Friday, November 25, 2011

Thrift Jobs: Maiden Voyage's Vintage-Inspired Clothing Line

Designers Tyson and Klara Smith thrift for inspiration. Their witty line of old-fashioned leather goods and tees, Maiden Voyage Clothing Co., is infused with vintage flair. I had to get the scoop on their inspirations, managing a clothing line, and of course, get a peek at their favorite thrifted finds!

1. Hi Tyson and Klara! Can you tell us a little bit about Maiden Voyage Clothing?
MVCC is a creative outlet of whimsical tees and old-fashioned leather goods.The brand is inspired by old stories, legends and folklore with a dash of the absurd, and a hint of humor.

2. What initially inspired you to branch out and start your own clothing line?

We started Maiden Voyage Clothing Co. as a creative outlet that took from some of our past experiences. When we moved to Los Angeles we discovered many indie brands and were introduced to the whole realm of a large & supportive crafting culture, which helped motivate us to have a go at it.

3. You guys love to thrift, what things do you do to run your business thriftily?

We do our own designing from the tees, marketing materials to the website designing, and even our own photography. Photographing our items is pretty fun, especially since we love to use props or can incorporate our previous finds into the photos, whether it is a prop or backdrop.

4. I love the classic, vintage look of Maiden Voyage Clothing merchandise. What vintage items inspire you the most when it comes to branding your line?

There's never really one item in particular that stands out the most. We usually tend to be inspired by antique posters, illustrations, etchings, books, stories, old equestrian items as well as just about anything else that speaks to us.

5. What do you guys love to hunt for at the thrifts?

That's really hard to answer, we love hunting for things that just jump out at us! Lately, we've been hunting for fedoras, industrial decor items, cute dresses (for Klara!), and antique tableware items.

6. And now the hard question, any favorite thrift finds?

Ahhhh - the $25 new old stock professional-grade paper guillotine from Ingento! We had been scouring the internet & classifieds for one and ended up randomly finding it at one of our favorite thrift spots.

7. What do you like the most about running your own clothing line?

Being able to create items we personally enjoy and want to use/wear!

8. What has been the biggest challenge with running the line?

Time and capital are always a challenge when running your own business.

9. What advise do would you give to anyone who wants to start a clothing line of their own?

If you can pick a niche to start and do lots of research before you begin. Don't be afraid to ask people in the industry for advice - you'd be surprised how much their answers will help you!

10. What advise would you give to anyone who wants to work for themselves?

If you're like us, persistence and patience is golden - until you get to a certain point, you're going to have to work MANY extra hours to try & make this a reality. Being organized and staying on task are biggies, too.

After chatting with the Maiden Voyage team I'm inspired to research, get organized, and work up a storm. Thanks for sharing your secrets with us Klara and Tyson! (And I want your taxidermy critter. I will name him Rex. We will go on adventures Rex and I...)

How are your creative projects coming along? Let's hit it!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Great interview! I love their Tshirt designs. Definitely looks like something my brother would wear (and Christmas bells are ringing!)

    I really appreciate MV's style and photography. Very professional, yet fun & playful.

    I'm still going at my vintage biz project. It's come a lot farther than I expected. Not a huge number of sales yet, but I haven't had as much time as I'd like to work on it. Hopefully it'll pick up next semester when I have some more free time :)

    I can't believe just a few months ago I was thinking how cool it would be to have my own vintage shop & make a little extra $$ from it. Now, I justify my obsession by the profit :P Selling vintage really is a way of life.

    Keep these posts comin'! (and have fun in Japan!)

    -Dani @ Itch for Kitsch

  2. Dani: Keep me update on your progress, you can do it! You nailed the MV style, fun yet playful!

  3. those photos are great. thanks for introducing me to mv. not sure i can pull off the look as well as those burly men with burly beards tho'! ;-)

  4. Ana: They did an AMAZING job with the photos! I wear my favorite MV shirt with a skirt to girl it up. in my book :)!

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