Wednesday, July 21, 2010

RIP Vintage Vantage (2001-2010)

it's a sad day over here.

the vintage vantage death announcement was published this morning, announcing an everything must go liquidation sale, all shirts are half price or less. the 40% off coupon code 'skippyhaha' still works, on top of the discount.

it has been a wild ride full of chaos and chuckles.

vintagevantage started as lone ebay seller john keddie selling vintage t-shirts out of a tiny garage in ocean beach san diego california in 2001.

in 2002 i was about to graduate law school in chapel hill and selling vintage myself on ebay for some money, and emailed vintagevantage fanmail because I thought they were doing a great job.

one email led to another and i met up with john a month later at a widespread panic festival in colorado. we couldn’t find camping and set up tent in a taco bell, were woken up by the Denver sheriff who ran our licenses and let us stay.

2 months later he moved to charlotte where i just started working for a law firm uptown. we came up with 'we be illin' sacred hear
t children's hospital'  and urban outfitters ordered 5,000 of them, along with 'get high on yourself,' and we were off.

1 month later i quit my job and we moved to ventura california, driving nonstop for 2 days with holden on the passenger's lap.

we sold mounds of dirty old t-shirts on ebay, and modeled every one of them. we started coming up with more and more 'originals' and working with factories to make supersoft t-shirts in flattering cuts. that was a shitty process, i didn’t really deal with it.

we got recognized by strangers at music festivals and on the streets. i didn’t like that.

we got married.

we got nacho.

American eagle outfitters copied our ‘
detroit is for lovers’ shirt and we sued them and settled. It was awesome. 

people asked heather

we hired happymexicansock, aka socky, to stuff packages.

we moved to pacific beach san diego.

we met a bunch of awesome people across the street.

we hired matt duerr to manage the growing warehouse and do sales.

we made up the ‘voting is for old people’ shirt and caused quite a stir, Russell Simmons hated it, MTV hated it, the san diego news came to our house.  it was awesome.

we had an online dating contest for matt (get fresh with mateo), won by none other than kid D, and flew her out to san diego from oklahoma for a weekend. It was awesome.

we moved to hillcrest for a couple months, and then moved to encinitas, where we had a pool and a living room full of trampolines and a bitchin 80’s homecoming dance.

we outfitted the kitshickers.

and the kitshakers -

we had a contest and took 8 people to amsterdam for 4 days to film 'vintage vantage and the disappearing corn dog.'  there was a lot of footage but no movie came out of that trip. yet. i peed myself on the street in amsterdam laughing so hard, at what i have no idea.

we got divorced.

Matt quit for a more stable job, and John moved the warehouse and operations up to San Francisco.

I moved to Asheville.

Things quieted down, but we kept coming up with newer better funnier t-shirts, and selling the best real vintage from the 70s and 80s online. We started making t-shirts for bands – ALO, Tea Leaf Green, Guadalajara Joe…awesome shirts for awesome bands.

The inventory was hugely swollen and the sales were down. We are not good business people. The economy went to crap. We didn’t adjust. The interest on a loan from Bank of America ate all our profits. No good offers to buy the business materialized and now we have to liquidate.

I plan on selling vintage t-shirts on my own, on ebay and on etsy, possibly on the website if I can arrange that in the next few months. And I’ll keep making peanut butter stash safes.

John is starting a new t-shirt company with a well-established LA partner and their future looks bright.

Nacho will continue hopping through life like an arctic bunny.

All is well.

Some of my favorite t-shirts over the years have been:

Solar power turns me on -

Let’s hear it for sign language -

the pantychrist -

Fork my life -

Duluth, Duluth Duluth is on fire (burn Minnesota burn) -

Minivan Mega Fun

Polite as fuck -

Jesus loves immigrants

I’m not fat husky-

French canadien

Made a shirt with my dad on it -

And one with holden on it -

it was a good ride. keep it fresh, amigos.


A Day in the Life of One Girl said...

My jaw dropped! Like 7 times throughout your story. I am buying a vintage t shirt. Thanks for sharing! I will favorite your etsy shop too.
You rock skippy! What an adventure

Anonymous said...

kelsey dog of america and mappycamper love you skippy haha !!

SO many fun memories !!!!

Anonymous said...

Love you Skippy. Quite a ride. Lots of good along the way. When you come up here bring a couple of shirts and I'll give you some shrimp. Bring the cooler thing too. Got a hug for you ready, so do Mom, Henry, Wil, Ang, and Chris aka the gang. You are so bright we can't wait to see your next neat thing unfold. We like watching. You are fun.

Alisa said...

Love love and more love. Mwah.
Sarge aka A-lisa

Betsy said...

Feel very lucky to have been part of VV history SD, GLOK and Kitshickers would never have been the same without VV. Lots and Lots of Love and Sunshine

Anonymous said...

You guys are awesome- I loved hearing the whole story! Sorry about the sad news, but I know you will do something else awesome!!! xoxo Leigh Ann

- Gorilla Monsoon said...


Inspirational stuff.

We haven't heard the last of younze, I'm sure.

phil said...

Good story Skippy

zylusloosebottom said...

What an amazing ride! I never knew... But I'm not the slightest bit surprised, either. Keep on Truckin'!

Tobias said...

I was really bummed when I got the VV death announcement. It's crazy to realize that almost all of my tees are VV. Great work over the years!
Much love,

skippy haha said...

thanks so much for all the kind comments and virtual hugs. you all are the wind beneath my wings!

Unknown said...

i'll have to start another blog, a defnk vv in the wild site to keep the dream alive!

skippy haha said...

brian, doooo it! and send me a link!

kid D said...

wow. been a little out of touch. what a sad, sad day. vintage vantage brought me good shirts and even better friends. i think i'll have one of the old ladies around here make me a t-shirt quilt out of all my shirts.

Mark O'Sullivan said...

Found out about vv closing this morning and I've been totally bummed all day. Man Alive, where am I going to get my dang shirts from now on? I'm a bad customer for not buying more while I could.

skippy haha said...

thanks for stopping by, Mark & thanks for all the love. sorry you didn't find out sooner to properly prepare for this t-shirt apocalypse. a new t-shirt company may still rise from the vv ashes, and i'm selling the vv top shelf vintage on etsy now. chin up, charlie!