A post by Co-Creator/Producer Jessica Cribbs.
Unique Vintage is located on the popular Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank, California but a majority of their sales actually come from their website. The store online and offline sells vintage-style dresses even including vintage patterned prints dating from the 1920’s through the 1960’s. You could spend hours in the store and even longer online, I promise.
But what is exceptionally awesome about this gem is the woman behind it, Katie Echevvery.
Katie is a very talented, generous, dedicated, inspiring, hard working woman.
And, she’s a mom.
Prior to having children, Katie was working in Pharmaceuticals as a sales rep. She was looking for a hobby and landed on vintage clothing. She knew it was a “hot” item at the time so she started doing her research and stopping by estate sales and flea markets to find items she could sell online. She started selling on a website a friend had set her up with for free and when the first order came in six months later, they never stopped.
In 2005, she took a “huge leap of faith”. She was pregnant with her first child and was unsure about how she was going to work full time, pack orders at night (around 10 per day at this point) AND take care of a baby. She decided to quit her corporate job and put all of her efforts into Unique Vintage, the concept she had started as a hobby.
Katie has been working at this for 12 years. She is now a mother of two girls and her business has gotten so successful she has gone from working out of her garage… to a 4600 square foot retail space and a 12,000 square foot warehouse for the internet business. She went from 10 orders a day in 2005 to 500 orders a day in 2010.
The turning point for her business, she says, was a mention in Glamour Magazine. Her sales went “from $1000 a month to $5000.” Thats when she knew “everything had changed.” And on top of motherhood, this could now be a full time job. Her items have recently been seen on “Glee”, “The Vampire Diaries”, “Good Day LA”, “Parenthood” and David Tutera’s “My Fair Wedding”.
As for creative moms turned entrepreneurs, she’s got a little advice:
Don’t quit your job, if you’ve got one outside the home. It gives your business time to grow.
Don’t expect overnight success. Take it slow and watch for interest.
Start Small. She advises against taking out huge loans.
Take Risks. “I’ll take chances. If it doesn’t work, I move on to something else.”
Focus on relationship building. “In the end, it comes back to relationships.”
Don’t worry about the competition. “There’s enough business out there for us all.”
Create your own niche.
Katie has plenty of space to take her girls to work with her and is surrounded by the immediate family and close, personal friends who have been with her since the beginning.
I cannot tell you how excited Lindsay and I are to be sporting some vintage for opening night…some very Unique Vintage.