For 27-year-old Maria Layton, a hobby of hers became a lucrative business when she finally decided to take a leap of faith and open her online vintage shop, Juniper and Honey.
Maria would buy vintage clothing from thrift stores that she found intriguing, even if they didn’t quite fit, because she believed them to be treasures too good to pass up. Though she sells primarily through the online trade site Etsy, Maria hopes to one day open a storefront in her hometown of Pittsburgh. “The main benefit of selling online is that I can share my clothes with people from all over the country and not just in my area. I do dream of one day owning my own storefront, while continuing to sell online,” she explains.
She carefully selects clothing that she believes will sell, by following her own fashion instincts.
“I’ve realized the best pieces are ones that I would actually wear. I’ve noticed my buyers and audience are people who have the same style as me, therefore if I would wear it, they would too,” she said. However Maria is often tempted to hold on to some of the pieces that she finds for herself. She says that the joy of selling the pieces is what prevents her from keeping them all for her self. “I get to make someone happy, knowing that they get to create memories in their new clothing, not me. It is teaching me to let go, not just of material things, but I’m noticing it’s helping with my mental health as well.”
Though vintage trends seem to be making a comeback in fashion in the last few years, for Layton, it’s always been her style. She also spoke about shopping second hand’s environmental advantages:
In my opinion, vintage won’t ever go out of style. It will always be changing because as time goes on different things become vintage. // Theres a lot of environmental gains coming from shopping through small businesses and stores like mine. It’s pretty much recycling. I won’t get into the fast fashion intensity too much, (watch the documentary The True Cost on Netflix for some feels) - but 90% of clothing that I’m selling was actually made in the USA between the 50s - 90s. Which back then, we created over 80% of our clothing. Now, America produces less than 3% of its clothing. Purchasing from a small clothing business like mine not only keeps my bills paid and warms my heart, but it keeps the vintage one of a kind finds that were made in America circling.
Check out Maria’s one of a kind online shop Juniper and Honey for your fill of unique vintage clothing at an affordable price!