Introducing Blue Velvet Vintage
Today I have an exciting interview with the owner and designer of Blue Velvet Vintage, Theresa Campbell. Theresa contacted me in regards to a sponsored post, and I thought it would be fun to take a peek behind the blue velvet curtain, so to speak. So without further ado, here is a bit about Theresa, her vintage shop (here), and how she lives a glamorous life:
How did you get started with vintage fashion? Was it a lifelong passion or did you find vintage later in your life?
Well ever since I saw my Aunt in her pouffy chiffon prom dress way back in the 60s, I was hooked on that look. I was mesmerized by the glamour! And throughout my life I have collected vintage clothing and home decor for myself. So I guess I always had a fascination for things from the past.
What is your favorite vintage item that you own? Why?
Wow, that is tough. My favorites change all the time. Right now my favorite authentic vintage piece is this killer Alfred Shaheen dress I acquired from a woman on Martha’s Vineyard whose Mom actually wore the dress when she got married in Hawaii in the 50s. I love to hear the history behind the clothing! And I have a special affinity for anything tiki, tropical, Hawaiian. I guess because I live in Florida and spent so many years working in the Caribbean islands. I just love the look of tropical casual wear. And Alfred Shaheen produced some of the best!
Is your home decor vintage as well? Or do you prefer a more modern look?
Both! My home is decorated in Mid Century Modern style.
Why did you decide to sell both vintage as well as reproduction/retro items? Which do you find sells better?
Way back in 2002 when I first started selling vintage I started to get so many requests from customers for certain styles/silhouettes. And because authentic vintage is usually one of a kind or the sizes are smaller, I was not able to fulfill my customers wishes. What I did find out is many women love the look, but not everyone is a vintage purist and are just as happy to wear something that captures the glamour of the past. So I started added new lines that would work for that. We do sell more of the retro items as there is more of it!
As an entrepreneur, what would you say was your biggest success story? What about a failure story?
I would have to say getting interviewed for an article in the New York Times was a big boost for my business. As far as a failure, many years ago when I first started my own vintage style dress line, being a novice at clothing production, I ended up with a factory who didn’t make my dresses to my specs. Because I’m so picky about my quality I refused to sell them as they were and the company would not fix them for me. So I had to absorb that hefty cost rather than put out what I considered an inferior product.
Do you have any advice for those starting their own companies?
Start a company based around something that you will be passionate about. Having your own company means working 12-15 hour days. If you don’t absolutely love what you’re doing, you won’t be able to sustain that type of schedule.
How do you deal with the work/life balance?
It is a challenge. But unlike working for someone else, you have the flexibility to do your work any time of day, especially when it is internet based. So I can spend time with my husband, attend social events, fit in yoga and zumba classes, but may have to be up until the wee hours working on something for the website. Somehow I seem to fit it all in! Also, as the business grows you have to know when to delegate jobs to others to free up time for yourself.
How do you add glamour into your everyday life?
First of all, red lipstick tops my list! No matter what you’re wearing, if you put on some red lipstick it will add instant glamour. At home I wear vintage loungewear instead of sweats, and 90% of the time when I go out I wear either authentic vintage outfits or vintage inspired, which to me is much more glamorous than most of the contemporary fashions I see. And I never fail to get a compliment when dressed that way! If I don’t dress in a total vintage look, I do dress very classic, but always carry a vintage handbag, or wear a vintage scarf or piece of sparkly vintage jewelry for an added touch of glam.
Is there anything you want to tell my readers that I didn’t cover in the above questions?
Yes, I do want to say that my mission is to promote vintage looks to women and young ladies as an alternative to most of what I see being made today. Fashion silhouettes of the past are timeless and classic, yet different than what most people are used to seeing. I feel there is a serious lack of pride in appearance these days, or girls going for an “expose all” look to be fashionable. I want to show them there’s a classy way to be sexy and glamorous.
This post was sponsored by Blue Velvet Vintage. If you are interested in sponsoring The Glamorous Housewife, please click HERE to view my advertising rates.