A HIGHLAND-based virtual vintage store won an industry accolade less than two years after launching.
Founded by Jennifer Grainge (37) born in Inverness during the first foreclosure, Moon Mama Vintage was voted best affordable brand at the Community Awards organized by the industry network A Virtual Vintage Market.
Ms Grainge, who now lives on the Black Isle, started her business after realizing on her own skin that there was a gap in the market for vintage maternity and nursing clothes.
She said: “I have a background in shoe design and, although I haven’t worked specifically in shoe design, I have always been passionate about fashion and have dreamed of opening a vintage shop that looked more like a dream I didn’t think I really would.
“When I had Arthur almost four years ago, I was a little fed up with the clothes I wore to breastfeed.
“While there are mainstream maternity and breastfeeding options, it is still a small part of fashion compared to regular clothing. For me, dressing in a way that makes me feel like my personality is. very important. When you become a mom everything changes, so it’s nice to be able to keep a part of who you were before you became a mom. The clothes I found in the High Street were the ones I wouldn’t not purchased before!
“Last spring I thought there might be other moms who were fed up with their nursing and maternity clothes. I had this experience of looking for vintage clothes like this for myself- even, so I thought I would put them on Instagram and see if there was any interest.
“It was March 2020, so everyone was home and a lot more on the phone and it took off really fast!”
Soon after, she was contacted by the owners of A Virtual Vintage Market, a platform developed to showcase small retailers across the UK and offer them the opportunity to sell at regular virtual events to offset the effects of foreclosure on their businesses.
“I had only started six weeks ago and I remember finding this message from Georgie saying ‘I just found your store, it’s such a great concept, would you like to participate in our market?'”
“I was a little terrified because I had just started! Then I realized I had nothing to lose, so I got involved.
“For me, being involved in their market has been amazing to get me started. Some of the people have been in business there for twenty years, and I just got started! But this is truly one of the friendliest groups of people out there sharing our knowledge and expertise on item sourcing and repairing. We all have a very similar philosophy and want to promote vintage clothing and sustainable fashion.
“Among the traders, everyone has completely different stocks and you can sell to a very different customer base, so it’s a great community and everyone supports each other.”
Looking ahead, Ms Grainge said she would like to turn her Fortrose-based studio into a store and be able to travel more across the country “hopefully overseas” to stock up on her store.
The winners of the community awards, which took place for the first year, were able to choose a charity to which A Virtual Vintage Market would donate.
Moon Mama Vintage’s charity of choice was Bliss Scotland, which supports families with premature or sick babies. The store was also pre-selected as in the Size Inclusive Brand category.
You can find Moom Mama Vintage outfits for sale on Instagram at @moon_mama_vintage.
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