Today we’d like to introduce you to Isabelle Herndon and Gabriela Alexander.
Isabelle and Gabriela, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
We are fashion aficionados pursuing degrees in fashion merchandising and visual communications. With few opportunities for fashion internships available to us in Bakersfield, California, we created our own by launching Vogue-ish as a permanent vendor inside a vintage shop in 2019, sourcing locally from various thrift shops. Our idea was to provide the chicness of Vogue at affordable prices using thrifted pieces. We began learning the ropes of entrepreneurship and honing our thrifting skills. We both left for college later that year and maintained a long-distance relationship with our shop and still saw growth.
Jumping ahead to 2020, amidst pandemic closures, we decided to expand into a new location more our own. After what felt like years of planning, strategizing, and problem-solving, in January of 2021, we established Bakersfield’s first sea-train boutique adjacent to a local coffee shop, Cafe Smitten. We now source mostly from thrift and vintage stores in various parts of LA. Our goal was to create a unique experience with a “city feel”, where women could enjoy coffee next door while shopping for unique pieces to add to their wardrobes at the same time.
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?
As it was for college students globally, being forced to leave friends, classes, and routines behind to return home last spring during the onset of the pandemic was a tough pill to swallow. Despite all of the setbacks and disappointments of 2020, we wouldn’t have been able to start this journey had we not been brought back to our hometown and gained the flexibility of online classes. Of all the lessons we’ve learned through the process of opening our boutique, learning to recognize silver linings was among the most important. We still pinch ourselves at the thought of owning our own boutique, and we are so fortunate to have had the support and encouragement of family and friends.
We’ve been impressed with Vogue-ish, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We specialize in providing stylish secondhand clothing, accessories, and shoes at an affordable price point for our customers. We devote hours to buying trips where we hand-pick pieces to curate an assortment that is equal parts trendy and vintage. We eliminate the hassle of thrifting by scouring thrift stores ourselves to find the best of the best. We cater to a variety of tastes, but our true aesthetic is a combination of girly and edgy looks. As fashion addicts ourselves, you can count on us to know the latest trends and how to style them. We hope to bring a piece of LA or New York City to our small town with the aesthetic of our boutique and curated assortment.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
One of our favorite parts of Vogue-ish is all of the new faces and fellow business owners we’ve met since we began. We are always looking to connect and collaborate with other small businesses, host pop-ups, or pop up in new locations! Please contact us with any inquiries.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.shopvogue-ish.com
- Instagram: @shopvogue_ish
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/vogue-ish-bakersfield?osq=vogue-ish
In order from left to right: Photos 1-5: Isabelle Herndon Photos 6-8: Brian Yanez