Meet Betty Rae, a veteran shop owner in Fort Mojave, Arizona.
What attracted you to vintage? Buying it? Wearing it?
I have known nothing but vintage, pre-owned or handmade clothing. My mother's unique vintage style and costume designer / seamstress skills turned me on at a very young age. I went on to study fashion history at college and love theater costuming and historical period dramas.
What inspired you to open your vintage shop?
When my previous career shut-down due to the pandemic. I went full-time online fashion reseller. No more dabbling. I graduated from collector to curator.
Tell us a little about your collection? Is it decade specific? Size specific? Themed in any way?
My personal collection includes a few Victorian treasures, but primarily 1920s - 1960s with a focus on 1940s power suits. My current store collection includes wearable 1930s to 1980s fashion and accessories, gender & size inclusive - sustainable style without waste.
If you could dress any celebrity or public figure (past or present) who would it be?
Dame Judy Dench
What is the hardest thing about being a vintage shop owner or collector?
Not sure how to answer this....curating a vintage collection for others to enjoy and treasure is nothing but pleasure for me. Maybe it's hard to sleep when there is so much fashion to do.
Why did you decide to join Thrilling?
I watched a video with one of my favorite vintage clothing reseller YouTubers Brittany from Shop Foxburrow and she talked about the 'new platform' shopthrilling.com, so I checked you out and applied.
Is there anything interesting, special we should know about your shop or collection?
I spent years rescuing food resources as a non-profit 'without waste' community source for blemished ugly produce and unwanted goods. We saved millions of pounds of fresh edible vegetables from the landfill and due to the overwhelming amount of cloth donations we received, offered a free community clothes closet. With that knowledge and the sheer volume of global fashion waste, reselling pre-owned clothing was a perfect fit for me. I never say no to a special vintage garment that needs a little TLC - if it can be salvaged, rescued, cleaned, repaired or upcycled with a quick stitch, a set of new old buttons or darning a hole - then it comes home with me so it can find a new life and a new home. I have strong Vegan sentiments, yet rather than perpetuate animal-use mistreatment, environmental pollution and land-fill waste, I choose to seek out leather goods, denim, cotton - silk - wool and fur as a pre-existing sustainable resource. There is nothing like the structure and longevity of 70's double-knit polyester or a well-made leather boot!