Cute clothes are not the first thing one would think of when heading out to the , but according to Dianne Rich, showing her wares among flowers and fresh veggies isn’t a bad strategy.
Rich, the owner of Vintage Chic–a purveyor of vintage-inspired fashions and home décor–said the number of shoppers and enthusiasm for outdoor shopping has boosted her business.
“It’s a big, open-air market, and so many of Dearborn’s shoppers fit the profile for outdoor shopping,” said Rich, a Dearborn resident. “The market has been good for my business.”
Vintage Chic sells embellished shirts, dresses and home items like towels that are handmade and appliquéd with vintage images. The items are made or embellished by Rich herself, who spends much of her day seeking out vintage images, finding fabric and looking for existing clothing like denim that can be repurposed into hip fashions with a nod toward yesteryear.
“I spend a lot of time looking for items like old pillowcases with cute images; things that can be made into other items that are unique,” she said. “Any image that would look great on a towel is good–they make fantastic hostess gifts.”
Finding raw materials means haunting fabric stores, Salvation Army stores and other resale stores, Rich said.
“I look for images that are attractive–I have found that those images are really popular with shoppers,” she said.
Founded in 2008, Vintage Chic does not have an actual store, but her items can be found at various farmers markets, arts and crafts shows, and at small boutiques like in Dearborn.
Rich initially founded Vintage Chic with a partner, but when the partner returned to full-time work, she took the reins by herself.
“We had an agreement–we were both stay-at-home moms at the time–that if one of us returned to full-time work, we’d leave it behind,” she said.
That means all of the sewing must be completed by Rich, who holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and also works part-time during the academic year in database management at Madonna University in Livonia.
"It’s nice, because I don’t have to give this up,” she said.
In the short term, Rich hopes to expand her business to other farmer’s markets and to other small, independently-owned businesses in the area.
“I’d like to get into boutiques more,” she said. “That’s my biggest goal.”
In the meantime, Rich will be happy to set up her merchandise at the Dearborn farmers market.
“This market is great because it has convenient hours, and on a beautiful day, there are always a lot of shoppers,” Rich said. “it’s a great place to shop and it’s exactly what Dearborn needs.”
Visit Vintage Chic and other vendors every Friday through October at the Dearborn farmers market, which runs 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Muirhead Plaza and lot behind .
More at the Market
- Henry Ford Community College will promote its nursing program.
- Oakwood Hospital will promote community health initiatives.
- Kids: Find the Hidden Yellow Banana.
- Project Fresh, EBT, Double Up Bucks.