Much of fashion today is regarded by many as disposable but local online business owner Michaela Ryan plans to change this by giving new life to vintage wears in her business, The Vintagearian.
Establishing the business in 2013, Michaela says her life long love of op-shopping fed her desire to have a store that sells one-of-a-kind, sustainable clothing. “I adore vintage clothing, particularly the history behind each article and the fabrics that they are made of that aren’t used anymore. So finding a beautiful handmade vintage item makes me very happy because I know it’s completely unique.”
Michaela studied fashion, completing a Diploma of Merchandising and Marketing, and managed several boutiques in the city, till she decided to take a break. “I began The Vintagearian after a pause from working in fashion where I worked in a few roles, from sales to customer advocacy. But I felt that life was too short to not be doing what I loved, so I resigned and began working on creating my own business the very next day.”
Creating a unique business like the Vintagearian comes with its challenges as gathering and collecting the right pieces is labour intensive, she says. “The stock is unique because I only find one of each item. The majority of my clientele are women who like to look good without breaking the bank, and usually don’t have time or opportunity to op shop much themselves.”
Aware that good vintage clothes are at a premium, Michaela began the Vintagearian being
committed to vintage wear, but has over time diversified to include modern clothing and now has a mix of both.
Hosting online fashion theme nights on weeknights in styles like polka dots, birds, horses, Hawaiian or, her fashion is as eclectically as Melbourne, offering clothes that she herself would want to wear. “You will see the many facets of me in the clothes I sell. A little vintage, a little boho, a little rock chic, and a little gothic as well as some great corporate clothing. I choose pieces that I would love to wear, that feel wonderful and sometimes have that unique quirkiness.”
Michaela says while it can be a challenge to run a business mainly through social media (mainly Facebook and Instagram) she says getting to know her customers is one of the perks.
“Melbourne is a fashion capital and the turnover of fashion is quite fast. The Melbourne
climate sees us wearing many layers, and we definitely get more wear from our
winter items than warmer states. We also love a lot of black. Luckily, I also
adore colour, so there is something for everyone,
no matter what your style…”