Seller Visit: Mad Elizabeth Vintage

We popped to Leeds to catch up with the girls at Mad Elizabeth Vintage and snoop around their latest finds. Don't worry - we also got the goss on sourcing the best vintage! Read on...

Tell us about Mad Elizabeth! Who, what, where and when?
Mad Elizabeth was set up in 2010 by friends Claire (me!) and Heather. We sell on-trend vintage and reworked clothing in our boutique in Leeds Corn Exchange, on ASOS Marketplace, at pop-up shops and music festivals.

How did your obsession with all things vintage start?
We'd both been into buying vintage for ourselves for a while, we love rummaging and sourcing unique items for our own wardrobes. We both love a bargain too so maybe that's where part of our love came from.

Can you tell us what you look out for when sourcing vintage?
We always get excited when we find something really unique.  We love patterns and prints so things will often jump out at us if they have a beautiful or unusual print.  It's also important that an item is good quality, wearable and that we can sell it at an affordable price as our customers are mostly young people and students.  

We try to keep current trends in mind when we are on our buying trips but sometimes we see things that are so bonkers and out there that we just have to buy them! It's fun to have a few crazy stand out pieces amongst all the everyday stuff.  

What is selling like hotcakes at the moment?
90s patterned shirts - the guys and girls can't get enough of them in-store and online.

Do you have a favourite era?
Running a vintage shop and having a love of fashion you tend to build an appreciation for all eras, not necessarily everything from an era but there are certainly bits you can pick out that work with your style and taste. Heather loves bright colours and bold prints so she's always been a big fan of the 80s whereas I'm a bit more of a hippy so I love late 60s/early 70s pieces.   

Tell us about your typical working day...
Our days are pretty varied. If we're in the shop, apart from the usual customer service stuff we'll be writing blog posts and instagramming, facebooking and tweeting our favourite items/outfits/lunches. 

When we're not at the shop we could be doing a photoshoot for ASOS Marketplace, running a pop-up shop at Leeds Met University, reworking new stock or sourcing new products.  It's not all fun and games, though - sometimes we're doing less exciting (but important) things like pricing new stock, tidying the studio, filling out booking forms and accounting.

Tell us about your store! How have you made it your own? What do you love about it?
The shop is full to the brim of vintage clothing, we think we've got a good balance between being able to have a rummage but not being too overwhelming.  

We have bright pink walls filled with vintage pictures, clocks and mirrors and have vintage trunks that we've filled with things like scarves and hats. We've done most of the shop fit ourselves and have sourced vintage furniture for our displays. There's lots of things we love about it but our favourite thing is probably our retro bar that we use as a shop counter, which sometimes has gin in it!

Could you share a a few top tips for hunting down the best vintage?
Even though we've got our own shop we still love shopping in other vintage shops and at vintage fairs. That's part of the charm of vintage, everything is unique and you never know what you might find. 

One of the best things you can do when shopping for vintage is be open minded. We often find that something that doesn't look great on the hanger ends up looking amazing when someone puts it on so if you're unsure about something, try it on.

Take a look at their latest vintage finds for yourself over at the Mad Elizabeth Vintage boutique.