The final tally is in and what we’ve counted is exactly 164 official vendors are scheduled to set up to sell at this year’s ThriftCon in Atlanta. And with so much to choose from in so many booths, it’s not even about what people bring in as a seller anymore, rather how they separate themselves from the rest and catch the eyes of passersby.
Pheline Joseph (aka Ms. Phay), is the owner and operator of MPC Vintage and a talented upcycler and designer to boot. She runs her shop out of a mobile boutique. A converted van that has the ability to rack inventory both inside and out. It’s a pretty steep investment for most up front, but the payout for a setup like hers is real. It not only provides a visually appealing retail space amongst the hordes of other resellers, but also a professional and trusted one shoppers are sure to at least stop by to check out.
We spoke with Ms. Phay a few weeks out from the event to see where she’s at with the shop and if she has any advice for newcomers just starting out in the game. She also promises that there will be exclusive new drops of her upcycled designs at this year’s ThriftCon — a passion of hers she uses to diversify sales past more than just thrifted gems.
First thing's first, how long has MPC Vintage been operating?
“Six years in business and I launched my mobile boutique two years ago.”
Describe the kind of fashion you do and where you get inspiration from.
“I am inspired by the ‘80s and ‘90s. And the hip-hop culture.”
What got you into upcycling and design?
“I started upcycling because I always wanted to be a fashion designer. Upcycling allowed me to be more creative and give things a second chance. I also enjoy the thrill of making something that may be considered trash into a piece that everybody wants."
What's your advice for others to gain more of a following?
“My advice to gain more supporters is to stay consistent, engage with your audience, and share your process.’
What are the top 3 tips, tricks, hacks, rules (or whatever) that you think helped you succeed the most?
“Be your authentic self and share that with the world. People will support your business/ brand because of you. Most of the time they can probably find that vintage item on eBay, Depop, or thredUP. Why should they buy it from you?
You are the brand. Sell/ make what you love it will make running your business so much easier.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
Is thrifting something you'd like to do forever or do you have other goals in mind?
“I will always thrift because I’m obsessed with vintage, but my ultimate goal is to be a sustainable/upcycle designer.”
What's your least favorite critique you hear about thrifting?
“You’re wearing dead people’s clothes, and if I am, I’m okay with that.”