Wendy Williams had been a buyer of second-hand and vintage clothing for 20 years when she began to weave a business venture of her own.
The concept for her sustainable fashion company, Sustain Remain Vintage, was first created as she recuperated from surgery, looking at businesses across the pond for inspiration.
Realising the current mood for climate change and the importance of reducing, reusing and repurposing, Wendy felt inspired to encourage others to find a love for the preloved in building her small business.
The common thread
Alongside Wendy’s appreciation for high quality, trend-led pieces is a desire to be truly sustainable, and vintage clothing remains at the heart of this.
Each garment chosen by the mother and daughter team is fun and has a story of its own – one that Sustain Remain Vintage hopes to be a part of, and pass on.
“When you buy vintage, not only do you own a little bit of history but you are supporting the slow fashion movement, saving some of the 35kg of clothes we all throw away each year in the UK.”
Seeking out those small gems that someone will love, is the driving force for Wendy. And, while choosing preloved garments guarantees something completely unique, it also keeps them out of landfills and allows them to live on, either as they are or reworked into a new design.
This small business owner knows all too well that the cost of fashion is much more than a price tag so, when items are past their best, they are reworked into something else, from blouses, shirts and tops to dresses and jackets. And all for a really important reason, because “sustainability isn’t a trend – it is absolutely vital.”
Something old, something new
A new business, founded on old garments has had its challenges though, and Wendy explains that finding suitable stock at an affordable price isn’t always easy.
For her, the business is not about buying the most wanted vintage clothing and marking it up by 100%. Instead, the preloved stock needs to be of a good quality and trend-led.
Careful research, through price point to high street trends, has been really important in the making of Sustain Remain Vintage, and her advice to anyone starting out would be market research and looking at all the data.
“Just because you sell it doesn’t mean people will buy it! Training and skilling-up are absolutely vital. If you can afford to have a professional in an area you are not confident in, do it! Don’t give up, find the answer, find someone else who can do it if you don’t know how to, and enjoy the challenge. Research, research and research!”
Rolling up her sleeves
Wendy acknowledges that e-commerce is tough and even more so right now, in the midst of a pandemic. So when she discovered GoDaddy’s Virtual High Street Event, hosted on Facebook over the Easter period, she thought it was a great way to showcase her small business.
“As small business owners, we need all the help we can get! Virtual markets are a cost-effective way of reaching a large number of people and gaining exposure, rather than a stand at a show. There does appear to be a supportive dialogue there, rather than a competitive spirit. Most want to help others out.”
On building her website with GoDaddy, Wendy said she found the process simple, fast and easy-to-understand, especially for a “complete novice”.
Wendy utilised the assistance of “really helpful” GoDaddy Guides who helped her when she was starting out on her online journey to ensure her website looked the business. She also found the customisable templates gave her web design a real made-to-measure feel.
GoDaddy’s reputation, easy pricing structure and professional-looking websites were three elements that helped her decide that GoDaddy Website Builder was right for her business.
If you’re inspired by Wendy’s story and ready to start your online journey, we’re standing by ready to help.
At GoDaddy we’re all about empowering every idea, business, side hustle or nonprofit cause to claim their place online and look great at the same time.
And guess what? We love hearing about your success stories. In fact, we want to shout about them! Get in touch with us on social media and share a link to your website and we may well be in touch to feature you on our blog.