Sunday, August 8

Etsy Spotlight: Salvage Life

I've been a fan of Salvage Life Vintage on Etsy for a long time now. The curation of clothing, jewelry and accessories is just fabulous. But, there are some especially fun items that store owner Beth has been repurposing-- altering them from their original, sometimes unloved or forgotten, states, and giving them new, fresh, fashionable life!

Headbands made from bow ties.
Skirts, shortened and embellished with bows!

Beth graciously answered a few questions for me regarding her recent projects.

A little bit about you? 
I live in lovely Long Beach, California with my husband and one year old daughter. I spend my days at home with my daughter Ruby and together we run Salvage Life from a tiny breakfast nook in my 1923 bungalow. I have a BA in Merchandising and Design from Cal State Long Beach. 
What inspired you to start repurposing vintage pieces? 
I try to look at everything in life through the lens of potential. "What else could this be?" is a question I like to ask if something just isn't working in it's current form. A lot of what I sell isn't altered and it doesn't need altering, but sometimes I run across an item or category that needs a little face lift. My philosophy is to leave quality pieces alone, so I only alter things that are less than 20 years old or have damage of some sort. The backs of the bow ties used for the headbands were damaged and the skirts are from the 90's to the present. 
Do you have any tips for picking pieces to repurpose?
  1. Don't destroy the value ~ Many vintage clothing pieces have value that lasts beyond the current season, so don't cut something up that is in perfectly good condition.
  2. Leave the sewing to the professionals ~ If you know how to sew well, then reconstruction will be a lot easier, but if you don't there are lots of seamstresses out there who can do it for you.
  3. Imagine within reason ~ think of all the things a garment could be become and then balance that with what's in style and what looks good on your body.
Thanks, Beth! I didn't even realize until now that we are Long Beach neighbors. It's just a great area for vintage finds.

Lastly, here's one more fun resource that can be found on Beth's blog, a video on how to properly select vintage clothing for your wardrobe! 

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