An Eye for the Past

Sofia Wallis

Sofia Wallis (Photo by L. Zuckerman)

Haldane grad opens two vintage clothing stores

With a bedroom filled to the brim with racks and piles of secondhand clothing, it’s no surprise that Sofia Wallis loves fashion. 

But the vintage dresses and wedding gowns, and coats and footwear collected by the Garrison teenager and 2023 Haldane High School graduate are the inventory for two online secondhand stores Wallis runs from her bedroom: Farmer’s Daughter Vintage and Jaded Vintage. 

Shoppers visiting either store will find clothing, shoes and accessories ranging from a silk wedding gown and a 1940s lace dress to Peter Max-style 1960s pants and a vintage handbag. 

Wallis, 18, launched Jaded Vintage on Instagram (@jadedvtg) and the online thrifting site, Depop, while in high school. When she graduated in June, she decided to create a sister business, Farmer’s Daughter (shop-farmersdaughter.com and @shop.farmersdaughter). Wallis handpicks each item and often repairs or restores clothing before reselling. 

“The Depop page for Jaded Vintage matches the fact that it’s curated for vintage that is super funky, loud and bold,” she said. “The look I was trying to create for Farmers Daughter is more whimsical, airy and light.” 

Wallis, who tries to visit thrift stores whenever she travels, sources her clothes from many places, ranging from unsorted Goodwill bins in New Jersey to estate sales in the Hamptons. Sometimes, people she knows will contact her if they find the types of clothing she sells on Farmer’s Daughter and Jaded Vintage. 

“The Goodwill bins are priced per pound, so it’s worthwhile to buy in bulk,” said Wallis. 

Sofia Wallis

Sofia Wallis sorts clothes for her stores. (Photo by L. Zuckerman)

To attract customers, Wallis posts often on Instagram. For the past two years, she and Maya Osborne, a friend from Haldane, have photographed each other for the clothing sites using backdrops and playing around with angles.

Osborne says Wallis has a good eye for clothing that has resale potential and a strong sense of what’s trending. “The photo shoots exercise both of our brains,” she said.

Wallis has grown as a business owner. When she only operated Jaded Vintage, sales happened occasionally, so packing, shipping and other aspects of running a mail-order business were more manageable. But adding a second business can be overwhelming, she said. 

“The best advice I would have given myself is to go into all aspects of the business being organized — not just with the merchandise but with expenses, communication and social media,” she said.

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