Excerpts from my book, The Divas of Coral Rose
Here is a list of characters, I have protected their identites to a degree, only they will recoginize themselves
CG - Classy Girl, CS - Christian Stripper, TL - Tea Lady, HM - Her Majesty,
WP- Writer Photographer, TB - True Beauty, BP - Big Pain,
PM - Perfect Model, BF - Best Friend, HR - High Roller
How not to make a business successful;
Make friends with all your customers, they will close you down for sure.
I started in this business by happenstance. My daughter dated a man who’s mother owned a Vintage Clothing booth in a local Antique Mall. Her inventory and knowledge came from a lesbian couple, which isn’t important to my story, but I felt the need to mention it.
I acquired my first location from a fellow business owner who after 10 years had had enough. She sold me her entire inventory for $8500.00. Which she told everyone later “that I had taken advantage of her“.
Oh well, such is life in the Antique World.
I had collected vintage for what seems forever and a day and had several books on fashion as far back as the Edwardian period. I read every single one of them and soaked up every thing there was to know about fabrics, buttons, zippers, stitching & details used for each decade, who wore what to when and how.
I loved this world and was now able to share it with everyone.
First off my business license was granted on 9-11-01. Does this tell you anything?
Yes, I opened my doors the day after that horrible nightmare in New York City.
My first customer didn’t come in for weeks, I was horrified, what have I done.
Not only did I take a second out on my home for the $8500.00, I also had a $10,000 Business Credit Card in my hot little hands that paid all operating costs until the money started coming in, which took a couple months.
Vintage Clothing it seems was only popular when an Actor showed up somewhere wearing a designer label like Dior, Valentino or Chanel from years ago, then wow! women went nuts and had to have vintage hanging in their closets.
Needless to say there are loyal vintage wearers but you can’t make a living off those few.
So I designed a website and sold on Ebay to try to make ends meet.
My big break came when a woman, dressed like a bag lady, walked through the doors to my shop and browsed around for almost an hour. She was carrying this huge bag and by the way she was acting I knew she was going to rip me off.
However, don’t ever judge a book by its cover.
She was, in fact, Debra Harry (Blondie).
After we talked for several minutes and I told her my suspicion and she laughed it off and still purchased a few items and thanked me for the discount I gave her. In return she gave me 2 comp tickets to her concert at the Silver Legacy Emporium that night, 4th row center. I was ecstatic to say the least. My hubby and I went dressed to the nines. He was wearing a 40’s double breasted brown gangster suit with suspenders, black shoes with white spats and a brown snap brim fedora. I wore a gorgeous black taffeta strapless tea length gown with many layers of crinoline to really make it full. I draped myself with rhinestone necklaces, earrings a huge brooch at my cleavage, black alligator open toe 4” heels with rhinestone shoe clips and a black mink stole. To finish the look I wore a 1940's blonde pageboy wig.
We looked and felt FABULOUS!!
When we arrived everyone started staring at us and asked if we were in town for a film. No, “we live right here in Reno” they then asked, “Where did you find your clothing?”
I was more than proud and happy to tell them that we owned a Vintage Clothing Boutique“, I handed out a few of my cards and then we enjoyed the concert, Thank You, Ms Harry.
On that following Monday, my phone was ringing off the hook..
I will now tell you about my "15 minutes of fame" (which lasted 6 years) and the day I closed my business..