One of the MANY amazing opportunities afforded to us Miss Pinup Australia contestants is the opportunity to be sponsored by the crem de la creme of Australian Vintage businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of any scene and this cannot be more true for vintage small businesses that provide us midcentury fashion lovers with beautiful items that we would otherwise spend hours and hours trawling through opshops, garage sales and attics for.
Today I have the great pleasure and privilege of interviewing Peachy Keen Collections, a sponsor of Miss Pinup Australia. I thank them for being involved with such an amazing competition that has helped me on my journey of self discovery and empowerment.
Hello! Tell us where the idea of Peachy Keen Collections came from?
Peachy Keen Collections began 7 years ago after I came to the realization that my vintage collection had grown to huge proportions and many items deserved a new life rather than being stored in my wardrobe, unworn. I purchased my first vintage dress when I was 12 years old with pocket money. It was a 1920’s wedding dress and no one could understand why I would want to spend my money on such things. I have been passionate about vintage clothing ever since.
What drew you to vintage and retro items, particularly clothing?
I think the thing that draws me to vintage is that each piece has a story and history. Many of the 1940’s and 1950’s garments I have collected are hand made, with such attention to detail and such an expert hand. Women of this era often did not own many clothes so each piece was carefully selected or made and treasured for a lifetime. I have the privilege of being able to continue to treasure these items and to help them find new homes to continue their journey.
What is your favourite find to date and what is its story?
It’s so difficult to select just one item that I’ve had over the years! There have been amazing swimsuits and party dresses and evening gowns that have made me catch my breath and I’ve had items from wonderful designers like Oleg Cassini, Ceil Chapman, Kamehameha and Emma Domb. There is a darling swimsuit currently in my collection that I just adore though, by Australian label “Scamp” which has so many amazing features and is the best mid century modern print I’ve seen. This bathing suit came from a private collection that has been stored for over 30 years and the original owner had forgotten they even owned this one until they opened the box for me. It was like finding treasure!
What is it like running your own Vintage clothing business? What are some challenges you face as a small business owner?
Peachy Keen Collections is my third business. I have had my own businesses since I was 19 and it is something I truly enjoy. Peachy Keen Collections is the first time I have had the opportunity to mix business with leisure though as I find most aspects of it to be fun. I think the biggest challenge is running a business at the same time as working full time and raising children. It becomes something of a juggling act and I have to be highly organised to manage everything. Being an online business, this means that I find myself working at 4am some mornings, midnight some nights and fitting it in around everything else! It’s not ideal but it does work well for me.
What is your favourite part of running Peachy Keen Collections?
I love the satisfaction of matching a customer to an item. When someone tries on a dress and it fits like it was made for them, I am as excited as the customer. I also love being at vintage themed events and seeing people in items I sold them!
What is your advice to women who want to start their own small business?
The best recommendation I can give to other female entrepreneurs is to find something you love and pursue it with passion. It can be difficult to maintain excitement for a business during tough times so if you don’t love it in the first place, it becomes too easy to give up. Networking is important, as is a really serious approach to providing old fashioned, high level customer service.
You can find Peachy Keen Collections on Facebook