Over Easter weekend I posted an open Q & A on my Instagram account @lunevintage. The questions that were asked really got me thinking about the past 7 years as a blogger, vintage dealer and mom. Most of these answers are copied directly from my responses on Instagram, and a few are one's that never appeared there. Thank you for all the great questions. I hope you enjoyed the answers!
@kelligalpin asked: "How did you get started selling vintage clothes?"
Here's a picture of me (source here) in the first independent Lune Vintage shop in Winnipeg which I shared with a friend (also a vintage clothier). 2008. My love for selling vintage began with housewares which I sold at craft fairs alongside handmade goods like painted signs and up cycled furniture. When I moved to my first vintage mall booth, I started to include clothing and it just took over. By the time I was in this shop, two malls later, I almost exclusively sold clothing.
@domino1973 asked : "How do you start a blog?"
This picture (source here) is from my very first blog post in August 2007. It's talking about the stock I have in my antique mall booth. I started blogging on Blogspot.com and at that time you really had to figure out HTML if you wanted a unique design with good navigation. But it was free and that was great for a beginner. These days I still suggest blogger for new blogs. It's still free and is way more user friendly than it used to be. You don't have to know any HTML or graphic design skills. If you are ok with a yearly fee, I suggest Squarespace. That's what I use for luneblog. The designs are modern and it's all drag and drop. You can use iphone pictures and photo editing apps to add visuals to your blog. It's easier than ever to have a nice looking site with the tools you already have.
@chadedgar asked: "What camera do you use for your IG page?"
Just before Christmas I bought my first iphone (5S) and yes, I really resisted committing to that monthly expense for a long time. But, the camera was finally good enough to convince me it was a worthwhile tool and I'm loving it now. So most of my Instagram pics are taken with the 5s. I also save pictures from my blog to my camera roll and repost those when I want to share something I'm doing on luneblog, or mention something from the past. This old photo is an example. In it is my camera, a Nikon D5100 DSLR. I have 3 lenses for it and it's still serving me well despite being about 4 years old. Before I had the iphone I used my iPod touch. That was my first IG tool.
@createlovesholly asked : "How long did it take you to establish the online presence you were working toward, in your early blogging days?"
Since the day the first Lune post was written, I have taken blogging VERY seriously. I am always looking for ways to improve myself in that area, and it's become a craft in itself. The more seriously I took Lune, the more attention it received. The support of friends like Elsie of A Beautiful Mess ( for example, in this article about running a Vintage business ) really spread the word about Lune, and I'll never forget that generosity.
"Do you ever go back in your blog archives and get embarrassed about what you posted?"
This kind of photo is what I blush about these days when looking back at the first years of Lune. Over edited and styled, it's almost cartoonish. I have warm memories of these days but I'm also aware that time has made a big difference for Lune. We've mellowed together.
@iamrichellerae asked: "What are your top three thrift stores to shop at in winnipeg?"
My top 3 are the MCC on Archibald because it's huge and super cheap, the Salvation Army on McPhillips because it's tidy and close to my work, and Bibles for Missions on McLeod because they have a vintage clothing section on the second floor. The selection is pretty kitschy / campy but it's still fun to visit every few months.
@tanyailarde asked: "What happened to Vintage Academy? Are you planning to teach any more courses?"
Good question. Short answer, TVA is not going to be released although most of the course was written and developed, I allowed too much time from announcement to completion. Another author has since used the name and concept - and although our course was coming from a slightly different angle it totally took the wind out of my sails and comes as a lesson learned (re-learned every so often) to hold my cards close. I don't have any firm plans to teach another vintage or blogging course, but I'm still open to the idea. Also, I'm going to publish a handful of my favourite lessons from the TVA ecourse on luneblog this year, here and there. Great question. Thanks for keeping up with lune happenings!
@aparalleloflatitude asked : 1. "What's your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?"
I have a long answer for this but the abbreviated version is that my fav part about blogging is how it has nourished my spirit, giving me the creative outlet I needed when I first became a mom, when I struggled with rough patches at my job, when I became a mom again and when I wasn't sure exactly what I was doing. Through it all, I've always enjoyed my blog. It's a really healthy outlet that's made me feel happy, fulfilled and well rounded. My least favourite part about blogging is a self induced pressure to keep up with the crowd. Sometimes I need to keep that in check and look over what I've created to remind myself the value of the blog isn't based on accolades or income. If it were, I would have abandoned ship years ago.
2. "How (if at all) do you think your kids will be effected by your families online presence?"
So far I don't feel like we are overexposed at all, but it's something I watch out for. Nothing is more important than my families well being and happiness. If that were compromised, the blog would find it's end. I hope that never happens though. Thanks for the thoughtful questions! I'll answer more as the day goes on.
@birdys_nest asked: 1. "Whats the top three things youve found in thrift stores?"
So many things! Most of my house is from thrift stores and estate sales! Three favs are my yellow low curvy 50's sofa which as only $20. A beautifully groovy pandora productions black light poster "Love is a Flower" and the king sized Swiss cross afghan you see in this picture. Annnnd lots of coats. I love vintage coats.
2. "And what advice would u give to someone who wants to start a blog."
Just start! You don't have to have a fool proof plan or a schedule of themed posts. Start an account with blogger or squarespace (most user friendly) and just jump in to your blog feet first. It's so fun to have your very own place on the internet.
@jodielayne asked: "Has it been getting harder to find good things while thrifting? Do you think the vintage reselling industry will completely deplete the good stuff from thrift stores or is there always someone out there giving away someone else's version of a treasure?"
Such a good question. Aging myself here (I'm 34 no secret) but in the mid 90's when I started thrifting in high school there was no problem finding clothes and wares from many eras. Vintage was just starting to become valuable (vs. antiques). Slowly availability for 50's and 60's vintage has been waining. It's being snapped up and less is coming into the market, a finite resource. But, the definition of vintage is constantly changing, a sliding scale of desirable eras. 80's and 90's stuff is hot now. I think if you retain the ability to be flexible and look with fresh eyes, you can be successful at finding treasure in the vintage market for a long time. Thanks for the thoughtful question!
@leonalane asked "Do you have any tips for camping with kids?"
Camping is fun but it's also work, and that's especially true when you bring little kids along. Add dirt, bug bites, fire, deep water, lots of places to get lost. Sound fun yet? Haha. We like to stay in parks which have modern amenities- no back woods hiking at this point. Finding a blend of easy hiking trails and places to bike or swim will make your days fly by and tire kids out so you can enjoy a drink by the fire. Nature hikes are my favourite. I let Luke use an old iPod to take photos of whatever he thinks is cool. It helps him focus on the incredible details of a natural environment while satisfying his technology itch. Camping is one of my favourite ways to really bond with my husband and kids. The tight quarters of our 14' vintage boler might have something to do with that sense of closeness... Thanks for asking!
@ms_cake asked : "Why are you so drawn to the moon?"
The moon, our closest celestial body, is a visual gateway into thinking on beyond our small problems. It's a cue to get out of our own heads and to see life as the miracle of billions of events which have lead us here. We are all connected, and in this together. Peace, patience, appreciation, love, and making every second of our brief existence as intelligent beings count. The moon reminds me of that often. It's also a baby name I considered when we didn't know if Luke was going to be a girl or a boy. Other names were, Eve and Azalea. 6 years later we named our baby girl Eve Mary Moon (Mary was my Nan's name).
@raquellalily asked: "Do you have any solid rules you live by when it comes to selling vintage? Like, how did you "find you voice"? I think I have an idea from following a few but you seem to really own it and I appreciate that individuality in such a busy market."
Thanks! Time kind of helps teach a vintage dealer what works for them and what doesn't. For me, I was always most successful selling the pieces which I loved personally. Maybe because i could afford to be choosy because I always had a steady part time pay check to turn to when stock was low. When you see vintage dealers straying from authentic vintage or eras that seem to define them it's often because they are relying on their vintage business as a sole income. Sometimes just to keep stock up you need to make some concessions when it comes to personal taste and authenticity. Vintage is a finite resource, and finding top shelf stuff when you're being very picky is tough. For me, it was always worth it to keep the collections small and specific. I love looking back at all the accessories and garments I've sold over the past years. Although I have to admit I lament letting a few gems go, I really enjoy having a record of my favourites. It helps keep me on track while shopping for Lune Vintage.
alaskajoy asked : "1) whats your favourite Colour? 2) whats your favourite ice cream flavour?"
My favourite colour to wear is black, white or grey (I know those aren't colours really). My favourite colour otherwise is yellow because it's so warm and happy and green because it's the colour of life.
My favourite ice-cream flavour is strawberry cheesecake, followed closely by mint chocolate chip!