear from you, and I am happy to help you in any way I can.
(and anyone else)

truly.

 
Jen Gira
Posts: 44
Location: Northern New Mexico/Heart of Espanola Valley
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I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT ANYONE CURIOUS ABOUT PERMIE VINTAGE DRYGOODS / THRIFTY / ANTIQUE goodies.

I have been doing interning/volunteering with the great organization Flowering Tree Permaculture, and I was just asked to help out/volunteer w/ another Permaculture project that is an Indigenous Community initiative.
But, as I said, I am funding my little farmstead with my old career, and I still work 3 days a week at it. I just was completely thrilled to get a chance to prove myself as a good volunteer, and since it is finally safe to plant (well you never know with Northern New Mexico high desert late frosts, but mostly "safe") I have been running around with seedlings, bare root plants, broadcasting seeds, etc etc etc.

I have to return to upstate NY to do my "big move" with my husband and worldly belongings next week. But I have already started to photograph, and by the 15th of May, you will be able to go to the Etsy Shop and peruse, and I'll share some shots here. I plan to go to some of my dealer pals, now that I told them I want vintage/antiques/housewares that would appeal to homesteaders, permies, and big bad lumberjacks who like poetry (ha) (yes they think I'm nuts) but I have some appointments set up while I am on the East Coast, and I'll be bringing my new finds with me.

I just didn't want anyone to think I was a flake or I forgot about you. At that juncture, I can discuss the wholesaling thing (I think that is really cool if you want to do that, and quality 19th/20th century workwear/good ole' americana has demand, and I'd love to help you make it work) and my store(s) over the years always did layaway, and basically, if someone wanted something, I would make it possible. I bartered things. (I got Spanish lessons, Guitar Lessons, CDs from someone with a record label, Someone made me some wooden shelves for my store in exchange for clothes) I had a painter (who is now quite successful) pay me about $20 a month for 9 months for a 1940s horsehide leather jacket. I was thrilled he was so into it, and happy to hold it. I wanted to sell it to him, than some hipster with a trust fund who would throw it away in two years ( meow! sorry if I sound mean there. it is meant tongue in cheek) So, especially with Permies, and a community that I am happy to belong to, and encourage, and learn from. With my own little "cottage industry" satellite from my farmstead, I will help or do whatever I can. Even if you aren't "fashion-y", everyone likes to look and feel good in their clothes- It is even better if those clothes fit well, are made well, stand up to your work and what you're doing, and you know they were made with love and responsibility- not by a child in Bangladesh.

okay gotta go! Just wanted to update. My best to all
 
Lina Joana
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Hi Jen,
I had trouble finding your shop on Etsy - a search for vintage permaculture didn't bring it up.
When you are ready for customers, could you post a link in this forum? I'd love to browse through!
 
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