It is always a great pleasure to discover fabulous independent boutiques and sharing them with my readers. About a year ago I came across Vintage Box 1947 on Facebook during one of their massive hair flower blowout sales and scooped up one of the most beautiful red orchid pieces for a steal of price. It was incredibly well made and looked very real for silk flowers. Recently I contacted Nina Barton, the gal behind Vintage Box 1947 and happy to share her interview with all of you!
When did Vintage Box 1947 begin, how did it come to be?
It started just after the economy started its down turn. I was working at a mortgage company in the Bankruptcy and Foreclosure department. I was fired due to “ethical differences” and happy I was given “the boot”; never looked back!! Vintage Box 1947 started on my living room floor with odds and ends of jewelry and feathers. I booked a booth at a local show displayed my creations and it took off from there. That was over 5 years ago!
Can you tell us more about the gal behind Vintage Box 1947? What do you enjoy outside of work?
Being a wife and mother my ultimate joy are my two beautiful girls, Memphis who is 3 ½ and London who is almost 18 months. Watching my girls grow and learn new things is a treasure. Taking them on bike rides, the zoo, jumping on the trampoline, and playing dress-up…my girls are perfect models for my creations with honest opinions!
Doing a fulltime business with less than full time hours is tricky. But when I do have a few extra hours for myself my other joy is my garden. I love buying plants. I get to dig in the dirt! I have also taken to MMA Kickboxing, what a work out! After working on intricate designs it’s great to balance out!
What is the meaning behind the name Vintage Box 1947?
I wanted the name Vintage Box but unfortunately that name was already taken by a wine company (go figure) So, I decided to add on 1947. It is the year of a Chevy pickup truck I hope to own one day.
Do you plan to expand in the future, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m thinking big to have big. Presently, I single-hand my business and find the more Vintage Box 1947 catches on the process from customer orders to completions and shipments takes a bit longer than it did in the past. So I see hiring in the future…this is a process in itself. But, thanks to my loyal, amazing customers and fans, they are always so patient. I try to provide quality, well thought out products which take time.
I plan on taking some millinery workshops. I feel I have the design sense, and ideas to create something amazing and have a need to expand my skills and knowledge in this field.
Finally, I would love to have a storefront. My mom and I have talked about opening up a shop in northern California… Think big and get big!
What are the inspirations behind your designs, what/who inspires you as an artist?
Inspirations come from everything. I get the most inspiration when I take a few days off with my two beautiful girls; clears my head; I get creative. Gardening; is another one of my inspirations, painting; really anything that has color inspires me. A large area of inspiration is Deco, 1920’s – 1930’s. Everything about this era is just amazing!!! The shapes and play with color.
I search the web to see what is new as far as play on color. I see an outfit and think “what would work with that?” The tricky part is finding ways to make it different, make it my own, give it my original twist. My view about “Fashion” is that it is always changing. You can’t stick with one concept for long; have to keep yourself “on-the-move”, be innovative and going for that future look.
You definitely have a retro/rockabilly vibe to your designs and style, who are your favorite pinups models? Do you incorporate the rockabilly/pinup style into your personal life?
I do like the retro look. I have been trying to open up new ideas to my customers as I have a huge passion for flapper, bridal etc. I have recently teamed up with Cherry Dollface who I totally adore and appreciate as a person and artist.
It is hard to say who my favorite pinup model is as the gals that I have worked with in the scene are all amazing! I try to surround myself with women who are motivated, honest, and ethical and down-to-earth.
As far as myself, I do dress slightly retro. Not heavy into the dressing up as I wear my mom hat 100 hours a day!
The “Abigail” hat is probably one of my favorites. I was inspired by a 1900’s movie where a gal was wearing eggshell blue and mustard. Fell in love with it instantly.
What vintage look/accessory would you like to see make a comeback with women today?
I would say wearing items with a 1920s influence. I just love them all! “The Great Gatsby” sums it up for me. I’m waiting to see more ladies and gents strut their 1920s look!
What can we expect to see “coming soon” from Vintage Box 1947?
I am very excited to announce that I have teamed up with Cherry Dollface to create a hair accessory line for her. They will be sold on both our sites and will be strictly branded with her name. I am flattered.
Where can customers buy Vintage Box 1947? Do you offer custom orders?
You can buy directly from my website, www.vintagebox1947.com and my Etsy store but Etsy does have slightly higher pricing.
I live for custom orders! When you log onto www.vintagebox1947.com wanting a custom piece you’ll find my custom form—easy to fill out and send in. I have so much fun creating custom pieces. Some customers give me free license to create them a themed piece…rave results and repeat business!
So far on my list of those I would love to see wearing my designs are Dita Von Teese, Kelly Osborne and Lady Gaga.
What do you feel your customers should know about Vintage Box 1947? Or is there anything you would like to add?
You are investing into quality, created design you will have for years. I am not a “shop” that is “whipping” out items to make a “quick buck”. I am in this for the long haul and having happy customs is something that is very important to me. I pride myself in knowing that when I send my design to a customer, I will back it up. If an issue comes up with one of my pieces, I will correct it without question (but within reason of course.) I am always working on ways to educate my customers and fans. I am constantly surveying what my customers need and want and what is worth creating. I listen to what is needed and wanted from my customers and don’t claim to know everything.
I am not a fly- by- night operation; I am a woman who loves to create and appreciates quality products. I stand behind my products and want to continue doing so for a long time.
A very big thank you to Nina for taking the time to answer all of my questions and being featured on Pin Up Persuasion. Please check out her website to see more of her beautiful handmade creations. www.vintagebox1947.com
Stay tuned for Nina’s “How To Guide” on flower & fascinator placement!!!