My name is Marriki E. and I am the owner of Honey Moon Muse, an online vintage clothing shop on Etsy. I’m in my mid 20s and live in New Westminster – a sweet old city 30 minutes outside of Vancouver, Canada. My mother taught me sewing at an early age and I’ve been collecting vintage my whole life. Both sides of my family descended from a long line of sewers and tailors.
I received my Bachelor’s in Fashion Design & Technology from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2011. During my time there, I produced collections for charity fashion shows and interned for Gentle Fawn, an established womenswear apparel company here in Vancouver. My graduating collection was a line of arts and craft-inspired childrenswear for young girls aged 4-8. There were some cute capes, hypercolor tees and leopard print leggings involved. It was a lot of fun to design.
In 2009, I came across Etsy at school. We spent a lot of time on the computer for various classes. I started listing items from my own closet. The sales started pouring in and I began sourcing on my lunch breaks from University at the Salvation Army down the road. It was a rush (that I still get), but it was also a decent side income as a full time student. I read a lot of “Quit Your Day Job” blog posts on Etsy, which were very inspirational to me and I followed my competitors to try and match my photography and styling to their level.
My mother taught me the accounting and business side, and I got my work ethic from her (she is also a self-made entrepreneur). Sure enough, I fell in love with the whole process. I decided to launch Honey Moon Muse Vintage full time after graduation and haven’t looked back! It took some courage and a bit of faith in myself, but I feel stronger as an individual for it.
If you could share 5 invaluable tips for anyone interested in pursuing a style blogging or fashion career, what would they be?
1. Learn about photography. Take a class if you can. Watch some YouTube tutorials. It also doesn’t hurt to enlist the help of a good friend who’s a photographer. You don’t need to invest a whole lot of money in a camera to take decent photos necessarily. Practice your poses and know your lighting. Plain backgrounds and overcast days are your friend.
2. Reach out on social media. Social media is just that – it’s social. Talk to your customers and followers. Don’t be afraid of asking questions from people or businesses that intimidate you. They’re most likely willing to help out because everyone was a newbie at one point or another.
3. Persevere. Don’t expect immediate results - it takes work. Stay positive and don’t let negative comments hold you back from being yourself.
4. Have fun with it! If you’re not having fun anymore then don’t do it. Try something new and always explore your creativity.
5. Have a life. Take a break from the internet and take care of yourself. I promise people will be interested in knowing what goes on behind the scenes. Your health and well-being are everything in life.
Pinterest and Instagram are amazing. I use both every day. Pinterest is a rabbit hole for vintage fashion. I could spend hours on there. I use Adobe Illustrator for designing graphics and Fotofuze for editing pictures.How would you define your style?
I wouldn’t say I have a definitive style as my wardrobe constantly evolves, but I like certain fabrics, cuts, colors and prints and try to stick to them. I’m a fan of vintage clothing with crazy colorful abstract prints. Personally the 1980s is my favourite era in fashion because they played with color and embraced oversized and bodycon silhouettes. I like wearing rayon, velvet and cotton; it’s comfortable to my skin. These days I’ve been wearing skater skirts with vintage t-shirts, and 1990s baby doll dresses paired with boots and wool hats. Ever though I’m petite I own a lot of tops and dresses that are 3 sizes too big!What are your favorite designers or places to shop?
I shop primarily at thrift stores. If there’s one thing I learned from fashion design school it’s that I believe in being a conscious shopper. Shopping second-hand is great way to be resourceful and creative while recycling clothing. I do buy brand new for basics like t¬¬-shirts and leggings. Certain things fit better today and have more stretch in them, which is nice for comfort. But I’ve stopped chasing fast fashion trends. There’s too much clothing in this world already. I work in an industry where I’ve seen firsthand how much goes into the landfill at the end of the day. It’s devastating to say the least. Trends are cyclical – just look at how 1990s grunge is making such a huge comeback!
I invest in vintage pieces from other Etsy shops when I can. Items such as a leather biker jacket or a cute floral dress will stay timeless for decades. I would much rather spend $60 on a classic piece that’s lasted over 30 years in good condition rather than on a seasonal trend that will be outdated a year from now and probably fall apart after 5 washes. It’s just a matter of investing in quality fabrics and craftsmanship that will stand the test of time and are within your price range.
When I shop I ask myself – Can I see myself wearing this 4 years down the road? Can I pair it will other items in my closet? Am I comfortable wearing this? It’s a good test.
Travel as much as you can. It refreshes your perspective and will feed your creativity. If you can’t travel as often as you’d like, just go for a walk outside and get some fresh air. It’s great for thinking. I also love watching movies from different eras for style inspiration. Fill your home and/or work area with objects and quotes that inspire you.What is a typical day like for you? What is your daily routine?
I’m lucky enough to work from home. My office area takes up half my living room and my dining room is the “stock room”. I get up around 9 am and make breakfast. Then I’ll sit down with my tea and answer emails for about an hour.
If it’s a shipping day, I’ll be packing orders until 2 pm. If not, I could be doing any number of things for my business: repairing and steaming vintage clothing, photographing them, creating listings and promoting them on social media. Or I may be working on my website or designing graphics for a sale or updating my bookkeeping.
I like to have lunch out on my balcony if it’s nice out. There’s a gorgeous view of the mountains, it’s my favourite thing about my new place. I go on buying trips only about twice a month. That’s when I’ll snatch up a bunch of fab new vintage for Honey Moon Muse and it’s the most fun part of my job!
My average work day is around 6 hours but I work 7 days a week. I take maybe 2 days off out of the month, usually for a weekend getaway sans internet. It’s never-ending, but that’s what it’s like to own a full time online business. There’s a certain freedom to it and it’s very empowering to inspire others in whatever way I can.
Fall fashion is about being simultaneously cozy and chic. Lately, I’ve been enamored with fluffy sweaters and oversize cardigans paired with leggings or distressed jeans for the daytime. Fall is also the best time to break out my collection of vintage bomber jackets and jean jackets, 90s ankle boots and wool hats. I’m currently searching for the perfect pair of structured high waist pants to wear with my vintage blouses.What are your favorite recreational activities to partake in during this time of year? Any relevant looks you can share with us?
In my spare time I take yoga and swing dance classes for fun. I just moved a few weeks ago so I’m currently “nesting” so to speak and setting up my new place. When I can I’ll pack up a thermos of tea and go hike through the ravine in a park I’ve discovered close by. I’ll be hosting a little housewarming soon – I’m looking forward to some pumpkin carving with friends!How has living in Vancouver affected your sense of taste and style?
Vancouver is blessed with nature. We are surrounded by mountains and the ocean. A lot of people lead active lifestyles in their spare time. Fashion-wise, we’re pretty casual as a city, but people do dress up at night. I think that’s a west coast thing.
When you spend 6 months out of the year under an umbrella (we’re called Rain City for a reason), comfort over fashion tends to play into your closet choices. For instance, you’re not going to get as much wear out of suede or open toe shoes year round if it’s raining, so the footwear you invest in has to be waterproof. I have a pretty vast boot and coat collection. Maybe that has something to do with being in Canada? Ha.
Do you have any exciting travel plans, or things you are looking forward to this year?
I plan on visiting friends over on Vancouver Island this winter. We’ll probably do some thrifting and have a bonfire. I would love to go to Costa Rica over the holidays – it’s on my bucket list but nothing is booked as of yet. If not I’ll be heading to a ski resort in Washington with my boyfriend’s family for Christmas.What are your favorite destinations or getaways for this time of year?
October isn’t the best time for travel as things tend to be busy with Honey Moon Muse. However just this past summer I went on a couple of weekend excursions to Seattle and Saterna Island with friends. Saterna is this little B.C. paradise with sea lions and killer whales. There’s a double decker bus café brought over from England in the 1960s. You have to take two ferries to get there but it’s worth it! Last November I was in Austin, Texas for Fun Fun Fun Fest, which is a killer music festival. Austin’s fabulous, I’ve been three times! I’m on board with all the tacos, sunshine and friendly people.Are there any exciting or interesting projects you are working on right now?
This month I’m celebrating the five year anniversary of running my vintage shop Honey Moon Muse on Etsy. I’ll be doing a $200 giveaway on Instagram so keep an eye out to enter! I also do styling on the side - planning is in the works for our Winter 2014-2015 Look Book.
For now, here’s our October 2014 offerings!
Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m a bit of a pool shark. I played billiards tournaments back in high school and I’ve recently gotten back into it. I found a pool cue at a yard sale when I was in Seattle. It comes with its own velvet lined case and the previous owner painted planets all over it. It’s pretty rad.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My goal for the future is to grow my business. I really do enjoy working with vintage clothing and what comes with the online community. I feel like I’ve found my career path and am just laying the bricks for what will one day be an even bigger picture. Hopefully 5 years down the road I’ll have headquarters outside of my apartment and a couple people working for me to help out with the social media & shipping side of the business.What’s on your iPod, bookshelf or movie list at the moment?
Lately I have been listening to a lot of Mac Demarco, Trust, Caribou, Glass Animals, Little Joy, TV Girl, and Blood Orange. Besides that my playlist varies from 60s oldies and surf rock to cheesy 80s pop to 90s hip-hop and rap.
I’ve been reading a book called The Kissing I bought from the library. It’s a 1980s love story set in New York City between a girl working at an advertising agency and an alien from Mars. They’re both redheads and he’s telekinetic.
“Style – all those who have it share one thing: creativity.” – Dree Vreeland
“A woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.” – Mohadesa Najumi
“The only way for you to find out if you’re good at something, is to do it." – Amy Poehler
“The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.” – Alan Ashley-Pitt