This week I interviewed longtime ebay seller - Meloo! The gal behind the seller name is Melissa. Melissa, started selling on ebay the same time that I started in 1998. Over the years, she has consistantly had fabulous awe-envy-jealousy inspiring, drool-inducing vintage stock. She finds pieces that you could imagine movie Goddesses like Clara Bow, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow or Rita Hayworth wearing, and makes them available for you to wear.
I sent a list of questions to Melissa and asked her to choose some of her favorite items that she currently has for sale. Enjoy the interview and the fabulous vintage!
1. Please give a brief history of how you ended up selling vintage clothing -
*Melissa - I grew up watching old movies and fell in love with the glamour. As I got older I haunted thrift shops in the sketchier parts of town much to my parents dismay, on to vintage clothing shops in the Baltimore/DC area and began my love affair with vintage clothing. After slinging whiskey in bars in DC we moved to Richmond, VA and I decided to pursue my interest in antiques so I had a space in shops in historic Ellicott City, MD and Fredericksburg, VA selling primarily MCM, Art Deco, 50's Hoosier/dinette sets and American Empire furniture and whatever I saw that I thought was cool.
A friend showed me ebay in March of '98 and I knew this was something that I could do, a good way to sell some of the vintage clothing that I no longer wore, or things that didn't sell at the shop. So we got a computer and I listed a cool 50's Gabardine Car club jacket with an embroidered mad scientist on the back and it sold for $450...I was HOOKED!
2. What kind of vintage clothing can customers find in your store -
*Melissa - I sell vintage from the 1900's-the mid 60's, I tend to go for the glamorous gowns that I loved in the old movies...30's bias cut gowns, embroidered piano shawls, a stunning Edwardian or 20's jeweled lame' gown to great 40's and 50's resort and cocktail attire along with the shoes, purses and jewels to match! Usually you'll find 20's, and 30's evening gowns on my ebay site...at the moment as I prepare for a large buying trip I am mostly doing summer skirts, bombshell swimwear, Hawaiian, and cotton dresses but next week I'll have some Victorian and an AMAZING Turkish Ottoman Empire Gold Metal Brocade Anteri Robe c.1850, so occasionally I'll find something unusual!
3. Do you have a philosophy on buying, collecting or selling vintage clothing -
*Melissa - I buy what I love. Condition is important, but generally my reaction to something is immediate - if I have to think about it, it generally won't end up doing well for me. I don't have a huge inventory, I travel a lot and like to be able to buy what I want without it taking over our house...something my husband appreciates!
4. What makes you excited about vintage clothing, what keeps you interested in it? *Melissa - I have no poker face...I'm that girl who walks into a shop and gasps "Oh, My GOD....that is GORGEOUS!! Can I see that a little closer? I'll take this...and this...oh, and THIS...etc" I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE beautiful old clothes...I love meeting wonderful people who take the time to tell me when they wore a dress, the fun they had in it and how much it meant to them, it never gets boring - when I think that I've seen it all, I come across an estate with the most stunning gowns that I've seen yet, and I've made great friendships with some really fabulous dealers along the way as well.
5. What sort of items do you collect personally - vintage clothing, antiques, weird stuff or otherwise -
*Melissa - I collect purses - from beautiful jeweled Art Deco, to Lucite, to insane 50's wicker basket purses exploding with fruit or plastic flowers, I collect clothing/purses/shoes with birds (I'll have a blog on myspace with pieces from this collection soon!), Jeweled Burlesque costumes, leopard, Art Deco anything, 40's Hawaiian, wild 50's sunglasses with fins and rhinestones, beaded sweaters (I have 150 all organized by color) cashmere sweaters with dyed to match collars...I have them in every color, jeweled vintage shoes, and costume jewelry....and I am a very into music and still have a vinyl collection somewhere near 2,000....that's it off the top of my head.
6. What are your future plans, where do you see yourself in 2-3 years with selling Vintage?
*Melissa - That's an excellent question, I worry about how the changes ebay has made will affect us all and where it as a website will be in 2-3 years, I really like the thrill of auctions and so a website doesn't give me the rush of seeing something get bids and the hopes of seeing it do especially well, perhaps a shop, maybe shows....you never know!
7. List all of the places where you sell - online, walk-in shops, events, shows -
*Melissa - At the moment you can find me on ebay and Babylon Mall. Meloo on Babylon Mall
8. Do you have a blog -
*Melissa - Well, sorta. I have what might pass for a blog on myspace that I am going to TRY and do more regularly, but I suppose the answer is mostly NO ;)
9. What other groups or social networks do you belong to - (myspace, stylehive, stylefeeder, polyvore, flickr, facebook etc.) List them all -
*Melissa - I'm on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/meloo_vintage and the Vintage Fashion Guild and always swear that I will pick an hour each day to keep up with the vintage boards that I belong to and do more marketing/joining groups such as the ones above....did I mention that I travel a lot?!
10. Show me a few of your favorite items that you currently have for sale and explain what you like the most about them -
*Melissa - On Babylon Mall is the most INCREDIBLE sapphire blue silk velvet dress from the late 30's - with copper and turquoise beads....it is not only gorgeous it is in EXCELLENT condition...one of the most beautiful, and softest silk velvets that I've had
On ebay my favorite pieces for summer are: This total SEXPOT Lime Lame' Jantzen Swimsuit
Fabulous, RARE 30s/40s Bakelite and Real Bamboo Sunglasses
AMAZING 50's Catalina/Jim Tillett Pin-up Swimsuit w/Matching Skirt
And a Great pair of 40's Coral Suede Peep-toe Sandals w/Wooden Flex-i-soles
So go check out all of Meloo's Fabulous Vintage - Meloo on ebay and Meloo on Babylon Mall
Read the previous Vintage Bulletin Interviews
Bye for now, Carol