Vintage edited for the internet age

Online shopping is pretty commonplace. Amazon, eBay, and popular mall retailers have all recreated their stores on the web to cater to those who’d rather make their purchases from the comfort of their couch. Enter Instagram. The popular photo-sharing app is the latest place to shop, and small businesses are taking notice. Owners can sell their goods without having a full-time storefront or paying for traditional advertising – they just need to post their wares on Instagram.

Photos provided by The Edit Vintage

The Edit is one of these part-time brick and mortar/Instagram-shop hybrids. Owned and operated by Jentine Gootjes, The Edit has been selling vintage clothing, accessories, and art in Hamilton since 2013, when Jentine opened a small store on Ottawa Street. After a couple years, she shifted her focus to online and now operates out of a studio in the Gibson neighbourhood. Open occasionally (or by appointment) during the week for those with more conventional shopping habits, Jentine sells predominantly on her Etsy page or through Instagram. Often items do not even make it to being listed on Etsy, as someone snaps them up from an Instagram photo or story. And because everything Jentine sells is one of a kind, once it’s gone, it’s gone. That said, The Edit has new items up every day, so that inventory is always fresh and reflective of the season (or looking forward to upcoming warmer weather).

As someone interested in fashion from a young age, opening a carefully curated clothing and accessories shop seems like a natural fit. But being an entrepreneur is not something Jentine always planned to do. She’s happy she did, however, as it has allowed her to focus on her priorities. Jentine has full control over which pieces she sells (and keeps!) and how she sells them. As well, converting to this type of online/appointment retail has given her the flexibility to spend time with her eight-month-old.

Jentine has maximized her social media potential with the introduction of Instagram flash sales on her secondary account @theeditinsta. About once a month at an advertised set time and date, Jentine chooses pieces from all categories of her shop to sell quickly on a “first comment, first served” basis. Items sell quickly (often within seconds) as customers know the sale is stocked with rare finds at fair prices.

One thing that makes The Edit stand out from others in the vintage marketplace is Jentine’s ability to style outfits – and in a variety of ways. Before and in the early days of The Edit shop, Jentine had a popular blog showcasing her own wardrobe and how she put together an ensemble. Part of what makes The Edit shop’s feed so enticing are the ways that Jentine takes a vintage piece and pairs it with a modern piece that women commonly have in their closet, often modeling it herself. “My goal when I sell vintage is to make it accessible to anyone,” explains Jentine. “I love crazy pieces, but vintage does not have to be wacky or overwhelming. Vintage can just be beautiful quality pieces that fit easily into your closet.” This not only adds her personal touch to the styling but also helps customers put a face behind the business.

Photos provided by The Edit Vintage

When Jentine is choosing which vintage pieces to have in her shop, it is less about following fads and more focused on finding well-made clothes that never go out of style. Her advice? “I think the key with trends is to dabble in them. Wear a unique vintage dress with this season’s “hot” shoes – that way you look current, but also like yourself.” Asking Jentine to choose a favourite is not an easy question, but “…from a practical standpoint, I love good denim, and from a non-practical standpoint, I love a fabulous dress.” Vintage allows a person to have an original and distinctive wardrobe (with fabulous dresses, like the sequin one pictured here), including luxury pieces that are not always affordable brand new. “Even vintage mall bands (such as Gap) are so much better quality than anything you can find at the mall now.” Visit Jentine at her studio to have her demonstrate how to incorporate vintage pieces into your current style.

Photos provided by The Edit Vintage

For those inspired, follow Jentine on Instagram at @shoptheedit or head to www.etsy.com/shop/TheEditVintage.