This week, for the new "episode" of the Nine Questions series, I interviewed a fabulous Etsy seller. Although I think sometimes vintage clothing on Etsy may be a little overpriced, there are little gems as well and Tresured Little Things is certainly one of them.
The store, ran by the super nice Charmaine is located in Hong Kong and most of the vintage pieces available are from the fantastic Japanese market. This means tons of amazing lightweight dresses with pretty prints...guess where the dress below - one of my favorite - come from ;-)
Prices are really affordable, but more than this, right now Treasured Little Things is having a fantastic 50% off everything listed before 7th August, excluding items in the sale section.
What are you waiting for?!
1. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR STORE. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH Tresured Little Things?
No matter where she goes, my grandmother is always wearing a Chinese cheongsam. She always looked so beautiful and well groomed, oozing elegance from a time long forgotten and much treasured. She gave me one of the tailor made cheongsam she wore when she was at her 20s, that is when my love for vintage bloomed. Since then, I have developed an obsessive compulsive disorder with collecting vintage things.
After graduating from SVA with a graphic design degree and working for a few years in nyc, I decided to move back to Hong Kong. With clothes, flips clocks, old books and all kinds of gadgets I have collected through out the years that amounts to the size of a shipping container (yes the huge ones you see parked at docks), I realized it's impossible bring them all home, so I decided to part with my collection through Ebay. It was such a fun process that I wanted to continue even after I returned to HK. And so, Treasured Little Things came into existence. Now, I hand pick vintage pieces mostly from the Japanese market. I can't get enough of their pretty prints and patterns! This is all thanks to my granny.
2. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A PIECE YOU'RE BUYING FOR THE STORE? ARE YOU INFLUENCED BY YOUR PERSONAL TASTE?
If I'm not truly passionate about something why would someone else sees the value I see in it. So, yes, my personal taste is a great influence to what I buy for the store. I look for items that are in good condition and have great details (be it the pattern or an unexpected porcelain button closure placed inside of a wrap dress). I also have an obsession with smooth and slinky fabrics.
3. IS NOT SAD AND "HEARTBREAKING" TO SELL A PIECE YOU LOVE, LETTING IT PASSES ON? AREN'T YOU TEMPTED TO KEEP ALL FOR YOURSELF?!
I'll admit that I really want to keep everything I find, but with the ever growing mountain of clothes I have collected through out the years, I realized even if I wear a different piece everyday, hell even if I change outfits 3 times a day, there are still too much to wear. And it makes my day when my customers send me photos of them in their new dresses.
4. HOW MUCH OF YOUR PERSONAL WARDROBE IS VINTAGE?
I have a nice mix of vintage and non-vintage clothes. I like the idea of melding the old with the new and each gets to shine.
5. AND WHAT ABOUT CONTEMPORARY DESIGNERS AND PERSONAL HOT SPOTS?
I'm in love with Maison Martin Margiela's impeccable tailoring and use of fabric. Roger Vivier's shoes are divine. I'm so glad the label is once again living up to its reputation of excellence under the artistic direction of Bruno Frisoni. Monique Lhuillier's contemporary line also catches my eye.
Lok Ku Road in Central area of Hong Kong is a street full of stores selling vintage gadgets. I have found a first generation HP business pocket calculator (1973) there before. You have to look really hard for unique things on this street, as store owners usually just stack everything in a pile and it's quite difficult to see anything at first glance. Peel Fresco Music Lounge is jamming with great live music almost every night.
I still go back to New York 2-3 times a year. Zucco Le French Diner in nyc is a great little restaurant and the food is authentic and delicious! You must try their Coq Au Vin! Taisho on St Mark's offers yummy Japanese yakitori and opens til late on weekends. The last time I was there, I came across Marmalade Vintage on Ludlow St and they have a nice shoe collection.
6. DO YOU THINK THE INCREASINGLY INTEREST FOR VINTAGE IS ONLY A TREND OR SOMETHING HERE TO STAY?
It's here to stay!
7. IF YOU HAD A TIME MACHINE TO GO BACK IN TIME, WICH ERA AND WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
Definitely the 1920's, the sequined and beaded flapper dresses are to die for. And the rise of a new kind of women was a sexy movement in itself.
8. DO YOU THINK VINTAGE IS A GOOD WAY TO EXPRESS THAT SENSE OF NOSTALGIA PEOPLE (LIKE ME...) MAY HAVE FOR PAST DECADES THEY DIDN'T EVEN LIVE TROUGH?
Absolutely! Every piece has its own story, and in a way you are continuing that story when you choose to wear a piece. When I hunt for vintage, I look meticulously at every part of the fabric. Although it's disappointing when I find an iron singe mark on a piece that I want, but at the same time, I can't help but let out a giggle and think "Mrs. 1960s what were you day dreaming of?"
9. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR VINTAGE LOVERS AND COLLECTORS?
I get a lot of requests asking me if I have a similar piece to one that was already sold. The truth is I seldom see repeats, so if you see something you really love and it's within your budget, don't hesitate. Hmm...what else...Soaking your clothes in a little baking soda and water, gets rid of that old, mildewy smell even better than detergent.