Today we’d like to introduce you to Alisa and Sam Bither.
Alisa and Sam, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My love for vintage started out as a necessity. Growing up in Bangkok, it was hard for me to find clothes that fit my body. I was never heavier than 110 lbs but because of the stupid beauty standard we had, all clothes available were very small and pretty much no size option. That was when I started to wear vintage. More and more I felt in love with everything about it. Started as necessity, then became my passion.
In 2007, I came to LA as a student. I went to graduate school for a semester and hated every bit of it so I left. During that time I was selling vintage on eBay as a side job for extra money. In 2013, I started to set up at Silverlake Farmers Market. Then almost two years later I met my husband, Sam. We have been doing business together ever since.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A lot of people, especially young kids, think they can just swing by at any goodwills to find stuff as good. LA is a very competitive market because LA the best city in the world to find vintage. People come here from over the world to source through pieces. It’s getting harder and harder to find the right piece at the right price. Another thing is to find who we are. It took us a while to figure it out our brand identity, the perfect balance of who we are and what people want and looking for.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Rebel Closet and Aseface Vintage – what should we know?
We set up at Silverlake Farmers Market every Saturday and at Melrose trading post most Sunday, also Rose Bowl Flea. Sam takes care of mens selections and I take care of womens. I specialize in tongue-in-cheek kind of T-shirts. It represents my personality pretty well. Sam specializes in pants, both basic and unique. Not a lot of people sell vintage men pants let me tell you that. So a lot of people come to us specifically for men pants and t-shirts.
The proudest moment for us is when we have been recommended by people from all over, overseas and local. And when big companies regularly shop with us to put our stuff in their stores or use as inspiration pieces. We are such a small business so getting that kind validation is amazing.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
It sounds cheesy but definitely our customers, especially local Silverlake customers. They are very loyal and a lot of them have become close friends. We also live in Silverlake so we really give a damn about the community. Because we set up at Farmers Market, there is an area for kids and families to hang out, so we know their pets by name, we have seen their first pregnancies (and second and third), met their visited parents from out of town. It’s a true definition of community. Without their support, we wouldn’t be here. A lot of them are well-known and famous, their word-of-mouth and social media shout out have brought us a lot of business.
- Website: www.RebelCloset.com
- Instagram: @rebelcloset and @asefacevintage
Instagram @rebelcloset and @asefacevintage