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Check Out Hannah Michael’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Michael.

Hi Hannah, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have been into thrift shopping as long as I can remember and I have always seen clothing as a type of canvas for creation. When I first started my journey of vintage clothing and up-cycling, I was a 13 years old hand-stitching appliqué flowers and stabbing my fingers with studs on vintage Levi’s and I have basically just continued to evolve my little hobby into a more sustainable job for myself. Today I have established a brand and a little (local) name for myself by free-handing art on vintage clothing and rehoming them. It has taken hours of creating and hours and hours on top of that of modeling my clothing, managing, marketing, shipping and customer service all on my own.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I have totally experienced burn out trying to manage a small business while working a more traditional job in childcare and going to school to teach kindergarten. I also have generalized anxiety which has added another level of complication when it comes to being my own customer service and navigating the world of lowballs and persistent customers, but ultimately I love it. One of the toughest parts is living in a bedroom that is also my art studio, photoshoot space and entire business storage.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I source and sell vintage clothing as well as upcycled one of one pieces. I started with mostly embroidery on denim and have evolved to more patchwork projects. I am most proud of my personal art and seeing people around me wearing something I rescued from the secondhand clothing world and just let my mind run free on. What sets me apart is that my inspiration doesn’t typically come from fashion- I like novelty and kitsch and bold choices and I think that reflects in my work in addition to the clothing canvases I use being totally vintage or secondhand.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
I think consistency is key. There have been times in my journey where my motivation was not where I needed it to be and because of this, I’ve missed out on some opportunities for growth there. I wish I knew not to undercharge my abilities from the beginning. Accepting $15 dollar commissions for art that takes me 2 hours to hand stitch is not something I would sign myself up for this far in. Do not discredit your hard work and your art because someone else thinks it should be on par with fast-fashion prices.

Pricing:

  • Vintage full length denim: ranges $45-$65+
  • Vintage shorts or skirts: ranges $20-$30
  • Commissions: $20 an hour per piece on provided pre-owned item
  • Commissions: $20 an hour + price of item for customs

Contact Info:

  • Email: hannahhmichael@gmail.com
  • Website: depop.com/poked
  • Instagram: @pokedpants

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