Manic Rave Vintage
"Mainstream fashion follows certain palettes and trends every season, so as a creative, I find this restrictive. I believe in creating our own individual looks to express ourselves freely."
Where it all started
I studied fashion at university, but I wasn’t sure the industry would be for me as it appeared to be fake and pretentious. I enjoyed the creation process, but I realised my gothic-style designs didn’t have much of an audience.
During this time, I became more aware of the vintage market. I was drawn to the history and quality of the clothing and I loved the ability to adapt pieces or modify them to take them to a new level. The sustainability also provided better value than items found on the high street.
Five years ago, I met Rina, my partner’s Grandma, who was an Italian dressmaker from the 50’s. I used to take vintage pieces with me when I visited her and we would sit together and hand embroider over any holes or customise the items to make them a bit more personal. I learnt so much from her, especially sewing buttonholes by hand, which have now become a signature of mine.
During the Rebel Business School, I set up Manic Rave Vintage. Rina (who passed to Covid in March 2020) inspired me to build a brand using traditional techniques of hand sewing and embroidery.
I set up my Etsy shop in November, selling vintage and re-worked pieces and I have already made a few sales. I have also taken part in Virtual Vintage Fairs.
Manic Rave Vintage was something I wanted to push because, having a disability, not all employers are understanding. I also believe the pandemic spurred me on. I came to a point of working at a job I was so unhappy in and I just wanted to do something I love and am passionate about.
I have created a more relaxed, funny side to Manic Rave Vintage by introducing my Dad with his own online character, Papa Rave. This is to show that even at 80 years old, you can still rock vintage and prove that clothing can be gender neutral.
I would rather try and fail, than not try at all. I have more drive and passion to push my own business and ideas. Being able to create this business has given me confidence in myself and in my choices. I might not be making bucket-loads of money, but I am happy. It’s not easy but I’m determined to make it work.
I believe it is nice to have a story behind each item so instead of choosing wholesale stock, I like to source my fabrics internationally so that I can personally select each piece. The pandemic has meant I’ve slightly struggled to get new stock in but I don’t like throwing fabrics away so I can always re-work pieces to be more ethical and eco-friendlier.
I really want to build up my brand by developing my website and creating more audience engagement on social media. I can’t wait to get out there and interact with potential customers. I’m hoping once restrictions lift, I can keep pushing my dream ahead and get my own market stall.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/manicravevintage/
Make money doing what you love.
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