Southside Collector A Quick Preloved Q&A
Jessica from Southside Collector has been lovely enough to share a little on her reselling journey along with some hints and tips.
She’s also offered a limited time discount for I Love To Op Shop readers! How awesome!
Disclaimer – This post may contain affiliate links.
This means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I may earn a commission at no cost to you. Tis helps me in a small way to do what I love which is promote secondhand shopping as a first choice.
Can you tell us a little about how and why Southside Collector started?
As a child I would love to rummage through toy baskets at garage sales , op shops & markets to find all kinds of amazing treasures. From Polly Pockets to Duplo and things for my costume box looking for treasure at a bargain price has been running through me since a very young age. As I grew up I would attend markets and antique auctions and also op shops with my family. My passion for beautiful old things grew more and more the older I got.
At the age of 18 I had already been working in retail for quite some time but an opportunity arose that led me to open my own store. It was in a very unique space in James Street Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast. My first store would lead me down a journey of many amazing events.
J Vintage started off small just selling vintage and secondhand clothing and overtime grew into a well known business. I sold not only clothing but stocked vintage homewares, furniture and also hosted many local artists in a variety of art show events.
My business expanded also doing regular markets at the local well known “Village Markets”. This helped drive customers to my store which was just down the road.
Whilst I was running this store I was also studying full time at Griffith University completing a Bachelor of Digital Media. I made many valuable connections with people in the industry. This led me down a different path and I made the decision to close my store, take some time to finish my degree and then take a leap many would think is quite crazy!
I moved to Melbourne when I was 22. I had a job lined up with Adidas as a Visual Merchandiser and enrolled to complete further studies with my design skills. Moving to Melbourne like many other young creatives you come here thinking that there will be opportunities coming from all over.
Unfortunately I hit a bump in my design journey and life came to a halt and I really was unsure about what I wanted to do next. Working a hospo job for a while and making the most of the Melbourne lifestyle I had a few years of just living and finding where I wanted to be. A few years later, a job change or two and I found myself thinking why the heck am I working at a gym?
I had always said by 30 I wanted to open another stall and time was slowly creeping up on me so I started to do what I love the most. With the support from my amazing partner and family I started to collect and sell vintage homewares and furniture and opened a stall at an amazing market called Market Fair located in Ferntree Gully. Slowly over a few months business picked up to the point where I decided if I give this my all and focus on this full time I will be able to do this full time.
In January 2020 pre covid I quit my well paying full time job to run Southside Collector full time. Little did I know we were about to experience something no one in the entire world would have predicted to happen!
Business was really starting to kick off and then covid hit and bam I needed to find new ways to source and sell to stay afloat! It’s been a wild ride over the past few years but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
My business continues to grow month by month and I’m constantly thinking of new ways to build my business and upskill myself. I have learnt so many new skills in the past two years and I have met so many amazing people along the way. They have helped me grow, develop my business and my skills.
Many people work a whole lifetime and don’t love what they do. I love what I do and my dream is to share that passion and excitement with you all everyday.
Where to sell?
What platforms did you begin selling on and why?
When I first started I was just selling on Facebook Marketplace but then I found Market Fair and applied for a stall there. It is a fantastic opportunity to have a stall and sell things 7 days a week whilst not needing to be there. Market Fair also has a website and I worked my butt off to load all my stock onto the site so customers who aren’t local can shop from all over Australia!
It’s a great concept and there are many markets like this popping up all over the country where you pay a rent fee for a space and a small commission and the store does pretty much everything else!
I’m very thankful to have found Market Fair the team are all very helpful. It’s given me the opportunity to have more time to source and expand my business. I opened an Etsy store in November last year and then a new stall at Waverley Antique Bazaar in September this year called “Je Ne Sais Quoi Vintage”.
Selling at multiple venues and on multiple platforms allows you to gain new customers and followers from all over and this is really the key to success I believe.
What are you drawn to when it comes to sourcing for your business ?
When I collect I look for anything vintage and unique, I love to find beautiful homewares and furniture that I would put in my home. I’ts great to also look at current and upcoming trends in major retailers and try to find vintage items that suit the current time of year. I buy stock in advance ie. Vintage Christmas I purchase throughout the year and store in a box ready for the perfect time to launch it in my online platforms and stalls.
What are your favourite sourcing spots?
Well being based in Melbourne we are in the heart of the vintage motherland of Australia I would say! One of the reasons I moved here was because of the shopping. Some of my favourite op shops include Savers, Vinnies, Sacred Heart & the smaller church op shops are usually places I find amazing treasures.
I don’t know if I want to share all my secret spots.. but if your on the hunt I would highly recommend checking out Waverley Antique Bazaar in Clayton, Victoria; I know it’s not an op shop but it has 350 stalls full of Vintage and trust me you will be there for hours and won’t leave empty handed!!
What online platforms do you sell on now?
- Market Fair website
- Facebook Marketplace
Reseller Life : The Highs and Lows
What has being a reseller allowed you to do and what do you still love about it?
It has allowed me to be my own boss and have more time with my family. It has also dramatically changed my health and well being. I worked a very stressful demanding 9-5 job and becoming my own boss has given me more time for things like meditation, gym, catching up with friends and really just the freedom to decide when I want to work.
I still work long days but it’s the freedom of setting my own schedule that’s the best. You need to be able to ensure that if you do go out for lunch on a weekday that you make that time up somewhere else! Trust me it’s not easy; some nights I end up packing orders late or replying to messages at 5am but it’s totally worth it it brings so much joy to my life.
I also upcycle and restore furniture, a skill I have taught myself over the years and being able to try new things and experiment has also been another amazing opportunity that I wouldn’t have ventured into if I was still working at the gym! Everyday is different and that’s the exciting part you never know what you’re going to find or what you’re going to sell!
This morning I woke up to a $880 sale on Etsy and I tell you what the literal dance and scream of YES was the best feeling in the world and for those of you who sell you know this feel it’s that little happy dance of yes I’m on the right track!! It is a rollercoaster but I’m here for the ride and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!
Is there a big mistake you’re game enough to share about your reselling journey?
Don’t try to be like others, stay in your own lane and do your own thing. You don’t want to be like that other person. You want to be unique and you because if you spend too much time worrying about what others are doing then you’re losing time on growing and developing your own business, appearance and style!
Quick Reseller Tip Time
I use my Iphone 13 Plus to take photos. I have a digital SLR camera but I find the Iphone easier and the quality is great for online use. I have a simple white plastic background which is taped to the wall and table in a C curve shape. You can buy these online everywhere. I also have two photo studio lights which I got on ebay. I think for around $70 these are portable on stands and I can use them in my studio for smalls or also to help light furniture when photographing in different spots around my home. I also have recently started using Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos; you can download the app onto your phone and add photos in bulk and create preset light filters which you can then apply in bulk. This saves me hours of editing. I do not over edit the photos though as you do not want to change the appearance of your items but brightening them makes all the difference when it comes to listing them online it makes the item pop and look expensive!
I use Australia Post; I have a Business account and the more parcels you send and spend the greater discount you get. I also use Pack & Send for larger deliveries of Artwork. I used to use Sendle however they do not deliver to PO Boxes, they leave parcels out and I’ve had many breakages with their service so making the move over to Auspost was a great decision for my business and one I think many others would agree with me about.
Do you have any future ambitions you’d like to share?
I would love to open another stall Northside in Melbourne somewhere maybe next year sometime.
Southside Collector Reseller Shoutout
Do you have any other resellers you’d like to shout out?
I would love to give a massive shoutout to the following amazing women; we have such a wonderful supportive secondhand community here in Melbourne most of us originally met during covid times online on Instagram and from there our friendships have grown and we all love to help each other and chat about vintage and our stores its really like having work colleagues even though we are all running our own little businesses all over the state!
My Mum @sabbychicreclaimed
Where can we find Southside Collector?
If you’d like to check out the beautiful products from Southside Collector you can find out more in the following places.
Market Fair can be found at 2/794 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully VIC 3156
It’s open 7 days a week 10AM – 5PM
Southside Collector Discount Offer
Jessica has been lovely to offer readers a discount of 10% on her beautiful Etsy store for a limited period.
ETSY STORE: SOUTHSIDE COLLECTOR
CODE : ILOVE2OP
VALID 11/11/2022 – 12/12-2022
Huge thank you again to Jessica for taking time out of your day to share this with us.