1) How did you get started in vintage? Was it always a love for you or was it happenstance?
I have always loved vintage clothing particularly clothing from the 70s, and did most of my searching on line as I was living in India, Dubai and Bahrian where there is not much access to vintage clothing. It was only after coming to Canada that I was really able to source the clothing for myself and after that I thought why not source it for others too…..and that was how Sparrow Lyn was born. After that it was only natural that I would want to integrate my Art into this and that was how I started illustrating for my T-shirts. Sparrow Lyn has been a work of love that evolved into something that I am truly passionate about and excited to see grow.
2) What is your typical day like as a vintage seller?
A typical day would have me sending off my two daughters & hubby to school & work respectively, walking my dog ‘Coach’ and then ‘dressing’ for work…yes I dress up even though my office is in my basement – just puts me in the right frame of mind, plus it gives me a reason to try on new styling ideas. I start off with inspecting the clothes, sort by category and then photograph. My in laws are vacationing (from India) with us for the Summer and they take care of all the mending and altering of stock. Then I do the photography and start the uploading. My favorite part is dressing ‘Bella’ up (the mannequin). I love creating the whole outfit and then accessorizing to complete the look. I am currently studying Art at The Academy of Realist Art Toronto and my week is split up between school, the shop and family. After 18 yrs in the corporate world this is a nice change to the fast pace of my earlier life and a life I am truly ‘present’ in.
3) What has surprised you the most about setting up shop?
That people love vintage as much as I do, that they are willing to make a purchase without having the product in their hand.
4) What is something interesting about your method of finding items for your shop?
I think we all have our systems / rituals in the way we trek the stores we source from. What I never fail to hit is the nightwear rack – I always find the best things there. I think when the people working there have something that does not fit in with the other racks they put it in the nightwear rack and most of my treasures were found there. So there is my dirty little secret ! trust me on this……..try it yourself.
5) What is your favorite thing about selling vintage?
It would definitely be spotting a vintage piece and then falling in love with the workmanship. Clothes are just not made like they used to. The detailing of the zip, pleats, cuffs……..everything. You know that skilled hands transformed a piece of fabric into something exquisite.
The other thing I like about selling vintage is the packaging. I love packaging gifts……every year I plan in advance what theme I am going to use for gift wrapping the Christmas gifts. One year I used cookie cutters as the toppers, another year we used old maps to gift wrap with old leather belts to tie them up. So of course I pay a lot of attention to gift wrapping each purchase. I use white tissue paper and red raffia, then tie a little brass birdie as the topper, with feathers and beads………my own little work of art.
6) What are some of your favorite items in your shop?
Some of my favorite items in the Sparrow Lyn collection are the Caftans………….anything long in length appeals to me……….maxi dresses, skirts, long tops. My absolute favorite would be the black velvet Caftan, it has got wood buttons and pockets and a whole lot of edge! Paired with ankle cowboy boots and a fringe bag it would make you feel like a Bohemian Rock Star!