Sunday, 23 April 2017

#aprilget2knowavintagedealer

April has been a real insight for instagram using vintage lovers recently, as we've been witnessing a Spring-like bloom of instagram posts from vintage dealers across the nation and beyond, with users in Millwaukee (@bcmodernmke), Narbonne, France (@mllejoys) and throughout the UK. 

The brainchild of Rebecca, owner of Wish Vintage, a new hashtag is being used by vintage dealers to grow and connect our instagram community.


It's a fast growing trade which can often seem competitive and hard to break. But as highlighted by Rebecca herself, the hashtag is developing a supportive and friendly environment with room for everyone to develop their business and clientele.



I contacted Rebecca to find out more about #aprilget2knowavintagedealer, from its creator. 


I’ve been thinking of doing something like #aprilget2knowavintagedealer for a while now but it was just getting on with it. A few online vintage dealers were really supportive and some of them that weren’t IG savvy took the rest of the month to get set up to do it. I then felt under pressure to get it organised!!!

The list of themes were very me centred, thinking about how I came to be here, what I do, what I struggle with.  
I did a course very early on in my career as a vintage dealer, called the Vintage Academy; a one day course run by vintage legends Kate and Keeley. I learned a lot about branding and being your brand. Those were lessons I needed to hear, so I wanted to pass those on. 

I wanted #aprilget2knowavintagedealer to be a positive challenge and a chance to chat, but also a chance for people to show what they sell. After all we are businesses. Since doing this full time I have found that on-line is my virtual office.  Not just for work but for being at work, being with people. This is my new reality, and the more I have moved away from fairs the more I have become disconnected from meeting new dealers.


I think I am most looking forward to the City Break day, getting some new tips on where to go next. 
I was looking forward to the day when I put in for favourite place to shop as I guessed there might be lots of photos of boot fairs. I liked that feeling of us traders all being out there. My favourite answer was “France”.  People don’t give up their secrets do they!!!

I've messaged one of the participants because I saw that she had sold something off of the back of one of the posts.  She replied saying that she was mainly enjoying the challenge, the selling was a small bonus.  I’ve had a few messages and a card saying thank you.  And I think that is the point of a lonely job working at home.  We’ve created a community where we know we can relate to the hardships of what we do and seeing it much more positively through each others eyes. 


courtesy of @rainbowvintagehome on "My Collection" day.

I’ve followed a few new dealers and bought a few bits. There are some stand out people for me who really took the challenge by the horns! I’m impressed by how some people really understood some of what I was trying to achieve without my being explicit about it. I’ve been inspired by the enthusiasm of a lot of the dealers. I’ve been doing this for a long time now and its nice to feel reinvigorated! 


I have to say that Cheryl from @VRInteriors has really made me laugh on a couple of days - her Tretchikoff impression was a real stand out, bless her.  Also her brother referring to her home as Steptoes Yard.  Again for me I see that humour as having been important to showing that we are more than just sellers.  We are people doing this for a living and for a lot of reasons other than to make a lot of money.  Seldom does that happen!  


from top left: @alfie_robot_retro, @donnaflowervintage, @rainbowvintagehome, @vintagepantry, @wishvintage and @buttonbacked all showing "How We Relax", "Vintage Shop" and Rebecca with a tonne of selfies from a trading day at Festival of Vintage, featuring some of the #aprilget2knowavintagedealer challenge.

Ultimately I think that the challenge is useful on a number of levels other than selling vintage or networking. There has been some great advice about branding and some suggestions about who to use to do logos.  There are some inspiring posts about how people have displayed their collections or how their homes look.  But a vintage dealer covers a whole host of subjects from antiquarian books to vintage fabrics.  I would challenge anyone not to find something from one of these dealers!


Top advice from @marthas_attic

I’m really thinking about the future. There have been quite a lot of requests for future challenges so I am planning one for November, just in time for Christmas! Theme suggestions gratefully received and look out for #novemberget2knowavintagedealer
I’ve also got a lot of ideas (that I need to get on with) about ways to maintain this little community and expand on it. The hashtag has been so popular that a lot of people not taking part in the challenge started using it on their sales posts. I am afraid the police officer in me kicked in and they got a little told off. I wanted to keep the challenge pure. But you can’t argue with the benefit of using a popular hashtag on sales posts. Though I think it is key to understand that the success of this challenge has been due to the fact it hasn’t been about selling. Selling has been a bonus! Its a key way for me to move forward. Blatant selling is boring. Let's make it fun!  

It's definitely been something fun for traders to have a focussed reason to post a photo about ourselves and our businesses each day. #aprilget2knowavintagedealer has broken the "professional/personal" barriers and made me think a lot about the future of Pigeon Vintage and how keen I am to trade again. I've gained over 100 extra instagram followers, 20 new "likers" on Facebook and four unexpected sales as a result of this instagram challenge. 

From @pigeon_vintage profile... personal and professional working together
It's a refreshing way to refocus our online profiles and look at who we target outside of buyers; who might we want to work with in the future? What fairs might we want to add onto next year's calendars? Which city will we be taking our new buying and auction tips to?

I know I have some serious writing to get done, in order to add a lot of new ladies to the #VintageGirlGang!


And I also have some serious work and thinking to do in preparation for Rebecca's #novemberget2knowavintagedealer.  

There are still seven whole days left to make use of the hashtag, so don't miss out! Go find yourself some new online buddies, buyers and sellers.

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