Over the last couple of years I’ve been very much focussing on and working on the selling side of my vintage business. I sold vintage for a job long before I started this blog and recently I’ve really shifted my focus back to sourcing and selling gorgeous vintage treasure. Finding beautiful old things and sending them off to their new homes is such a huge passion for me and although it is really hard work I absolutely love what I do.
I’ve been writing a bit more about this side of my business recently and have been really enjoying it. So I thought I’d do another post sharing some more of the behind the scenes of my job. There is so much that goes into running a vintage business and it’s definitely not as simple as just buying some clothes and slapping them on the internet! I’m sharing this as a day in the life, but honestly all days are different and no two look the same. But on a very busy day selling vintage these are some of the things I would do.
I usually get up quite early and get the kids up, while they’re getting ready for school I try to do a bit of housework, put a wash on and get myself ready for the day
Once the kids are at school and I’be done a bit more housework (and I’ve already been up for what feels like hours and feeling exhausted already), I like to head out and try and source some new stock. I pick up stock from so many different places and people so this can really vary. One thing I do try to do is not travel too far to buy stock. I’m all for sustainability so wherever possible I try to source stock quite locally to me. Sometimes I don’t find much but other times I come back with a huge haul. I buy from a variety of different places and have built up lots of contacts over the years.
I try to keep as on top of my repair pile as possible, so I like to pop on a podcast and spend an hour or so doing small repairs wherever possible. It’s inevitable that a lot of the vintage garments I buy will need a little bit of TLC, this is mostly just stitching up a hem or replacing a missing button. So this is often quite a quick job.
Cleaning and Ironing
I usually try to wash any new stock I get on the same day I buy it. So one of the first things I’ll do when I’m done with any repairs is to sort everything and out and get it in the wash. This is so much easier in the summer when I can hang it on the line to dry! Some items can just go in the washing machine, other need a good soak or a more delicate hand wash. Some items that are more stained take quite a lot of work and several washing before they’re back to their former glory and ready to sell.
I also take a bit of time to iron or steam and hang up anything I might want to photograph that day.
Social Media and Marketing
Alternatively if I’m not going out buying I’ll spend the morning working on my social media and marketing. I spend a lot of time planning my social media content, creating pins for Pinterest and putting together blog posts. I also have someone who helps me one day a week getting all my scheduling done and helping me with behind the scenes stuff, which is such a huge help.
Packing and Sending
I’ll also spend a couple fo mornings week packing up all my orders beautifully, weighing them and doing all my postage online using Royal Mail Click and Drop. This is taking soooo much longer post Brexit, as any orders going to the EU now need customs forms completing too. I really enjoy packing and sending orders though. It always feels like each piece I sell has been on a bit of journey with me from buying to getting sold and I absolutely love sending them on their way.
After lunch I’ll set up my photo background and photograph any stock that’s clean, ironed and ready to go. Even if it’s not something that I’m going to be listing any time soon. For example I have quite a lot of stock at the moment that I am putting aside for the Autumn, but I like to photograph and pack away stock within a few days of buying it so it’s not getting in the way. My future self will also thank me for this when it’s time to list my Autumn stock and most of the work is already done!
I’ll then take all the stock photos I need, as well as any flat lays or styled pictured for me to use on my social media and blog to show off the products. I usually have a bit stock of photos that I’ve taken in bulk and can use them on social media throughout the next few weeks.
Measuring and Listing
I’ll then spend a little time finishing off any draft listings I created the day before and adding measurements and descriptions for each item. I do a few listings every day and usually wait until I have enough to launch a mini collection before I publish them.
By this time it’s usually time to get the kids from school and spend the afternoon with them. I usually finish work for a few hours and pick things up in the evening for a couple of hours. So I get on with the rest of my day and make dinner etc.
I like doing repetitive tasks in the evening while watching TV. I edit literally hundreds of photographs every single week and can do this with very little effort, so I find it quite relaxing to just sit and do this in the evening when the TV is on. I usually post between 5 and ten pictures of each garment and once I’m happy with all my images I’ll upload them to Etsy and create a draft listing to finish later.
Then I have just enough time for a bit of self care, chill time and some time with my husband before bed.
This routine works really well for me as it fits in well around my family. I have to be very organised and I usually use timers to block out certain amounts of time to get each thing done. I also definitely don’t follow the same routine every day and mix it up a bit. Some days if I’m tired I’ll make sure my day is far less full on. But I hope this gives you an idea of whats goes into being a full time vintage seller and all the tasks that I carry out to keep the business moving.
Of course I would absolutely love it if you could take a look at the Vintage Frills Shop. I add new things most weeks and at the moment there are some really lovely vintage treasures just waiting for their perfect home!
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