Guest Post: Vintage with Zest

Aug. 25
- 2014 -

People often ask me how to own a business that revolves around antique and vintage designs on fabric and on paper. Cheri King has a breezy description of her entry into the world of vintage clothing and accessories and mid-century home furnishings. Not only is she passionate about what she does, as you will read, but she is talented at creating on-trend wearable outfits from her high quality finds. We are happy to feature this talented designer in our Guest Blog Column.

Here is what Cheri says about what is now her obviously smart move into business ownership:

Vintage with Zest

So here’s the way it is….all my memories start with what I was wearing.  I think of it just like looking through the pages of a photo album, the way people recall time and place and who they loved when an old song comes on the radio. The specific scratch of Shetland sweaters, the chambray calico Gunne Sax dress that was probably a bit too scandalous for a 14 year old, the bold moss green plaid of my first 49’er jacket, and the purple hibiscus print 50’s Hawaiian dress that changed everything… Those are my touchstones and how I frame all the bits and bobs I bring into my life.

I became a clothing designer because it seemed to be the only job I could do where I could touch fabric every day. Also, because it seemed ridiculous of me to do anything else. And although I did have the mandatory amount of black and heather grey in my closet – every designer needs that, yes? I always reached for the prints first. They were the one piece of the puzzle – once I had it, everything else fell into place. And pretty much, that’s the way it was for the next 20 years…

So when it felt like my design career had run its course and it was time for me to try something fresh, I turned to vintage clothes… or rather they turned to me. A pile of brilliant and cheerful Nordic sweaters confronted me at an estate sale – piled on a bed, they demanded to be taken home. Next came a windfall of silk kimonos. And pretty soon I was spending my evenings searching for vintage metal zippers on eBay and up to my elbows in hand laundry. Go ahead, just ask me how to clean anything and I’ll rattle on about my love of OxyClean and Folex. Because when it comes right down to it, anything worth selling should be spruced up and given a fresh, clean start. Later I’ll tell you about spending the night in my car so I’m the first in line at estate sale.

So scoot on over to my etsy shop, Zest Vintage and you’ll see bunches of fun, seasonal items. I like to think it’s on trend, but mostly I list the stuff that feels right right now and it has to make me happy. My items are clean, mended and ready to wear…that is, if you’re not going to cut a swatch out of the back to send it overseas.  I’m starting to load up fall pieces right now – and someone just snatched up a big ol’ pile of Pendleton blankets so I have to get back in the hunt. And just wait ‘til you see my Nordic sweaters!