I am so proud to have Shelby Guevara at Peppermint Sailor for the second interview of the blog. She is a mom, wife, and a heavy coffee drinker just like myself, but that is not only why I'm interviewing her; Shelby is also, the owner of the best Vintage clothing and jewelry boutique in San Antonio-Texas, known for five years as R.G. Vintage, now it's name is Montage.
Please, tell us the story behind Montage. How did all start?
I always knew I wanted work for myself. My grandmother taught be the basics of sewing when I was about 10. I always wanted a cute little coffee shop , but after working in the food industry, and many coffee shops since, decided it wasn't for me. After my hubby and I had been married for a year we started looking for a larger apartment/house and came across a live/work space just north of downtown. I had already started gathering clothes with the intent of dedicating a bedroom to an Ebay/Etsy room, but stumbled upon a retail space. The first year more or less was more like a thrift store with some vintage and handmade. But we gravitated towards just vintage and handmade after the first year. It's been 5 years now and we are always changing, including our name this coming week.
How do you find the pieces you sell? How is the selection process?
I have a few Vintage pickers I buy from as well as scouring around and buying from the public. I always keep in mind an element I might not like in a piece I can always change it. We do a lot of up-cycling. Especially our jewelry.
What style defines Montage? and what designers, stores, music, etc; inspire that style?
I love Karl Lagerfeld. Anthropologie is so aesthetically pleasing and they stock their store very well. Some music that inspires me is Peter Bjorn & John, The mamas and the Papas, Arcade Fire, Dr. Dog, Edith Piaf, Crystal Castles, David Bowie, and Neon Indian just to name a few.
What is your favorite part of owning a business?
I love being able to work at my own pace. I can create freely and on my own terms. If I wanna stop and have a cup of coffee and draw for a minute I can. If I wanna make a piece of jewelry or sew, it's up to me.
What is your least favorite part of owning a business?
I'm not on Salary or on hourly pay, so it's up to me how much I can make that day. Sometimes it's slow and sometimes it's overwhelming. You just never can tell. It's a lot of work. You don't just clock out and go home. You bring your work home with your, you work on your days off and you work when you are sleeping it feels like sometimes.
How is a typical day in your life as a business owner?
Wake up, make a pot of coffee, maybe some oatmeal. Drop the kiddo off at daycare. Then go into work check my emails then clean the shop. Then sew and create in between customers and drink lots of coffee.
How do you manage to run a business and be a mom?
It's tough sometimes. My Hubby and I try our hardest to get as much done during our store hours while our little Lili is at daycare. We make a good team.
We really want to expand. Besides Vintage and handmade we would like to have designer and gently used current trends, you know, the whole buy/sell/trade thing. Maybe even Vintage and up-cycled furniture.
Do you always wear Vintage?
Yes! The only non-vintage clothing items I own are underclothes and pjs and a hand full of shoes.
What advice do you give to anyone who wants to start its own indie business?
Start building your credit now! Save your money and make a business plan. Set goals and go to small business seminars/classes. Research every aspect of the business you would like to open.
- Color: Camel, caramel I love tans and nudes.
- Artist: Salvador Dali, Edgar Degas.
- Musician: Regine Chassagne (Arcade Fire).
- Song: Whoa. Tuff one. Right now....maybe The chain by Fleetwood Mac.
- Day of the week: Sunday.
- Season: Fall, I love cardigans and layering.
- Food: I love Korean Bbq! All the choices when you get Banchan! Kimchi....mmmmmm.