Valley-based Thrifters Preach Honesty, High Style in New Etsy Shop
Published: Friday, September 2, 2011
Updated: Friday, September 2, 2011 18:09
When Leah Capps and Adrian Lesoing opened their online store, Superstition Vintage, on Etsy a month ago, they set themselves apart from other boutiques and vintage clothing lines in two distinct ways: they take their time to find and carefully evaluate each piece they list to sell and they price their items based on how much they would pay for them.
That may not sound like much, but when you find a clothing and accessories line whose owners care more about what their products represent than turning a profit off of them, you've found something special.
"I think what kind of separates us from a lot of the stores on the internet is that in this economy especially, people are just trying to make a dollar," Capps said. "But for us, we're not trying to get rich off this. We enjoy doing this. We're not out there to rip people off. We're out there to be like, ‘Look what we found. We want to share this with you.'"
Capps, 26, and Lesoing, 27, both just graduated from ASU in May. Their decade-long friendship trails back to their home state of Nebraska, where they moved from nearly seven years ago. For the past couple of years, they've been filling their closets with clothes and items they've picked up from thrift stores, garage sales, yard sales, estate sales and vintage shops.
But the idea for a vintage clothing line wasn't what they've always had in mind. It just "happened to happen," as they put it.
They would find clothes that they fell in love with but not in their size. Their burning desire to dress someone that would fit it finally prompted them to open their store on Etsy, the online marketplace and community dedicated to the buying and selling of handmade or vintage items, art and supplies. Their hobby for thrifting swiftly became their way of acquiring inventory.
"In order to have good items, you have to be on the hunt all the time," Capps said. "Anytime we have a spare dollar and a spare minute, we're searching for cool stuff that's vintage."
Superstition Vintage sells men's, women's and children's items. You can find anything from shoes to an apron to a baby sweater in their virtual store.
The pair finds Etsy to be the perfect resource to sell their Superstition Vintage products through for several reasons. Capps said it's more stylized and personal than websites like eBay, and Lesoing added that it enforces strict regulations for the items that can be called and sold as "vintage."
"(Etsy) has more of an artistic background," Lesoing explained. "You can't just go and find anything at a thrift store and say, ‘Okay, I'm gonna sell this.' At eBay, you can sell anything, it doesn't matter. There's no restrictions."
They said that Etsy only charges 20 cents to list an item for sale. They see that as the online version of rent and expenses that "brick and mortar" stores typically have to pay. Capps added that while they would love to take up residence in a physical space later on, they don't have the funding for it because they just recently finished school.
"Etsy gives us the opportunity to do this," she said.
"What do we have to lose? 20 cents?" Lesoing said of their decision to commit to opening the line.
Vintage is a lifestyle for the duo, as well as the online method of selling. They love the rarity of vintage pieces and their variety of taste. The fact that they have two different styles helps their line stay unique. They also like that they can reach out to local and worldwide shoppers.
One major drawback of online shopping is dishonest selling, and they said avoiding that is one of their top priorities. They don't vend things in poor shape, and they do point out any damages on their items. Lesoing's a photographer, and they make sure they are as transparent about the items' conditions as possible.
"It's super important because you can't touch the clothing when it's online. You can't walk into a store and try it on." Capps said. "We need to make sure we get across as much information (about the item) as we can. Visual information, as well. It can be scary buying stuff online. We try to make it as safe for you as possible. You can be anonymous online, but we don't want to be. We want people to know us."
"You want to try to represent it the best you can," Lesoing added.