Viewing entries tagged
customer appreciation


What do 3,000 sales look like?

It says it right there at the top of my shop: “On Etsy since 2008”

Years before using Etsy as a selling platform, I sold vintage fashion on eBay. Then when Etsy came along, I decided to make the jump. It has been 10 years now on Etsy, half the time denisebrain has been in business, and my shop recently reached the milestone of 3,000 sales. Would you like to see what 3K pieces of vintage finery look like?


OK, so that’s not half—it’s not even close to half, but I figured it was sufficiently dizzying!

To celebrate, I am offering 25% off any sale of $50 or more from my Etsy shop through January 26. Just use the coupon code HAPPY3000 when you check out, or use this link to receive the discount automatically.

Now, what do 3,000 sales look like on my face?


Yup, I’m pretty excited! Thank you!!


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If you want to dress up, Dress Up!

“I love that dress, but I would have no place to wear it.”

Since I hear that quite a lot, I am thrilled when I get to hear about people finding creative ways to wear the clothes they most love.

Meet Kymberli, who has a prom birthday party each year. She first wrote me in March saying “I have fallen deeply in love with the pale yellow frothy 50s dress”...doesn’t that sound like a princess thing to say?

Kym took advantage of layaway through my shop and when she received the dress she wrote “I just got my dress in the mail and I could NOT be more happy I literally broke down in tears. It’s more beautiful than I even imagined!” (I’m not going to lie, that’s one of the nicest things we vintage clothing sellers can hear!)

Straight out of the box—“I think it's going to fit well too”
“Sneak peak! So happy!”

Then the big night arrived, and here was the birthday princess:

“It was a dream!!”

Not to get all Nike-slogan on you, but Just Do It! Kymberli made a place to wear her favorite vintage dresses, and so can you.

I keep adding to this list, Reasons to Dress Up. I’m sure there are hundreds more.

1. DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) meetings, as Facebook reader Leigh Anne mentioned. The women love history and love seeing her vintage fashions.
2. Any historical society gathering: Think museum exhibits, boards, historical preservation groups.
3. “Put even the plainest woman into a beautiful dress and unconsciously she will try to live up to it.” - Lady Duff-Gordon
4. Dress for the every day theater of life like you are the leading lady.
5. All your regular clothes are dirty.
6. Go to a historic hotel for a drink.
7. “Life is a party, dress like it.” - Lilly Pulitzer
8. “It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand alone.” - Hans F. Hansen
9. “If you're sad, add more lipstick and attack.” - Coco Chanel
10. Being well dressed is a beautiful form of politeness.
11. #fancyfriday
12. Attend performances where the style of music is vintage, as blog reader Denise mentioned.
13. You will make people happy...maybe most especially yourself
14. Life is too short to wear boring clothes. 

Another reason to dress up? Stage a birthday prom!

Many thanks to Kymberli for allowing me to show these photos. For creative and inspiring wearing of vintage fashion, she wins the tiara!

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The best feedback ever, part II

Yesterday I explained that from time to time I get some really lovely feedback from people about denisebrain, and I save these in a special folder to read when I’m feeling low. This is the second group of notes from my favorites folder.

Your photos seem like more than photos to me. Each of your photos looks like a stand still scene from a fun or interesting event.
It is fun to go shopping there, every item has a story and she tells it well. She is as happy and cheerful as she looks in all her presentations, shows a real love for what she does, and this spills over into the sweet considerate way she treats her customers.
available from thespectaclednewt on Etsy
Margaret, quick story: received 2 packages today—put the yellow top on, did not notice stain; put box on back porch. Other package—was overcharged, etc. and telling my husband about it got out your box to show him, by contrast, how nicely packaged and personal yours was, compared to other, which was crammed in re-used envelope that seller had not even taken her own papers from. As I was showing Rush your sweet little box, sticker, etc., I saw note and money. I want to write a story, “A Tale of Two Sellers” in which you are the star! Thanks for being so honest and generous. The world needs more folks like you!
I just saw this great jacket and when I read the listing I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your accurate descriptions very much. You are so honest about any condition issues and detailed with your pics it’s wonderful to see a seller like you. Some time ago I bought a dress from you—it was in fantastic condition and I was positively surprised as the tiny “flaws” you mentioned turned out to be even less visible. Thanks again and all the best for you!
available from TheHammersmith on Etsy
Maggie is a true vintage expert, she knows what we like, and she sends every one of my items in excellent, wrinkle-free, smell-free, fresh condition! I am always waiting in such anticipation when I order something from denisebrain, and I have never ever been disappointed, Thank you Maggie, for the wonderful store keeper/entrepreneur/and just STERLING person that you are to us.

Believe me, the feeling is mutual; there are so many sterling personalities out there that make my business a joy! 



The best feedback ever, part I

My business is now in its 17th year, and between my years on Ebay, then Etsy, public comments and personal notes, I have received a lot of feedback from both customers and colleagues, thankfully mostly good.

I save out and cherish some of the best feedback I’ve received, the kind of feedback that can lift me when my business (or life!) is in a slump. I hope you don’t mind my sharing some of these.

available from ElGranero on Etsy
I love your pics Maggie - you always give the impression of living in a beautiful, kind and glamorous world. 
I like denisebrain because she has a distinct, individual and funky flavor…and she seems to invite everyone else in for the fun, instead of trying to be cooler than her buyers.
One can easily put herself in place of denisebrain and imagine stepping out on the town.

available from Tranksandtravels on Etsy
Honestly one of the best (& nicest) vintage dealers around & exactly the kind of seller we should all strive to be! Beautiful merch, customer service beyond all expectations, exceptional attention to detail & a huge heart—a percentage of her sales goes to very worthy causes. I’m a huge fan! 
You are one of the truly rare people that touches folks right down to their hearts with just a smile. And what is truly wonderful is that your gracious spirit and concern for people is genuine. Your surprise at this honor just makes it all the more sweet. On top of that all of your hard work and attention to detail show your true character. 
available from DriftNiceties on Etsy
Even if you just need a mood lifter, window shopping at denisebrain will always bring a smile and thoughts of long gone eras. She makes us all realize we CAN turn back the clock to a brighter, classier, simpler time. 
I always check out what denisebrain is selling—she makes vintage look fresh, modern, classy and FUN!
sizing is dead on perfect, shipping and communication: best ever!!! 
Class Act, fabulous personality, exquisite/exciting clothing, unsurpassed service
Always a great source for vintage finds! Weekly shopping here is a must! 

available from RetroandRevamped on Etsy
Is that you modeling your own stuff? Okay, now I have to hate you...except, I can’t. You look like you’re having too much fun and feel so pretty, and it’s contagious! Makes me smile just looking at you.  
You have really inspired me. I came away from your site so happy! It was fun, thoughtful and very interesting, and I love pink! I have had a difficult time this week with new bidders and was about to give up—“I know you do not take returns because it doesn’t fit but your feedback will reflect my feelings” kind of totally awful stuff. Your listings were so refreshing and I loved the little monthly videos—adorable, and they made me laugh! So, I’m not quitting and I owe you all the credit, you really made MY day! When I get down from now on I am going to just go browse around your store for a few minutes and I’m sure it will pick me right back up! 

available from Mom2Will4Real on Etsy
Hi!  I buy quite a lot of vintage from the US but I really need to send a heartfelt personal “thank you” for the most beautifully presented, carefully packaged piece I’ve ever received! The time taken by you in treating this dress so tenderly has the effect of sprinkling fairy dust over it for the recipient—it’s really special! Just wanted to let you know that your superlative service is much appreciated and makes a huge difference.
I am such a huge fan of vintage and one picky dame about it as well. I just wanted to say I LOVE how your site is arranged, how you do your photos, the whole sh’bang is just so pretty and girly and well thought out. I love marketing and visuals and all that and you present such a lovely, polished front!...So, you need to know that I got so giddy and happy looking at your site and clothes and can’t wait ‘til I’m back up on my feet (recent new career path impeding my vintage shopping). Looking at your site gives me extra motivation, because I love nothing in the world more than vintage clothes!
Your descriptions of your vintage items are charming and accurate. You clearly are very knowledgeable and have an excellent sense of style, across all the different decades from which you hand pick these lovely outfits. I truly appreciate the service you provide and am 100% behind your eloquent “Why Wear Vintage” article. Don’t have a question. Just
wanted to voice some admiration.
available from ElGranero on Etsy
Maggie runs this shop as if her customers were her family, working hard to bring the best vintage “lost treasures” to we lucky buyers. She does not stop there. These items have to be in the best condition possible, washed or dry cleaned, wrinkles to a minimum and no horrid odors...That’s why Maggie is so refreshing, because she puts a lot of effort into her clothes and great, cheerful service. She means what she says about her treasures being “top drawer,” she would wear them herself. She goes to great lengths to put as much information about each and every item as possible in the description, that makes her store so fun and interesting to browse through! 
And what a fashion plate! The authentic presentation of these clothes complete with all the fashion accessories of the day bring out the true beauty of what you are buying. This gorgeous and romantic blouse was neatly folded, wrapped in tissue and beautifully boxed with designer pink ribbon, that surpassed any fine department store wrap. She takes pride in all she does for us, and I am proud to be her customer. First class all the way!

A little feedback from me to you: WOW. Thank you each so much for making what I do feel noticed and appreciated, and then taking the time to tell me with such personality and eloquence.

Some more of my favorite feedback tomorrow; thank you for indulging me!




Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and I am more than just a little thankful for the people I’ve met in the world of vintage fashion.

Since 1999 I have sold to several Parisian designers; an Aztec princess and school teacher; a woman working in the Pentagon (on 9/11/01) who apologized for paying me late for a suit after part of her workplace was destroyed; a mayor’s wife; a mayor; an actress or two; several museum curators, journalists and writers; a policewoman; an opera singer; an indie music artist; a biologist; my neighbor; a woman in her 80s who wanted to relive an event from her youth; a girl of 13 who wanted to experience what her great grandmother had experienced; a skiing star; my best friend. I have had loyal customers purchase full wardrobes from me; I’ve outfitted weddings and high school plays. You have a lot of fascinating stories to tell.

Even if all I know of you is your postal code and that you purchased a blue polka dot blouse...thank you.

Some may know I often try to raise funds for causes that mean a great deal to me, and not only have you tolerated my ongoing mentions of manatees and grizzly bears, you have supported my causes with me. There is no way I could be making a real impact for these causes without your support.

I have numerous deepening friendships with vintage clothing dealers, experts and collectors...people without whom I would not be where I am. Not only do I learn something new every day about fashion history, fabric construction, and the business of selling online, but I feel I have a real support network.

I had a decent opinion of human nature prior to starting the business, and 14 years of positive dealings with thousands of people pretty well proves to me that we’re a decent lot. My most sincere thanks.



Thanksgiving 2010

Every day I am thankful for the people I meet in the field of vintage clothing. Customers, sellers, enthusiasts, beginners, experts, museum curators, authors, 90-something-year-olds sharing their memories of wearing the clothing I get from them, teenagers loving their new-old dresses...I am very grateful for you all.



We have a winner!!

I just pulled a name out of my vintage hat, and it was Jessica/Lola Vintage Clothing, the first person to sign up for my little give away. I'm giving her a ring (OK, an email) right now.

Thank you all for participating, and for your wonderful comments and suggestions!



Favorite vintage tools give away!

Continuing Customer Appreciation Month, I am giving away some of my favorite vintage tools:

First, Kevyn Aucoin's Making Faces, a beautiful, fun and brilliant book about doing makeup, including a section on creating vintage looks that is simply the best.

Then my very favorite cleaning product, Eucalan no rinse delicate wash, absolutely ideal for fine vintage sweaters...and the environment.

Next, a pair of Kleinert's dress shields in black with elastic bands so you can use them with any regular-sleeve garment. Kleinert's is a great old company (founded in 1869) still made in the US, and their dress shields are very good for saving your vintage wardrobe and saving on dry cleaning bills. I find dress shields tacked in vintage clothes now and then, and am always grateful for the good condition in which they've left the item!

Last of all, one of my favorite red lipsticks, British Red by L'Oreal. What says vintage better than bright red lips?

Now it's your turn: What are your fave vintage tips, tricks or tools?

Comment on this blog for a chance to win my favorites. I will draw a name on November 30.


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Customer appreciation sale

Dear Customers,

From now through the end of November, if you have ever purchased from DENISEBRAIN before, take 10% off the price of any purchase from the DENISEBRAIN vintage web store.

Let me know you are a repeat customer and what item or items you are interested in, and I will invoice you with the discounted price. You can reach me through the web store by clicking on "contact."

Thank you so much! You are the best!!

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Here's looking at you!

I'm showing off...

...some of my lovely customers! Please have a look at my November theme, objets d'art, to see a few of the very best. Aren't they fabulous in their vintage finds?

I'm very thankful for these customers and so many others around the world who are making what I do more fun and interesting than I'd ever dreamed it could be.

I'm so thankful in fact that I hereby declare November to be Customer Appreciation Month at Denise Brain Vintage. Watch my blog for giveaways, specials, and more thankfulness from me to you!