Today I’d like to welcome the lovely Beckiy Winston of Trunk of Dresses online vintage boutique! Beckiy has the most beautiful assortment of vintage clothing and accessories, all in impeccable condition and accurately described. This girl sure knows her stuff!! Beckiy has been kind enough to share a few wise words with us, AND offer up a generous gift card to her shop for one lucky winner!
Thanks for joining us today, Miss Winston!
1.) What inspired you to start Trunk of Dresses?
– Well I’d started collecting vintage clothing when I was about 15 years old with no real direction. I eventually realized I had tons of vintage that didn’t fit me, nor had a place in my “collection” and decided if I could make a living buying and selling treasures how could I go wrong? 😛
2.) What is your favorite thing about being an online boutique owner?
– It’s so wonderful that the treasures I find can find homes all over the world like Singapore or Norway! I also have to admit I like that it frees up more time to go treasure hunting than if I had a physical boutique!
3.) For those interested in wearing vintage for the first time, do you have any tips on where to start and what to look for?
-Start with what you like and what you can afford. It takes time and patience to really learn how to accurately date things so it’s most important to be happy with the fit, the print, and the style, more than the era. You will eventually figure out which decade suits you best but have fun until you get there! Although I will mention that closures are a good indication of true vintage vs. used clothing; snaps, hooks & eyes where commonly used in the 1930s and earlier, metal zippers became commonly used from the 1930s into the 1960s, and from the 60s onwards they become more commonly plastic. I’m obsessed with vintage closures so I will also mention that plastic zippers have existed since the 1930s but they are incredibly rare and I’m trying to hoard all of them for myself!
4.) What would you consider to be 5 essential vintage pieces for the new collector?
-That’s a tough one! Number one would be the simple 60’s “little black dress” that you can dress up or dress down, a simple 40’s or 50’s cotton day dress that you can wear easily and pair with the accessories you already have, a 40’s or 50’s solid colored cardigan, a pair of wearable dead plain heels from the 50’s or 60’s that can go with the rest of your wardrobe, and seam back tights for that vintage touch!
5.) Tell us a bit about your experience with fashion design school. Do you believe people can be self taught, or is there a true benefit from learning from professional hands-on instruction?
-The school I went to was one of the only ones that taught their students how to pattern draft from scratch without pre-set pattern blocks. I personally wouldn’t have been able to learn this on my own but I know that there are some people who just get it! So maybe it just depends on personality types or how clever someone is with altering the patterns and things around them!
6.) Do you see yourself designing your own line of vintage inspired clothing in the future?
-It’s currently in the works! It’s not entirely vintage based but I can’t deny pulling ideas from some great silhouettes of the past! I’m hoping to have my first collection finished within the year but don’t hold me too it! 😛
7.) I see from your instagram that you’re into motorcycles! How did that all start?
-I’ve wanted to ride a motorcycle since I can remember! So it was kind of inevitable that I would end up with a guy who rides a vintage bike and encourages me to ride! I’m still very much learning and mostly just ride around in the dirt, away from traffic, with my friends!
8.) As far as style and overall esthetic, what’s your favorite decade of the past?
-It’s funny how things change, as I get further into my obsession with vintage. When I started collecting I was really into the late 50s, early 60s rockabilly styled stuff and now I can’t get enough of the late 30s and early 40s war time dresses!
9.) What is one piece of advice you can offer to fellow women in small business?
-Invest all your profits back into your business until you are truly making enough money to pay yourself. Living broke isn’t so bad and it’s worth it in the end… I hope!
10.) And finally, (because I’d really love to know!) what’s the best way to wash a vintage dress? …more specifically, in my case, a Rayon one 😉
-Honestly, washing vintage terrifies me! I’ve only recently started down that path! I’ve been told to wash more delicate things that have mild stains or just dirty with “Orvus Paste” in warm water which I have yet to try. The advice came from a 66-year-old collector so I totally trust that advice! I’ve personally used oxy-clean to soak some solid colored pieces and had some luck but make sure you keep colors separate! Otherwise I spot clean with “grandmas secret spot cleaner” which seems to work wonders! … Good luck!
Thank you for sharing such lovely advice, Beckiy! You’re one awesome lady.
-AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY-
Beckiy is offering a $45.00 gift card to her shop for one lucky winner.
For your chance to win, please do the following:
“Like” Trunk of Dresses on Facebook, “Follow” on Twitter, or “Favorite” on Etsy, then leave one comment with your name and valid email (or link to your blog where you display a valid email) and say where you’re following Trunk of Dresses. That’s it!
(Please keep in mind that you do need to sign up for an Etsy account in order to buy on Etsy, but the process is super easy and well worth making an account.)
This giveaway will be open from now until 10:00pm EST on Sunday the 19th. One random winner will be selected and announced on Monday the 20th.
(edited: the giveaway winner has been announced!)