Thursday, September 5, 2013

Etsy confessions: Vic & Lily


I'm super excited to be sharing a new Etsy Confessions interview today.  I first came to learn about Vic & Lily when I went for a yummy meal at Grassroots Pantry.  On a side table at the restaurant was a small stack of postcards advertising for a Etsy shop selling vintage clothing that was based right here in Hong Kong! 

I could hardly wait to get home to check out her shop online.  It turns out that, among other things, Vic is a server at Grassroots Pantry and that was why her postcards were there.  Since checking out her shop, Vic & Lily, I've met her on a number of occasions at the Island East Market and for tea.  I always enjoy our conversations (about travel, music, haircuts, etc...) and we share a love for old, historic Hong Kong.  The last time I saw her, we chatted about the book Gweilo by Martin Booth.  What would it have been like to see Hong Kong at that time, I wonder.


So, here she is.

How would you describe yourself?
What I usually say is vintage lover, photo taker and noodle soup lover. Not sure whether this actually describes me or not. I have a love for things of the past whether it be clothing, furniture, architecture...anything with a mysterious story. I'm a little eccentric. 


What are your interests? Your profession? Your aspirations?
I love to wander...especially in places I've never been before (sometimes its because I'm lost hehe), its been awhile but I love taking my cameras out on adventures and snapping curious things I see. Hong Kong is particularly good for that. I am a Freelance Clothing Designer, mainly working on womenswear but I have designed everything from ladies, mens and childrens' wear. The latter being very fun.


 I would love to build my vintage brand, the idea is to not only source vintage but to use pieces to create new designs. I have a whole box of great prints and fabric that were in less than beautiful styles. One day I would love to have a brick & mortar shop...we shall see. 

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy and how long have you been on Etsy?
I was looking for a way of selling on vintage items I had that I no longer wanted, I knew that they were quite special and didn't want to just throw them away. I had heard of Etsy through work as we used it as a source of inspiration. It seemed the perfect platform, and it was super easy and quick to set up. The shop has been open now for about 2 and a half years...the community is great I love being able to send and receive things from all over the world. 


What is the significance of your Etsy shop name?
Vic & Lily was a name I came up with when I still lived in the UK. It incorporates my name with a version of my middle name. I wish there was something more meaningful behind it.

Where do you source items for your shop?  What do you look for?
I source majority of my items here in HK, many of them being from Japan. Whenever I travel I try to thrift too. I have found many a good item when I visit the States. I am always on the lookout for great printed items, silk blouses and unusual silhouettes. Its always a good day when I come across a designer item.  


What do you like about Etsy?
As I seller, I love how easy and user friendly the site is to showcase my items. They continue to update settings to make everything run smoothly. It makes me happy sending packages all over the world. 

As I buyer, I love that you can find handcrafted and vintage items from all around the world. I especially love the jewellery that you can find. In HK its hard to find cute handcrafted affordable pieces...or at least I have trouble finding them, so its a blessing to have shops just a click away. 


And, on the day that I met up with Vic to have a cup of tea and a bit of brekky, she was wearing a fabulous sequined collar necklace.  I went home and sent her an email to see where she got it, To my surprise, I learnt that she in fact made the necklace (which I foolishly forgot to get a picture of) herself.

Do you ever make those collar necklaces to sell?
I have thought about it. I used leather from a pair of trousers I made into shorts...always upcycling and recycling.  I have all the materials, I just need the time.  Might try to do some for the next market.  Will keep you posted.   I love it.  Another thing we have in common.  Upcycling, recycling and breathing new life to garments (or bits of garments) that others have discarded.

Please check out her Etsy shop.  It really is one of my favorites.  And, just for you lovely readers, she's offering 15% off until the end of September by using the coupon code VICLILY2.

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