I’m beyond thrilled to launch Susan’s closet sale on Whurl today! First of all, the clothes are absolutely incredible and range from her personal collection pieces to pieces she bought for inspiration when developing ModCloth’s in-house lines. Secondly, she’s graciously donating all proceeds to Planned Parenthood! That in itself gives me so many tingly warm feelings. Lastly, she’s a close friend of mine and someone who has taught me so much about anything from how to make the most of a carryon suitcase to why there’s room for everyone at the (fashion) table. When I worked with Susan at ModCloth, I came from the fashion world where things felt so stiff and competitive and I quickly learned from Susan how fun and rewarding they can be. My time working closely with Susan was definitely what catapulted me into following my dreams and launching Whurl, so I couldn’t help but be thrilled to get to photograph all her collection (some of which brought back memories for me!) and interview her below. Don’t forget to shop her collection on Whurl after you read through!
Vintage has clearly been a massive part of your identity for long time. What do you love most about vintage? Can you remember when you first fell in love with it?
I’ve always loved fashion. From as early as I can remember, I’ve had an opinion on what I wanted to wear. One of my earliest and favorite fashion memories is playing dress-up in my grandmother’s basement in suburban Philadelphia. She had a trunk full of her old maxi dresses from the 70s, a leopard print coat from the 60s, and other really fun stuff (most of which is now in my personal collection and will never be sold!) My cousins and I used to put on “fashion shows” for her and I just remember feeling like the fanciest person in the world when I wore her clothes. I started going to thrift stores with my mom at a young age as well. I was never really interested in wearing the same stuff or looking like everyone else, and low thrift store prices gave me the opportunity to do that. Basically, I was kind of always a weird kid, and fashion, vintage fashion in particular, gave me an outlet to express myself and, eventually, embrace that weirdness as something special and wonderful.
As someone who has traveled all around the globe, which city has the best vintage shopping?
Los Angeles is tough to beat. Vintage buyers travel from all over the world to shop in LA. I really love shopping vintage in different cultures, because you get to see stuff that you just don’t find in the US. Amsterdam is amazing for 60s and 70s European, Berlin has cool 70s and 80s. Tokyo is wonderful but I’ve found that a lot of the vintage there is actually from the US! I’ve heard Eastern Europe is amazing but haven’t really had the opportunity to explore that side of the world yet. Soon!
A little birdie told me you’re currently on a year long trip around the world with your husband, Eric. What sparked this exciting adventure? What are you most excited about?
We’ve always dreamed of traveling around the world, and a lot of things have come together in our life recently to allow us to take the time to do it now. I feel really fortunate to have the resources and opportunity to travel like this. I am most excited to see the best that the natural world has to offer. I am an avid hiker and scuba diver, and I want to see it all! Especially with the changing climate, I feel a real sense of urgency to get out in nature and learn more about how I can help preserve as much natural beauty in the world as possible for future generations.
I really appreciate how vocal you’ve been about rejecting our president and the patriarchy in general. What kind of advice can you give to female entrepreneurs in our current political climate?
No matter the political climate: do something you love. Entrepreneurship is a total rollercoaster, and if you aren’t extremely passionate about your venture, it will be impossible to weather the rough times. Build a support network of other female entrepreneurs. It’s so important to have people in your life who understand what you’re going through who you can be completely vulnerable with (side note: thank you for being this for me! I take so much strength from our relationship) Take care of yourself. It’s easy to put everything and everyone else first.
*all photos by Emily Alben