Monday, May 24, 2010 interview

Heather Waity, owner of Vintage Connection, is a woman after my own heart. Her 9th street store is a favorite location for browsing and buying and has been hailed for its selection by local press outlets and stylish bloggers alike.

The adorable corner store is stocked to the brim with some of Waity’s favorite finds including dresses from the 1950s as well as plenty of vintage denim and comfortable concert tees. Waity also sells original jewelry done by designer Esther K and has recently begun sprinkling vintage housewares into the mix.

We had a chance to ask Heather a few questions about selling vintage and her own personal style:

Phrequency: How long have you been in the vintage business and how did you get started?

I have had my store, Vintage Connection, for almost 3 years now. It began as an online business. I had such a great response I wanted to open my own store.

Tell me about your shop location? How did you find it, why did you settle there?

I have a corner location in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A realtor I knew found it for me. It was the first place I looked at and the last place. It was everything I wanted... hard wood floors, original tin ceiling, the right size and big windows that see some of the most beautiful sunsets.

What did you have to do to get your shop open? Was it a difficult experience or did you enjoy the whole process?

I opened the store in 2 weeks. I worked full time during this time as well. When I set my mind to something I can't stop until it's finished. Let's just say I did a lot of shopping before work and after work!

What kinds of items do you stock in your shop? Do you have favorite pieces?

I mostly stock dresses from the 1950's and lots of fun 80's pieces. My favorites are the 1970's dresses, bags, and concert t shirts.

What tips would you offer for incorporating vintage pieces into a modern-day wardrobe?

Learn what your customer likes. Take some chances, test the waters and you'll figure it out.

Where do you find fashion inspiration?

I find inspiration in run way shows, magazines, and blogs. I like to get vintage items that look modern.

Is there a specific trend you've noticed recently that women could pull off with vintage fashions?

Anything that makes them feel good. Specifically? 1950's circle skirts hemmed above the knee with a pretty top tucked inside.

What is your favorite decade for vintage? Do you tend to gravitate towards specific styles?

Personally I love concert t shirts and vintage denim.

If a woman had to have just one vintage item, what should it be?

Something handed down from a family member. They are my own favorite pieces and mean so much more.

Do you consider Philly a fashionable city? Where are some of your favorite places to shop?

I think Philadelphia is a very fashionable city. I am inspired by people everyday. My favorite Philadelphia places to shop are Vagabond, Third Street Habit, and Petulia's Folly. I actually do a lot of online shopping too.

written by: deidre wengen
photo credit: emily wren
styling: susan banchek

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