A little bit of vintage comes to Geelong

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

A little bit of vintage comes to Geelong

In 2010 when the world of Facebook was still unfamiliar territory, Katie Perkins and Jai Spence took what started as a market stall and turned it into a thriving online business – all by posting a couple of vintage items on their page.

After returning from a lunch break, the six items posted had garnered a massive response and one the duo weren’t prepared for. Now six years later, the online site has around 250 items at one-time, the Facebook page features more than 200 thousand likes and the team have just opened their second physical store in Geelong.

“We started selling on Facebook and through that we got about 20,000 likes and launched our online store. Then two years later we started our first store [in Northcote],” Katie says. “It was so good because you could actually see the items on customers and they’d tell us what to get.”

The team has since expanded, with Nicole Chambers helping operation with the new store. Roles are divided amongst the team; Nicole often looks after shoots for the products and trips to America to source the vintage items are shared amongst the team. “Between us we’re very busy girls,” Nicole says smiling at Katie.

On speaking, Katie is fresh from a trip to America scouring, what they refer to, as the “Costco for vintage clothes” to ensure their customers have variety and endless options. This trip meant the Geelong store was able to be refurbished with 300 new items each week, ranging from Tommy Hilfiger denim jackets, Harley Davidson t-shirts to Seinfeld merch. Each item on the racks have been hand picked, allowing customers the chance to stand out from the crowd – which is in part an ethos of the brand.

“I think people love picking things that not everyone loves wearing, and that’s not mainstream. There’s also really cool shops like the Culture Machine where independent brands are doing the same thing and showcasing ’90s pieces,” Katie says.

shez CK17

Even the in-store mascot and Katie’s four-legged friend, her French bulldog Doris, is dressed in style. Often decked in a Harley Davidson shirt or colourful bandana. Factoring in the friendly, casual nature of Katie and Nicole, it all adds to the environment Vintage Marketplace has created.

“I think when people come into the store, they get what kind of environment we’re trying to create. We’re very different to every other brand and store where they go straight onto the steps of selling where we want to get to know and connect with the customer,” Nicole adds.

The hardest thing the duo often face when working in the store and scouting new items, is fighting the urge to keep them for themselves. “It does get hard when you’re picking stock, you just think, ‘Oh my god, no, think of the shop’,” Nicole laughs, before Katie adds “It’s hard because you think, ‘What do I want to keep for myself?’”.

With around 300 new items hitting the Geelong store each week, Katie and Nicole are happy to take requests from customers. In fact, that’s part of what they love about having a physical store front. “We’ve only been here three weeks but in those three weeks I feel really settled,” Katie says, who recently moved to Torquay.

Written by Amanda Sherring

Vintage Marketplace is located at Shop 10, 321 Pakington St, Newtown and is open Mon-Thurs 10.30am-5pm; Fri 11am-5.30pm & Sat 9.30am-4pm.

Website: http://vintagemarketplace.com.au/
Instagram: @vintage_marketplace_geelong