Since in-store events at Prism Boutique are on pause, we’re highlighting some of our most-loved vintage brands with exclusive collections of one-of-a-kind finds.
As long time fans of Maddy and her impeccable vintage aesthetic, we’re so excited to partner with her and bring Madly Vintage to Prism. Based in Venice, California, her style has an obvious beach-bohemian vibe that’s also feminine, romantic, and fun. While she’s got a good eye for vintage trends, Maddy’s focus is on finding pieces that can transport you to another time and place entirely. Get to know more about her brand and how she’s been able to navigate this unfamiliar time.
Tell us about how your love of vintage first began.
I grew up going to antique shows and flea markets with my mom, so ever since I was little I LOVED the hunt. The older I got I found such enjoyment from not only finding something special, but also dressing and expressing myself creatively with pieces that were technically “out of style.” I love the challenge of making something old fresh and stylish again.
When did you start your shop? What gave you the drive to go for it?
I started Madly Vintage about 7 years ago, even though I’ve been collecting forever. I started slowly by doing pop-ups and truly not knowing if I could ever turn this into my full-time job. I’d say over the past 5 years the vintage industry (and people’s recognition and appreciation for it) has changed so much - for the better! I found loopholes in the industry (like selling prints to designers worldwide) that gave me confidence to pursue it full-time. It was scary putting myself out there and starting a business that was attached to my name, but all my friends and family were so encouraging which gave me the drive to really go for it. That and the fact there’s nothing I loved doing more.
How would you describe Madly Vintage’s vibe?
The vibe is always fun and a bit of a mix. I’d say I have an overarching beach bohemian vibe but also love a playful twist on romantic pieces, like Edwardian lace and silks.
How do you stay true to yourself while building and growing as a brand?
I rarely question myself with Madly. If I like it, I buy it or I do it. I think that translates in your work and brand when you’re completely, authentically yourself. I also love to up-cycle and rework my pieces so they’re even more personal and unique, which I think has helped grow my brand as well.
What do you look for when you’re sourcing vintage pieces and how do you balance buying what will fit your brand vs. what you think will sell?
There are definitely certain styles or fabrics I’ll always be drawn to - bias cut dresses, crochet lace, etc, but I also love drawing inspiration from modern designers too. I also listen to my customers - if everyone is freaking out for slip dresses but not really on board with something I’m trying to push, I listen to that.
Where are some of your fave types of spots to shop for vintage finds?
Flea markets hand-me-downs. And luckily I think LA/OC have some of the best in the world, besides maybe Paris. I miss the Rosebowl Flea so much but am grateful we still have a few fleas open right now. I’ve also been getting pretty crafty shopping online during these crazy times.
Where do you find inspiration? How do you stay motivated?
I always feel most inspired when I’m traveling; Mexico, Bali, Australia, usually somewhere tropical. I also love to tack on a buying trip wherever is already on my radar to travel so it becomes a “work trip” - a win win.
What are some challenges you’ve experienced while running your own business?
Being an entrepreneur there are so many things I wish they taught you in school, like how to do taxes, accounting etc. I like to stick to the creative side of things, but you don’t really have a choice when you first start a small business. You need to learn it all because, at the end of the day, the progress and success of your company is up to no one but you.
COVID-19 has been tough for small businesses, including independent vintage vendors. What are some ways you are pivoting the ways you run your brand to meet those challenges?
A Current Affair has been hosting virtual events which has really saved me. I’m so grateful for them rallying us to pivot in this way, connect with our followers and in turn reach more people. I was definitely out of my comfort zone going live on IG, but now I actually love doing it. I try not to take myself too seriously and end up having a lot of fun.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to open their own vintage business?
First of all - start right NOW. I wish I had started earlier, so just do it and don’t look back. You’ll figure everything out as you go. It’s a lot of work so you have to truly love it for your brand to translate and do well. Stay consistent on social media, do as many pop ups and events that you can, collab with people that inspire you, and stay true to your values and aesthetic always.
Make sure you shop Madly Vintage’s Virtual Pop-Up, starting today at 10am. Maddy’s collection will only be online until the following pop-up, and since each piece is one-of-a-kind, once it’s gone — it’s gone. You can also follow Madly Vintage on Instagram and shop her website.