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Life & Work with Morgan Aceves

Today we’d like to introduce you to Morgan Aceves.

Hi Morgan, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My business basically started by posting my thrift finds on my Instagram stories. My views grew, my following grew, and I had multiple DM’s asking where I go if I would ever sell them, etc. I remember specifically one person telling me: “you should make a separate Instagram so we can shop your thrifted goodies!” and I thought, why not! Soon after, I created a profile called Shop Hilton Hottie to go with my “@itshiltonhottie” Instagram profile and to my surprise, people actually started to express an interest in my items and wanted to purchase. That was back in January of 2020 and it has been getting stronger since. I was doing so well selling online that I decided to create an in-person shopping experience. It was March of 2020 that I reached out to King Richards Antique Center in Whittier to inquire about renting a booth. They just had one come up for grabs and within a day, I had signed my lease. I officially opened on my birthday, April 1st. I figured there would be no greater gift to myself than starting a small business. I had been going to this antique mall since I was a child and never once thought that I would have my own space there, it was definitely a full circle moment. Little did I know what would come from simply sharing my love of nostalgia and shopping sustainably. I had no idea that there was such a market for 90’s/early 2000’s pieces but quickly realized that there was after seeing the total of my first month’s sales at King Richards, I was blown away by the love of my booth was shown in its first month.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Honestly, no one ever has a completely smooth road to success. There’s bound to be struggles along the way and I’ve definitely had my fair share. I feel like struggles and bumps in the road only help me become a better version of myself and that goes for my business as well. Had I not learned what I did, I would not be where I am today. My main struggle that I am still working on is learning the business aspect of what I do. Licensing, taxes, fees, bookkeeping, etc. I’m doing everything myself. Being your own boss does come with challenges, you can only turn to yourself and that is a blessing and a curse. I also think time management is another struggle that myself and a lot of other resellers have. Knowing when to stop working and setting boundaries for yourself is more difficult than you think. Sometimes I catch myself photographing items until 3 am and over time, that is not a healthy habit to have. I’m always trying to better myself and my business, I’m always trying to set those important boundaries. It’s a struggle but what isn’t?

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Shop Hilton Hottie is a sustainably sourced and curated vintage and y2k collection of one of a kind pieces. I’ve handpicked the best of the best nostalgic items from toys, collectibles, clothing, accessories, and everything in between. I’d like to think I’m known as a nostalgia plug, I have something for everyone. I get several DM’s about whether or not I have random items in stock and 9 out of 10 times, I have something for that specific request. I think it’s important to be able to cater to a lot of different needs/wants and I’m happiest when I’m able to do so. I’m most proud of how far I’ve come this year in both my personal life and business. I think it’s really special that I’m able to enjoy what I do for a living and I will always be grateful for that. Taking the first step toward a goal or dream is always the hardest, I never thought I would be able to get to this place in life but here I am. The best part to me is knowing that I worked for everything that I have. I worked really, really hard and am still working hard to grow even further as a business. I’m grateful that I’m driven and have a strong work ethic and can recognize that. I wouldn’t trade any of that for the world. One thing that I think sets me apart from others is that I specifically sell items for millennials and gen z. I’ve unofficially coined the term “millennial antiques” and that’s exactly my style. I’ve yet to see anyone else create such an environment for people my age. I think it’s amazing that the things we loved as kids in the 90’s and 2000’s are now being made accessible by vendors such as myself, it’s really great to see such a positive response. I was at my booth at King Richards once and someone came up to me and asked if this was my space, I said yes, she said “this is literally like my bedroom when I was a child, it takes me back, I love it!” that is still my favorite compliment I’ve gotten about my business to this day. The fact that people are getting that that’s the goal and that they’re into it is incredible.

What are your plans for the future?
I’m always manifesting and envisioning my future. Eventually, I hope to turn my booth and online shop into an actual store of its own. I hope to create a new and improved antique-like shopping experience for people my age. One day you will see my store around.

Contact Info:

  • Email: shophiltonhottie@aol.com
  • Instagram: shophiltonhottie

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