Friday, 16 January 2009

Opinons sought...

image courtesy s.wilson vintage clothing  from 

I wonder if I could bother you for some opinons please. Some of you may or may not know that as well as my p/t job at the museum, I also run my own small business, Sara's Attic an online vintage clothing site here. I launched this is 2002. It is a passion and l'm too close to it to think clearly.
I haven't sold very much at all this year on the attic and this is probably more my fault than not, as I haven't been able to organise and update the site. With the downsizing house move a year ago, I cleared out much of my stock holding and still have no place where l can really manage this. The greenhouse was great for a couple of months but soon l noticed slight damage as soon as condensation appeared, l moved it all out.

So...I have swithered with stopping the site completely, but am loathe to do this, as I love it so much. It isn't a money spinner, but a few pennies in my pocket at the end of the year is a bonus, it of course pays for itself, a mobile phone and my computer so it isn't all bad. 

Today I made a rough outline and plan of what I have decided to do, subject to a little more research and some calls. I will reduce items on the site for a period, then sell the residue on MY ebay & etsy shops . Meanwhile my i.t. guru/nephew who created the graphics for the Attic mark 1 & 2 has said he will makeover the site for me.He will take my floral motif and change this to a butterfly and use similar colours to retain atmosphere.

SO l have a theme, colours etc  l will specialise, I will sell party dresses and bags only, as l can accommodate some rails of hanging stock well wrapped in my garage ...IF I get organised...and relaunch on Sept 1st this year. I will close the site in about 6-8wks with a notice to say we are closing for a makeover!

Soooo heres the rub... this is where I would love some input as I am awful at decision making and you guys may get the feel of  where l'm coming from, my friends and hubby just don't get vintage at all. That's fine but not helpful.

I cannot yet decide whether to keep the name..

the pros...its known-ish, its had great press, it may have been bookmarked, its a known-ish name in vintie circles, footfall is great over 5 million hits, in each year 5 & 6, less this year for sure... that translates to 75K unique visitors. so has goodwill, regulars.

the cons...its tired, so perhaps a change is good, new stock..will they find it?

I have yet to find out from my server provider whether l can change the domain name on my agreement only or renegotiate and start from scratch...dunno yet... l cant get hold of them, they only answer the phone during the day....

I can link to a new name so thats not a problem, redirection l believe is do-able...but I would have to start from scratch ref goodwill should l sticj with Sara's Attic

Can anyone thrash this out in a sane and less messy way than what's in my head?

'The Attic' isn't available but these are.... ( because of the theme and the iconography symbolism etc)

glitz-glam-vintage (to reflect the party spirit and my 70's roots)

any thoughts, rants, mercurial insights appreciated.... 


  1. G'day Sara,

    1. Keep the sarasatic domain name.
    2. Yes, a revamp would be great - if YOU approve of the new design.
    3. Nothing wrong with downsizing your stock. Sometimes this is a good business ploy .....
    4. If you needed to, you could store stock in vacuum-storage bags (are you familiar with 'em?) that literally flatten everything - which means 30 dresses would flatten to a few inches and could be stored (and kept dr) under a bed .....

  2. With a room full of boxes of books I can't sell, what do I know?

    But ... if your domain name is listed, googled and bookmarked then unless it has attracted uncontrollable amounts of spam attention, don't change it.

    Revamp the site, even change the marketing name, but keep the URL.

  3. I'm almost always of the opinion that there's no good reason to toss away a name that has recognition. You could lose current customers with no guarantee of gaining any new.

    I pretty much agree with David's take on things, to be honest.

  4. david, ackworth and sul- thanks for the advice, sounds so right when others tell it...

  5. Keep them both. Just have the one redirect to the new one, if that's what you want. Or the other way around.

    Domain names are cheap.

  6. Keep the name. It ain't broke so why try to fix it.

  7. the good thing about glitz glam vintage is that it is an indicator of what you are actually selling, which is a good thing.
    I like the attic name, but it doesnt tell customers what you actually do

  8. As the least qualified person to comment on any kind of business name, I'll throw a spanner in the works - 'Vintage Glitz' trips off the tongue better than Glitz Glam Vintage. Just a thought...
    And I can heartily agree on the vacuum pack bags. They stop the walls of my house from bulging.

  9. I like the last one, but I can see the pros of not changing too (that's no help whatsoever is it?!)

  10. I like Sara's attic myself - I like the thought of it being an attic, where you find some wonderful things - and Sara is a very elegant name so it's all good! I think definitely a site makeover if you feel it needs an overhaul, but keep the name.

  11. Saz, Saras attic is perfect for me - Of course, it depends on what your market is = Who are you selling to, in terms of market segmentation - Is it us, the 40 somethings, or are they younger, in which case the Glam Glitz thing might be useful?

    I love your sites, by the way, for what it's worth - but I am a plus size honey so cannot fit your wonderful gear, I wish!

    I like your Etsy pages, with the jewellery, shoes and handbags. I honestly could not say what the answer is, though, to get more throughflow...

    Just a thought, can you link to any local college, with fresh, young designers, to help market their products, while increasing the market for sexy Sara's Attic vintage beauties?

  12. It occurs to me that the important part of the change to Sara's Attic is the specialising in dresses and bags. Perhaps you could market this aspect differently, eg to schools holding sixth form balls? I know our girls are always looking for a 'different' dress for parties and balls, but they are all looking in the same shops! They often resort to very expensive dressmakers, but it seems to me that vintage would suit them very well.

    Just an idea!

  13. Yes, keep your name and your already customers but maybe you could come up with a pithy subname or cheeky line with attitude to appeal further, "Making the old fresh" or "Vintage reborn". But a revamp, in today's world of I WANT NEW, I WANT FRESH, sounds exciting.

  14. Saz, sorry if I've missed it, but do you sell on E-bay at all - I know clothes (including vintage) seem to sell generally pretty well there?

  15. I'd keep the name, considering how much traffic and press it has generated, but would probably try and come up with a good strapline.

    I had a studio outlet for clothes I'd designed from beautifully vibrant hand-woven cotton when we lived in Kampala. Called MAKULA (which means 'something wonderful' in Buganda) - the strapline was 'Clothing Born of The Land'. And people seemed to remember that.

    Must go and visit your attic - love vintage clothing.

  16. I was going to say keep the name, but then Lakeland Jo (an ex-retailer) made a good point that it doesn't really descrice what you do.
    What about VintageSarah ?

    I do think the Sarah (apart from being a beautiful name) gives it a personal touch.

  17. what a lovely lot you all are for coming through fro me...and venting your get what you ask for here...THANK YOU

    I will put my thinking cap on for a new byline.....
    I was thinking of something french, as everything l'm thinking at the moment a has a garlic bent...but that may cause encore plus de probleme!

    cheers guys and girls...

  18. Hi, joining in the debate rather late, but I agree that describing what it is, is always a good idea. For what it's worth, "virtual vintage" came into my mind - and I'm not sure it helps. I also thought "vintage glitz" rather good. Perhaps all you need is to revamp the image and add something a bit descriptive? M xx

  19. I ran a small business some years ago (catering) and I can tell you now if you have recognition the name Sarahs Attic - keep it. No point in starting all over again and reinventing the wheel. Customer loyalty is a very fragile thing and a customer looking for Sarahs Attic and being transferred elsewhere may just give up or worry that it has all changed. Update website and rethink by all means but keep the name.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x