Here’s our interview with shop owner Whitney!
Not only does she have a fabulous booth full of vintage clothing, retro housewares, nostalgic giftwares and handmade accessories, but she is also our Fashion Show Director!
Check out the fashion show at 2 p.m each day to see her incredibly runway styling.
Where did your love for vintage come from?
It’s hard to say exactly, but I guess all the experiences throughout my life have shaped my love for anything vintage. I had a really great childhood which formed my imaginative and creative side, and I think ultimately became the basis for my love of nostalgia. Growing up in the country, I think I was always surrounded by a simpler and more traditional way of life, which is one of the things I love most about the past. Then in my teenage years, I became more interested in style/fashion, music and film, and that’s what helped me discover that most of my favourite things were from another time.
Have you ever loved a piece so much you decided to keep it for yourself? If so, what was it?
All the time! I love so many things but there are certain items that are just meant to be mine. It’s really hard for me to part with vintage swimsuits, as I love everything about them; the patterns, the construction, the fit, etc. I also love pieces that tell a story, maybe they’re monogrammed or part of some type of uniform. I like imagining the previous lives the item has lived and often keep those types of things for my own personal historical archives.
What’s your favorite vintage film?
Well, in terms of movies made years ago, I really love anything from the 50’s/60’s. One of my favourites is the film Bonjour Tristesse (1958) for the art direction and costumes. And although it’s a bit typical, Breakfast at Tiffany’s really helped introduce me to the world of fashion and film. Audrey Hepburn will always be one of my favourite style icons.
If you could own any piece from the past (jewellery, clothing, furniture, art etc.) what would it be?
Definitely the Fiat 600 Jolly car from 1958. These were designed for people yachting on the Mediterranean and would have been their “beach car”. It’s design features wicker seats and an optional fringed top to shield the passengers from the sun. And it’s just delightful and adorable and I want to live that 1958 beach life!
Did you always know that you would start this business?
Not always, at least not consciously. As a kid my dad owned a bookstore so I’m sure that inspired me in some way. I was always organizing events and little sales or clothing trades as a kid and would play store. It was really after attending Ryerson for Fashion Communication that I realized I wanted to work for myself and had started compiling a huge vintage collection, so the idea started to form then. But before opening, I was working on the idea for maybe 2-3 years.
What is the most rewarding thing about owning your own business? There are so many rewarding parts of owning my own store; getting to do the things that I love most and that I’m the most passionate about, choosing my own decor and enviroment, I cut my plastic when I need a specific thing made, I’m independent, not having to answer to anyone except myself, collaborating with amazing people, and sharing my life and finds with amazing customers.
What is it about pop-up shops and marketplace style events that you find the most exciting?
The people. It’s a great chance to meet other business owners, and since we’re all sued to working alone it’s nice to have that comradery for a few days. And the customers/attendees- it’s great to meet new people and share your store with them.
What about The Vintage Marketplace 2014 are you the most enthusiastic about?
Seeing all the other businesses and vintage regulars. Plus, I’m directing the fashion show this year, which features many of the vendors, so I’m excited for that. It’s been a while since I’ve been part of a fashion show and they are such a rush so that will be exciting!
What are you most excited to show your shoppers at The Vintage Marketplace?
My well-picked vintage and newly made retro-inspired products. I’m most excited about the high waisted bikinis by Esther Williams that I’ll be carrying this year and bringing to the VMP.
Final message to shoppers:
Can’t wait to meet you all at the show! Check out our website www.girlonthewing.ca for our seasonal lookbooks, blog and more information about the vintage and new brands we carry!