About Me

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I'm a communications specialist with a passion for vintage and I run an online vintage business called Vintage Baubles & Bits.

I consider myself a saver of beautiful items from the past and a repurposer of treasures!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Where to Find Me in Kansas City - Bitterman's Eye Candy

My second semi-permanent location is at Bitterman's Eye Candy, also at the corner of 31st and Gillham.

This store is so fun - everyone is sure to love it! It combines an old-fashioned candy shop with lovely vintage finds. I have a small drawer in a lovely, big, old counter that's filled with vintage jewelry goodies.

Bitterman's is open Thursday-Sunday from 11-4pm. Come pick up a sweet treat and take home a lovely treasure while you're at it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Small Business Can Show Big Business How Customers Truly Deserve to Be Treated

I'm usually of the mindset that there is room for all kinds of businesses in this vast world and that we all serve our purposes. However, I like to support other local vendors/shops when I can. I love helping people achieve their dreams and be entrepreneurs. However, every now and then a big brand does something that really upsets me - they market in a very negative way or they make statements about their customers that are derogatory and demeaning.

Last week Abercrombie & Fitch was high in news feeds, but not for a good reason. Their CEO put out a blanket statement that their clothing was only for thin, good-looking, popular people and that they cater to that audience by not producing sizes past a large for women and by burning any damaged clothing instead of donating it, in order to only allow their brand to be on people that fit their ideal customer.

I work in marketing and advertising as my day job, I completely understand going through the process of figuring out who your target market is and creating products and advertising to reach that market. So yes, on paper the brand persona for A&F is probably exactly what their CEO described. However, there are ways of reaching your target market without blatantly stating who you DON'T want buying your product. A&F's CEO's comments show you the bad way. 

I've never owned an item from their shop, not purposefully, but because when I was in the demographic they were looking to hit, my family couldn't afford their clothing. After I became an adult and started purchasing my own clothing, I never desired anything in their shop and I just bought things I liked and yes, I started thrifting and wearing vintage pretty early on. I've never had an affinity for their brand. I now am in the category of being "too fat" for their store, which again, is ok with me, as I don't miss the "opportunity to be one of the cool kids" that A&F is apparently trying to sell you with their clothing.

Until last week I hadn't spent an ounce of brain power even remotely thinking or caring about A&F. I'm not their target customer and I get that. I'm not upset they don't advertise or market to me. I do however dislike big brands that are negative and market themselves in a way that makes their customers feel bad about themselves. The idea of "reverse marketing" or making your target market believe that they will not be something positive or good without your product is one of my least favorite marketing tactics. Being a kid/young adult is hard enough without a brand coming out and saying, "Look, you'll never be good enough to wear our clothing." What a horrible message!  

That said - I like this gentleman's idea (the video is great!)

And I like it because while it shows A&F that they have misjudged their customer base and most-likely hurt their sales, it does it in a positive way. While A&F's ideal buyer may be pretty, thin and popular, that doesn't mean they aren't also smart, socially conscious or that they like being talked about like prize dogs at the AKC open. The project started by Greg Karber gives customers a chance to take a stand by doing something positive with A&F's negativity - giving back to the homeless.

Checkout the #Fitchthehomeless project. If you have A&F clothing you're willing to donate, wonderful! And to all my thrifting sisters and brothers out there, consider throwing a few A&F shirts into your carts while you're out treasuring hunting and giving them to the needy :)

We in small business and especially in the vintage and resale market can do something positive to show a big business brand how customers truly deserve to be treated!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Where to Find Me in Kansas City - Cowtown Mallroom

Most of you know by now that Vintage Baubles & Bits has moved from St. Louis to Kansas City. We've also changed up where and how we sell too! Here's a glimpse of one of our new venues: Cowtown Mallroom.

Located at the intersection of 31st and Gillham in the midtown area of Kansas City and right across from Martini Corner - this old music venue, turned flea market is a fabulous way to spend a Sunday! Open every Sunday from 11-4pm there are two floors of crazy awesome vintage, antique and eclectic wares.

Vintage Baubles & Bits is located on the second floor. We have an alcove room that runs along one side of the hall. You'll see our green curtain and know you found us!

One of the coolest things about Cowtown is the live music - every week from 3-4pm a band or singer plays a free show! Yes you saw right - FREE. It's a great way to be introduced to local bands/musicians and have fun wondering around finding your perfect treasure.

Come see us soon!

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Favorite Ways to Wear Vintage Brooches

I posted awhile back about all the wonderful things you can do with vintage brooches (see posts 1-10), but "That brooch is cute, but I never wear brooches" is still one of the most common things I hear at a show. I don't wear brooches the traditional way very often either, so I get it. However - I have a few brooches that I adore and I do wear, but not the way you'd most commonly think!

I rock brooches the most often in two ways - as scarf holders and as necklace accents.

What do I mean by scarf holder? I mean that personally, I'm always frustrated when I get my scarf in just the right shape/style and then the ends start popping out or it comes undone. So I use a vintage brooch to help keep my scarf in just the style I like! This brooch was a part of my great-grandma's collection. It's a vintage Sarah Coventry Owl and my favorite part - the glasses move! I'm such a geek that this brooch makes me happy beyond words :)

My second favorite way to wear brooches is to combine them with vintage necklaces. I love taking two or three complimentary necklaces and then attaching a vintage brooch across them to tie everything together. It makes a statement without being too clunky or heavy and the best part - I can switch the brooch out to compliment any outfit! I personally like using flower brooches for this, but as long as the brooch is big enough, anything works!

What's your favorite way to rock a brooch? Share in the comments below!