About Me

Welcome to VintageReveries – My Vintage Clothing Shop and History Blog

My Vintage Story

Jessica Murray Vintage ClothingI’m Jessica, the gal who started this site about everything vintage in June of 2011. Over the past 10+ years, VintageReveries has had several looks and alternately emphasized my retro style photography, vintage clothing for sale, or interesting ephemera and history tidbits that grab my attention. I design and maintain this site myself and it is an ongoing “living” example of my WordPress skills, writing, Search Engine Optimization, and digital communication knowledge in general.

Although I started VintageReveries in 2011, I really became fascinated with other peoples’ old stuff and everything “vintage” in 2009 after losing everything I owned in an illegal landlord lockout. The things I missed most included all my pictures, the teddy bear I had as a baby, my hard drives with backups of writing and early digital photographs, the 1940s White Rotary sewing machine my grandmother gave me (which I learned on), and various mementos and gifts from people who meant a lot to me in life. None of my personal belongings were ever recovered, and that experience of traumatic loss and dispossession caused PTSD.

On my path towards emotional recovery, I started volunteering for the Carondelet Historical Society and collecting discarded photographs and ephemera. My then-boyfriend’s father noticed my gift for photography, and I was given the privilege of “visually preserving” and documenting the historical clothing collection. This visually preserves and digitally documents their collection of vintage hats, dresses, coats, skirts… that, being made of fabric, decay over time.

Between 2011 and 2014 I acquired lots of vintage clothing. I made many mistakes selling it. I listened to bad advice and ignored good advice. I was burned out on everything by the end of 2016 and left the unpredictable world of freelancing and small business running for the structure of a 9-5. In addition, at the end of 2016 my ex-boyfriend and I parted amicably after six years, and I put my unsold vintage inventory in bags and boxes.

I moved twice, each time taking my vintage clothing inventory and making sure it was kept safe and dry. Buying a duplex at the end of 2018 was the “capstone” of recovering emotionally and financially to buy my first house less than 10 years after being effectively homeless in 2009.

I can’t tell you how often I was asked why I didn’t just trash or donate all these “bags of old clothing”. I had paid too dearly in sweat and burnout, and I had hope that I would recover from the burnout. I had so much hope that I bought a brand new high-end washer and dryer with extra delicate and “hand wash” cycles, rather than cheaper versions.

Fastforward to early 2021

Having been through hell with former friends renting, damaging, and renovating my upstairs apartment… I found myself with over 1000 square feet of empty space. 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic gave me the bandwidth to have hobbies.

My old vintage clothes, abandoned since 2016, whispered to me through the floorboards from my basement; so in February I planned out how to refinish all the floors in my house with hemp oil and shellac. In early March my “new boyfriend” (another good thing that happened in 2020) was helping me clear space in the basement for the plumber to work and urged me to “get rid of all this crap” (and he wasn’t talking about the faulty sewer pipe).

This brings me to… now (2022, maybe 2023??)…

Life is returning to pre-pandemic socializing. I haven’t been listing as much vintage clothing as I’d aspired to, but I still have plans to blog and revisit scanning my vintage ephemera. I have a love/hate burnout level over the whole process of listing vintage clothing, but I can’t ever seem to stop writing or sharing what I learn. 

Please follow my blog about my latest vintage journey, shop my collection of vintage clothing (discounted significantly if you buy directly on this site, rather than on Poshmark, Ebay, or Mercari), peruse old ephemera that I’ve digitized, and enjoy some of my retro-styled photography.

If you’d like to connect, have questions about anything, are interested in a complimentary webdesign/ecommerce consultation, or want to persuade me to style and photograph for you… fill out the contact form below and I’ll get back soon. Don’t forget to sign up for my very rare email blast, too!

Contact me here

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