We had the good fortune of connecting with Shade’ Elliott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shade’, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I thought of Vintage Apparel a few years ago right after leaving from the college I was going to. I was already doing small alterations and customizations to friends clothing and my own at the time. I would always thrift shop also and I started to resell thrifted clothing. A lot of windbreakers, vintage tees & classic items. I would do the reselling thing for about a year or two and decided to turn that into an actual clothing brand that takes recycled materials and makes new items. I decided to make sure my brand incorporates sustainability into everything I do. I believe that sustainable fashion can help out in a bigger way than it is seen. I think people will see a change in how we recycle different items and may also increase the amount of recycling that people do in their own homes. I want to make clothing that is not seen in stores. I like to make a lot of 1 of 1 pieces meaning that nobody else has the same design, or customization. I love that people can shop with my brand and find items for themself, unisex clothing and kids clothing all unique for them.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work mainly incorporates sustainability and recycled materials & fabrics. I believe that using unorthodox fabrics together is one thing that definitely sets me apart. I also make 1 of 1 pieces so there are designs of mine that I have never remade. 1 of 1s are special pieces because a lot of the time when designing them it isn’t something that was drawn out or planned. At the moment I’m most proud of the last fashion show that I had in Richmond, VA. It was a free fashion show that required canned good donations or clothing donations. The show “sold out” & was a great turn out. The models walked on the median of downtown Richmond and also did a runway throughout the store “Circle Thrift & Art Space.” I am most excited about what I am working on for the upcoming year or two. I have a collab and also will be working on a runway collection for a designer I can’t mention yet lol. With fashion or anything there is challenges. I have let any challenge judt teach me a lesson. I am ready for the many challenges to come. As long as you never give up you will be fine! I would like the world to know about my brand everywhere eventually! I would love to spread the message of sustainability in all aspects of life not just fashion. Hopefully people will continue to buy sustainable clothing. Maybe one day I will be able to create a line of fabric that is recycled from something else.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love to thrift! Included into this question I will add that Circle Thrift & Art Space has played a part in my brand as well! I have been selling my clothing inside of their Richmond store location for a few years now. I thank them as well for being the first store to have my pieces in store! They have a lot of good priced items located in downtown Richmond. @circle_rva I love food as well so if I am out in the coty I live in (Hampton, VA) I’m most likely at a thrift, getting some good food or enjoying the beach. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to Rotate! When I first began to do pop up shops & reselling thrifted clothing I would do the pop ups sometimes with Rotate. We would travel to college campuses around the state and set up a pop up at events. I learned a lot of things about business while working with their team. @rotaterva
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