Monday, July 30, 2012

Let's Get Personal

Hello all! I'd just like to thank all of our followers and shoppers for the support over our first year. July has been our best month ever and we really appreciate all the love. 

I'd like to share a little "behind the scenes" type thing with you. Some of the questions and comments I get on Etsy make me realize that some people may not know how much work actually goes into running a shop like this (especially single handedly). Just because we sell vintage and used clothing doesn't mean we just found a $2 tee shirt at a thrift store, and then threw it up on Etsy for 40 bucks. It's actually the opposite of that!
I've been getting several requests for discounts, or the prices to be lowered, and I've been accommodating to those who have asked, but at the same time, there are those who seem to be very demanding and not understanding of why the prices are the way that they are (and believe me, if you compare us to many other vintage retailers, we are on the low end!) I saw on Wildfox's blog a while ago, she did a whole breakdown of what goes into the making of Wildfox apparel and did a step by step guide to show everyone exactly why the costs may seem high. And it really put everything in perspective. I'd like to do somewhat of the same thing here. 

First off, as much as I'd like to have Some Velvet as my sole job, I actually have a full time 9-5 job Monday through Friday that I've been at for the past 5 years, and run a style blog (Being Perfect is Hard) that I update several times a day. So pretty much all of my "free" time is put into Some Velvet.  Luckily, selling and styling vintage clothing is something I love to do so it often doesn't feel like work to me.

Here's a little break down of how Some Velvet runs...

  1. Since I don't own my own car, every time I go in search of new inventory, I must rent a car. Luckily we're based in Philadelphia where we have a car-share program that lets you rent by the hour. Although this is convenient, it is pricey and can set me back about $30-$40 for just a few hours of time.
  2.  I usually go on my treasure hunts on Friday mornings. I go into work early, then leave with the rental car for a few hours, and hurry back to work for the rest of the day.
  3. My weekend is usually when I have the time to sort through all my finds. Each item that is going to be listed must be checked throroughly for flaws, all measurements must be taken, and a detailed description must be written. 
  4. I have a few different models who look good in pretty much anything you put them in, but I still have to think and plan who's going to look better in what. I style and accessorize all the oufits myself, and also take all the photos.
  5. I then crop and edit every photo, and upload them all to Etsy. 
  6. Next I start uploading images to Chictopia, my blog, this blog, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to promote our products.
  7.  After that, there's a lot of question answering and email responding that goes along with having an Etsy shop.
  8.  As orders come in, I package them all with colorful tissue paper and our business cards and flyers. 
  9. I've also recently started doing the Some Velvet Originals which are vintage pieces that I alter through hand sewing and hand dying. I usually have a new piece about once a week that I put up
Sooo all in all, the costs that go into running this shop include: rental car, paying the models, packing supplies, the cost of clothes themselves, promotional supplies, taking hours off of work to be able to do all of this, Etsy and Paypal fees, organizing lookbook shoots which include hiring models, photographer and paying all the expenses,etc. The hours that I put into the shop per week are probably about 10-15. 

I hope this info gives everyone a better understanding of what we do, and can help anyone who may want to open their own online shop. It's fun, rewarding, and lots of work.

Be on the lookout for our next giveaway coming sometime in August.
We'll also be shooting new Fall lookbooks soon, and starting to roll out our Fall vintage collection. Seriously, can't wait for Fall!

xoxox Jacci


  1. You do an AMAZING job. I had no idea that you had a full-time job, too, since everything looks SO professional and great! People seriously don't realize how much work goes into it. I wrote a blog post about pricing once here:

    From one seller to another, I thought you might find it interesting!

  2. Madeline! Wow, you did a really great job explaining it. For the most part I love everything that goes along with doing this, even if it does mean technically working 60 hours a week on top of my other job. Sometimes though, man people really get under my skin!

  3. Um I don't know why my name is coming up as "what are we?", but anyways I like the thing you said about considering anything 10 years or older as vintage. I think the same way.

  4. Oh you seems angry, anyway I can understand because I plan to open my Esty shop to sell my jewelries and I agree with you! Manage a blog and develop a shop cost a lot of time and money! I love your article ;) By the way, I love your world and your creation and I follow your blog and I would like to inform you that I've nominated you to "One lovely blog award", Congratulation! I hope this award will help you to keep smiling :)

  5. Thanks so much! I was hoping I didn't come off too angry, because I'm really not. As much as this past month has been great, I have had a few unpleasant encounters with customers who I bent over backwards trying to please, so I guess that's what sparked this whole post. Anyways, thank you for nominating me, that means a lot!

  6. amen!
    so much stuff goes into running an online store that people don't realize
    and pricing is the hardest because i want to keep my customers happy. i swear sometimes i dont event make a profit on some items.

    keep it up i love your stuff

  7. Great post! I get that annoying "why is it so expensive" question from people too. My answer is usually...
    "When you are nursing a banging hangover on Sunday morning, I am up with the lark, trotting around in a bitterly cold, usually muddy field somewhere on the outskirts of the metropolis trying to locate vintage gems at a market or car boot sale. I sometimes have to traverse the length & breadth of London Town, visiting charity shop after charity shop before finding that one elusive piece of vintage clothing I deem worthy of even putting in my shop, so you think I should sell it for what I bought it for...get lost and go to Primark!"
    No, people generally don't understand the hard work that goes into being a purveyor of vintage and the relatively small financial reward we independent sellers really yield.
    What I don't get is that the very same people bugging me about my prices would quite happily pay a premium for a vintage item at a high street store like Urban Outfitters.
    I have seen the stuff in these places and it is no way superior to my stock.
    Hopefully one day the penny will drop for the complainers and they will realize that they are actually getting a great deal when buying from the little guy or gal.
    Keep up the good work and best of luck with your business in the future.