Interview with Nicola from Little Sister
When did your love of fashion develop?
My love of Fashion has always been with me. A few years ago, I found a book that I had written when I was six years old, and it said one day I’m gonna be a fashion designer! So, although I don’t design many items of clothes, I feel I’ve fulfilled my dream!
How did you get started in vintage fashion?
I started selling vintage clothes on eBay. I was a power seller for many years and then I started selling at fairs and then I got my shop at Holdrons arcades 8 years ago and now I am at Market Peckham opposite Rye Lane station.
When it comes to running a vintage store, what is more exciting?
Finding an amazing item to sell, or watching someone purchase an item they have fallen in love with?
I love every aspect of the process. I love finding a great piece. I enjoy styling it in the window and most of all I love matching the right person to the perfect garment; then the whole circle is complete!
What is the best / rarest piece of clothing you have ever found while sourcing vintage?
I found a Victorian jacket. So was very excited about that!
What other creative pursuits do you have?
I dance Salsa; I create art on garments; I watch films and sometimes I draw!
With vintage clothing how do you view the emotional connection with purchases?
Customers often have an emotional connection with comments from the past. You may be buying something now that you can afford because when you were little, it was something you could only dream of, and the nice thing about vintage , you can often purchase something that you couldn't afford when you were younger. Also buying something that nobody elsewhere is wearing can create a whole new character and that’s why it’s so enjoyable about buying vintage clothing.
How has vintage clothing developed and changed in the time you have been involved in it?
Sourcing and selling vintage clothing is always changing! What someone wearing today is not what they will want in the future: that’s true for contemporary clothes, as well as vintage clothing!
Has the customer profile you have changed much?
Nope! The people of Peckham that loved vintage came to me for vintage picks and the people of Peckham come now that love vintage! We do get more tourists at the weekend though!
How would you describe your personal style?
I don’t have a personal style! I just enjoy my clothes! I buy with quality in mind; most of my wardrobe is vintage; secondhand or from sample sales and I buy so that they will last way into the future! Some of my clothes I have been wearing for over 20 years! The only thing I have stuck too is I wear the clothes; the clothes don’t wear me!
How has your business changed since the pandemic?
I changed location after the pandemic! That has been our biggest change.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new business venture?
My advice to anyone starting a new business is get a business mentor! Tree Shepherd is amazing. Also, talk to other businesses in your field about the pitfalls and successes!