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Photos: courtesy Hey Jude
Vintage shopping can be a long and tedious experience, but a new movement seeks to change all of that. Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow are the ladies behind Hey Jude, a collection of curated vintage pieces that have been carefully selected to reflect a style of their own. Combining seventies bohemian elements with modern looks, Hey Jude takes the guesswork out of sifting and picking by offering up pieces that are easy to incorporate into an everyday wardrobe.
With Hall and Oates appropriately playing in the background over coffee, Lauren and Lyndsay discuss their story and share their thoughts on vintage fashion.
Valerie Tiu: Tell us about the concept behind Hey Jude. How did you come up with the idea?
Lauren Clark: We started over two years ago. We were out vintage shopping with a bunch of friends. Lyndsay and I, when we go to vintage stores, we go crazy. Our friends who we were with didn’t know how to pick anything out or how to wear it.
Lyndsey Chow: One of the girls, Melissa, stood at the front and was like, “I don’t know what to do.”
Lauren: We thought about it after that and came up with the idea. We travel around and do the picking, create a boutique atmosphere and do pop up shops where we can sell pieces. We’ve done the hard work – the sifting and finding, it’s already curated and ready to style with your everyday clothes.
VT: Vintage shopping has gotten really popular over the years, but it seems that curated vintage has become a recent local trend, especially in the last year. What exactly is curated vintage?
Lyndsey: For us, it definitely means being conscious of the current trends. Being conscious of how clothes fit on everyone. It’s not just an old t-shirt or something that you could find two years ago that you can find today. It is a collection of the pieces that we think are great for the season. It’s what we of visualize, what fits us and fits everyone else.
VT: What sparked your interest in vintage?
Lauren: I’ve been wearing vintage since I was young. I grew up in a small town and there wasn’t anything around. I would always drive to the next town and go vintage shopping. It wasn’t really cool when you were younger. Our moms would always take us vintage shopping, so it’s something that I’ve always loved, but it was never anything that I considered as a business until now.
Lyndsey: I think it’s also a unique thing. There’s something about going through hordes of clothes and being able to find an incredible silk blouse, or beautiful leather shorts that you know no one else will have. It’s really personal too. It’s almost like you’re expressing yourself through vintage. And it’s really creative as well.
VT: What makes vintage so special?
Lyndsey: It can be so personal. For us it is. We have this rule of thumb: every piece we have, we 100 percent want in our own closets.
Lauren: But we’re not allowed to keep anything. We’ll go on a couple of daylong road trips, and the things we find, we can’t keep.
VT: That must take some serious self-control.
Lauren: In the beginning, we used to take things. But now we’re like, “We can’t do this, we want this to succeed.” We literally want to have everything on our racks, and when people are picking it up, we’re like, “You need that, it’s great,” because we really believe that.
VT: Why the name “Hey Jude”? Is there a story behind that?
Lyndsey: We’re both obsessed with music. I’ve always had this dream of having a store named after a song.
Lauren: We picked the name like three years ago. We wanted to have a store eventually, but Lyndsay was still in school for business, and I was working for a designer at the time, so we were just doing our own thing. We knew that we had this vision in our future. We picked out this name, and once we finally started, we thought, “We had this name a year ago. We still like it, so might as well use it.”
VT: How do you put your collections together? Do you have a specific look in mind before you go on the hunt?
Lyndsey: We look at the trends for the season, and then we make a collage and collect photos of what inspires us. We combine our thoughts and then we pick and choose.
Lauren: We do a lot of research. We don’t follow every trend, only the ones that we’re wearing ourselves. As soon as we’re inspired, we go out on our trips and things just stand out to us. We don’t really have to have a plan, it just comes [naturally]. It’s just what we’re drawn to.
VT: So you must have a similar eye.
Lyndsey: Yes, we are similar, but we have our own bits and pieces of style that only one of us could pull off. I think that makes a really good combo. It makes for a complete package.
VT: Do you have a particular process when you’re seeking out pieces? What kind of things do you look for?
Lyndsey: Quality and fabric.
Lauren: We try to look for good brands. We won’t buy any polyester. It’s all about fit. We want it to look brand new and have no signs of wear. It has to be in perfect condition.
VT: What places do you go to when you’re on the hunt? Any secret spots?
Lyndsey: Not secret, but we do like to travel outside of Vancouver to find pieces. We’ll go to the Okanagan, Seattle, Portland, New York…. It’s part of our story – to travel, find pieces and then bring it back.
Lauren: We recently went to the UK and we were able to bring back a few pieces. Instead of sifting through Vancouver trying to find stuff, we like the idea of bringing stuff here.
VT: Scouring through thrift stores and markets seem to be a tedious process. What’s the biggest challenge of this search?
Lyndsey: That’s actually the fun part.
Lauren: Even after 10 hours, we still have so much fun doing it.
Lyndsey: Honestly, the hardest part is actually the steaming, tagging and pricing. That’s the tedious part. With finding pieces, we just put our game faces on.
VT: You also hand make jewelry. Can you talk about that?
Lauren: We were making jewelry for ourselves and then people just started to ask about it. So we just started making it and selling it at our pop ups. It’s mostly chain work. We’ll do head chains and body chains…. Right now we’re just learning more about the craftsmanship of jewelry. We’re really hoping to actually design our own pieces. That’s something that we’re looking forward to in the future. We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew and just throw something out there. We really want to study more about it, take courses on it, and really learn more about it. And then we’ll tackle that.
Lyndsey: Our jewelry pieces are awesome, but they’re quite basic. People really love them and they’re unique, but we always want to do more. We really want to learn more about the true craftsmanship, like altering and soldering, and actually creating a piece. So that’s our next step.
VT: What can we expect from Hey Jude in the coming year?
Lyndsey: We will have a pop up shop in March and hopefully in June. We have our pop ups planned, more jewelry planned. And our next big thing will be our online store.
VT: When you’re not on the hunt for vintage, what spots do you like to frequent in Vancouver?
Lyndsey: We’re both really into music, so we go to a lot of shows. We like going out for cocktails and going to all the cool restaurants in Vancouver. We really like to try all the new places that have opened, and support other people and their entrepreneurial projects.
Lauren: We always try to support all the different markets and pop up shops.