965days since
Chicago U.P.

[ The Paraders ]

Got a sec? Then get thee to The Paraders Etsy store. Ok, but make sure to come back here when you're done buying up all those cute vintage dresses.

--> and if you make a purchase from Paraders, make sure to mention Chicago Uniform Project when you checkout and 20% of your purchase will go to CAWC!

The Paraders is Rachael Hammon, a lady who works hard to find all of sorts of fantastic vintage pieces (and is starting to create her own vintage-inspired dresses) so that you don't have to. Trusting in Rachael's obviously great taste, I asked her pull together a look for the last day of Chicago Uniform Project. Not an easy task considering this happens to also be the first day of All Tomorrow's Parties, a music festival in Asbury Park that I'll be road-tripping to on September 29. 

So, Rachael's challenge: make it memorable (so Bonnie Prince Billy remembers me), functional (I'm going in with a photo pass so I've gotta be able to move), and hip (I mean, who even goes to this festival?).

[ conversation ]

[sb] How long has "The Paraders" been a brand?

{rh} I've been a vintage collector and seeker since college and have gained an extreme interest in vintage throughout the years.  I've been buying and selling vintage casually, on the side, for about 5 years now, but decided to turn my interest into a business about two years ago.  We've been trucking along ever since.

[sb] Do you make the pieces you sell or are the mostly found vintage items? What's your process like?

{rh} I seek out vintage finds on a weekly, sometimes daily basis and constantly try to improve the garment selections in my shop.  I search high and low and over the years have discovered little strategies and tips. :)  As vintage is becoming harder and harder to find, I've decided to expand my horizons a bit and start creating my own vintage-inspired dress designs.  My first collection under The Paraders' name will be a small collection of three dresses and will launch this spring.  The process has been very exciting and I'm in the production phase currently!  Take a look at The Paraders' blog  http://theparaders.blogspot.com/  for more information and a "play-by-play" of how a clothing line is produced!

[sb] What are the challenges of running an Etsy store? Would you ever open a "brick and mortar" boutique?

{rh} The challenges of running an Etsy store are many, a few of which are: oversaturation, and no brand loyalty.  It's becoming more difficult to stand out in the Etsy sea.  I've considered opening a "brick and mortar" boutique, but at the time it's wayyyy more efficient for me to sell online and in other boutiques.  The extra cost for rent, utilities, etc. just doesn't make sense for us at the time.

[sb] Do you have a style icon or favorite fashion era? 

{rh} I'd have to say my favorite fashion eras are the late 40s, 50s, and early 60s.  I know that's a super-typical answer, but the truth is...they're just so stylish!  My preferences change from day to day, each time I fall in love with a new dress.  BUT, these eras are consistently my favorites and have been for quite some time.

[sb] Favorite independent Chicago boutique?

{rh} My favorites are definitely Eskell and Dovetail.  100%.

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