Meet Lauren from Dear Golden!
Well, hello there. Today I’ve got a fantastic interview with lovely Lauren, the lady behind the phenomenal vintage shop, Dear Golden. Lauren’s shop was one of the first on Etsy to really turn my head. The world of vintage can seem a little like the wild west out there to those of us who took our time, learned from older people and really studied vintage clothing growing up. To me, Dear Golden is one of the safe ports in an online storm of misidentified garments and cluttered, blurry photographs. Lauren’s curating and styling are impeccable and she really does a beautiful dress the justice it deserves. Aside from all that, she is also a funny lady, witty and someone I hope I get to hang out with ‘in real life’ someday. Find Lauren here —> SHOP • BLOG • TWITTER • FACEBOOK
♡ A Sweet Deal ♡
Use Code: HONEYGOLDEN for 15% OFF at Dear Golden now thru 10/31/11!
Where do you live? What’s it like?
I live in Michigan—not far spittin’ distance from Ann Arbor and about 30 minutes from Detroit. I live in a town with a tiny post office where I know every teller by name & I can bike to the coffee shop and food co-op in 5 minutes.
What’s your sign?
Pisces. With a Cancer moon and Scorpio rising, a triple water sign which means I am basically two seconds from crying all the time, especially anything regarding animals. Thankfully, the Scorpio aspects kick in and give me a fortified exoskeleton so I just seem real tough. :)
How do you unwind?
Jammies. Cocktails with gin or bourbon. Jazz records. Sniff my cat Ella’s breath. No, seriously.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I would save all the suffering animals in the world, starting with kitties.
#1 pet peeve?
Oh only 1? When people are rude to waitstaff. I waited tables for 8 years through college and that shit is some hard work.
#1 dream vacation?
Someday I want to go to Greece. I’m going to wear gauzy white clothing everyday and eat olives straight off the branches.
Do you collect some specific things for your own home/closet?
Oh, do I. Too much! 1920s dresses, cream lace blouses, 1930s-40s shoes, 30s felted wool hats, kilim pillows, Victorian lockets, 30s knits, vintage clothing that looks vaguely minimalist & Star Trek-y, Otagiri mugs…I’ll stop here.
Who is your style icon?
I can’t really say that I have one. My personal style is always changing so I am constantly inspired by different things/eras/people. Right now I am on a Yves. St. Laurent kick and leaning on a man-tailored look. I do however think Lauren Hutton has looked super fabulous throughout the decades and I never tire of Francoise Hardy; also the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, who tread the line between masculine and feminine quite naturally and well before it was “acceptable”. The woman I like to look at though aren’t the ones I want to dress like – I love Julie Christie, Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth.
I really love My Mom, the Style Icon because I think that the real women of the world are the most interesting of all.
What is the vintage score that got away?
A pretty fantastic gray gabardine Jacques Fath dress, it was like a finely designed building by some Bauhaus architect–structural & minimal with subtle details and it fit. I wonder who that dress lives with now…
Do you have actual dreams that involve vintage?
Recently I had one where I was simply thrifting all these amazing sweaters and marveling at the finds only to wake up very…very…disappointed.
Are you reading or watching anything lately that inspires you?
I am reading Chanel’s Secret War right now, I love anything historical. I prefer non-fiction and biographies. I’m also reading this Poiret book right now. I saw it at the house of this woman I know and buy vintage from. I literally cried when I saw some of the garments in the book. I am such a nerd and cry about vintage clothing!!
Dream concert. Living or dead, Top 5 bands who are playing for you.
Charlie Parker with Miles Davis at the Village Vanguard, Joni Mitchell, Grizzly Bear (I saw them a few years ago and didn’t move a muscle while watching, I’d say I was riveted if I used that word at all.), Glenn Gould playing Bach—The Goldberg Variations, Stan Getz & Gilberto Gil, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields performing Vaughn-Williams ‘The Lark Ascending’, Erik Satie playing in an intimate French salon, Bill Evans at some jazz club in New York in the 1950s and S. Carey.
That’s more than I was supposed to list, but holy cats I could go on and on here.
Tell us something people don’t already know about you.
I can do many accents, like any accent, wait no, I am horrible at the Jamaican accent, but my brother is awesome at it so at least it’s still in the family.
Also, It bums me out to have things on my wrists, when I go to see a band at a bar and they want to put those paper wristbands on my arm I have to do some majorly deep breathing so as not to completely bug out.
Current snack of choice? Current fave restaurant?
Can my snack be a drink? Because it is. It’s cambric tea (earl grey, steamed milk & honey). Favorite restaurant? Any one that makes a great Ramos gin fizz. I don’t eat much, but I drink a lot. Of everything. (editor’s note: OMFG.)
What’s your poison? Current cocktail or soft drink of choice?
Best question ever. I am sort of a beverage fanatic (what, you couldn’t tell?). Fresh juices, coffee drinks, fizzy drinks, boozy drinks. I have just about every drink-making apparatus one can find. I love an Arnold Palmer and anything with lemonade in general. And my cocktails of choice are a whiskey smash or gin cocktails of most kind.
What are some other shops online that you love.
Can I say eBay? Because in a way I love hunting for treasures online as much as I love hunting for them in person. Also, Jean Jean Vintage, Wildfell Hall & of course Anthropologie.
Any vintage shopping pro tips?
The best way to get great stuff is to shop often, and when I say often I mean, OFTEN. Also, I feel like you have to be in the “right mood”, trying to shop while fussy has never worked out for me.
What is your ritual for doing your shop updates?
I update almost everyday, it’s my job so I treat it like it’s my job, which means, I just do it. Isn’t that someone’s slogan? Just kidding. (editor’s note: oh, brother.)
How long have you been dealing in vintage?
I have been collecting vintage since I was 15. I have been buying up estates throughout my adult life and basically just giving my friends whatever I could not or would not wear. Then, the inevitable, I started my shop in 2008. Before the very week I started my shop I never even considered selling vintage, I must have just been content collecting it. It was my husband’s idea for me to sell it and I am glad I ran with his suggestion!
Have you had your own shop or a space at an antiques mall?
Neither. While I don’t see a brick and mortar shop in my future, I would love a massive warehouse where I could store, process, wash, mend and photograph vintage garments. I probably have over 10,000 pieces at this point and it would be so cool to have a place where they all could “breathe”, so to speak.
Do you have a biz partner or helper?
I wish! I think I am a bit leery of assigning tasks, I think it’s the pretty typical small business owner aversion to “letting go” of some control over your business.
What would you say your shop focus/specialty is?
1920s-1980s vintage clothing and accessories for women with timeless fashion relevancy and some trendy pieces thrown in from time to time. I find that I can only sell something if I like it, so I pass up pieces all the time that would likely sell but aren’t really what I am into.
How did you get into vintage?
My mother was a collector and rehabber of antiques so I was indoctrinated early on, so to speak. Garage sale and thrift stores were where most of my clothing came, I was creative with my outfits because there was no way I was going to be “cool” shopping at thrift store in middle school, so I sort of “went vintage”. Then when I was 15 I went to a barn sale that had clotheslines of 1940s-1950s dresses for 10 cents a piece. I loaded up and that basically became my wardrobe. (editor’s note: 10 cents!! I just fainted.)
Do you have a favorite era?
I don’t really have a favorite era, I find that the eras I think I love the most aren’t the ones I wear the most. I love 1920s dress for collecting, they are like art to me and I feel like I am a “safe harbor” for them so to speak. I used to wear more early 1940s clothing but as I have gotten older when I get gussied up I wear more 50s-60s fitted dresses (not full full skirt dresses) because dresses from that time period do a great job of “accentuating the positives” if you will. For casual wear I love natural fiber early 70s pieces like knits (even acrylic).
Where did you get the name “Dear Golden”?
Sadly there is no fantastic story behind it. When I started the shop I had no inclination that it would become my full-time job, nay, life. At the time I there was a little running joke between some friends and I about the work “gold”, just saying it made me laugh, along with the words, ‘beard’ and ‘wizard’. I wasn’t going to use ‘beard’ or ‘wizard’ in my shop name so ‘golden’ it was. I wanted to pair it with something that made the phrase unique so as to make my shop easier to find or remember so I added the ‘dear’. If I had my druthers I would have changed the name long ago, but after a while it was just too late to change so Dear Golden it is!
What is the #1 most awesome thing about owning your shop?
It’s like that Army slogan, “it’s the toughest job I’ve ever loved”. It’s amazing to me that although I graduated college and learned all kinds of whatever, the thing I didn’t learn in school, the thing that is all me is how I can now make my living. It feels complete, like I am able to use all of my inherent and learned skills to make my business successful. Also, I love working from home, making all kinds of beverages, having conversations with my cats and being surrounded by vintage all day.
Do you have any shop announcements?
I am working on my own shop site outside of Etsy, it’s taking a while, but it’s in the works!