San.Shea.Vintage is a small but brilliantly selected sale of vintage clothes and accessories. The sale ranges from small accessories such as scarves and bags to tailored suits and fur coats. The sale also incorporates the basics such as t-shirts and jumpers with designer labels such as Yves Saint Laurent and Jaeger. The founders of the sale, Sanbir Gill and Liam O’Shea, are both economics students in their third year and started the business at the end of last year after attending entrepreneurship seminars, combining what they learnt with their love of fashion. This sale was the second for San.Shea.Vintage, the first being held at the end of last term, in the Student Union.
How did you go about starting up your own business?
Liam: We started off by wanting to create a fashion app for phones as they are simple, accessible and fit around student life. However, after shopping around we decided we wanted to be more involved with the clothes themselves and so used our student loans and personal savings to start buying pieces for a sale.
How do you decide the value of an item?
Liam: we think about what it cost us to buy the item, then what we think it’s worth or what we would pay for it, and then what would be a reasonable price for a student market. The quality of an item is also plays a big part in the decision.
Where do you select your pieces from? What do you look for when buying pieces?
Liam: We go to vintage warehouses and charity shops to find new items. When looking for new things we think about current trends or look for stand out pieces. Size can be an issue when finding vintage clothes so we tend to buy things in small to medium sizes so they can be changed around depending on one person’s exact size.
Can you give any tips on how to get the best from vintage clothes? E.g. sizing, smell, etc.
Sanbir: Know your style before you set out to buy vintage clothes. We only buy clothes of the best quality, clothes that are clean and well looked after, or clothes that have a little something extra that makes them unique. I also advise to stay away from clothes with tears or ink stains.
Would you let a designer label sway you when buying for the sale?
Sanbir: Not really. If the piece was particularly good quality as well then maybe, but we look more for the overall design/ quality rather than the label.
What are your favourite vintage pieces?
Sanbir: I tend to like the more androgynous pieces such as a good blazer, shirts, or blouses. I prefer to build an outfit up from one piece. Trousers and skirts are very difficult to get right size-wise but we do stock some.
What is the price range for accessories /clothes/ jewellery?
Sanbir: We price everything individually. Accessories probably start at around £4 whereas a fur coat could cost up to £75. Designer labels that are long-lasting or have a heritage might affect how we price but the overall design is the most important factor.
What do you think are the benefits of vintage over high-street?
Sanbir: I wear a mix but I like vintage because it’s something unique that you can’t just get anywhere. Vintage is also a bit of additional effort and is recyclable, giving a piece some history.
Liam: I like vintage for its individuality. I find a lot of my clothes second hand on ebay.
You obviously cater to students at the moment but where do you see the business in a few years’ time?
Sanbir: We’re both graduating at the end of this year but we want to keep the focus on students. I’ve always wanted my own shop so I like making the sale look boutiquey in that respect. I would hopefully have a shop as a basis and then take an additional sale around different universities. Students are the best market as they’re young and willing to try new styles.
Liam and Sanbir: We want to show students how easy it is to start up your own business and be successful if you put your mind to it.
The next sale will be announced nearer the time but San.Shea.Vintage hope to have another one before the year is out.