Today we’d like to introduce you to Monique Gatillon.
Monique, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a wife and mother of three children (4, 2, and 4 months) building a brand for my love of vintage clothing.
In 2015, I left my corporate job to raise my first son Myron and care for my father recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and stage 4 renal cancer. I needed an outlet to help both create a steady income as well as satisfy my love of fashion and vintage clothing. While pregnant with my second son Myles, I had an itch to go back to selling vintage clothing like I did when I was in college supporting myself.
After Myles was born, I created LA Retro Girl on Poshmark, a fashion app, as a business. I began listing a few items everyday and steadily continued work on polishing the LA Retro Girl brand daily. Within six months, LA Retro Girl took off. Since then I’ve been fortunate to expand to selling directly to private clients as well as online through Instagram. Last year I was asked to speak at Poshfest (an annual event for Poshmark) to share my marketing story. This year’s volume is on track to double in sales. I’m also currently looking to mentor other entrepreneurial women and manifest my dream to travel the world and source the finest of vintage clothing.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been smooth road so far but I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices. I got pregnant last year and it was tough. But, I managed to work really hard the first three months of my pregnancy (long working hours) and I hired a part-time nanny who helped me take care of my children while I ran my business during the day. I’ve also been so fortunate to hire an intern since July helping me expand and I recently hired another intern to assist me as well. With a newborn and two toddlers along with a sick parent it has definitely been a joggling act but all so manageable. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by some amazing souls that have helped me along the way. Advise to all soon-to-be moms and mothers is to never give up in your dreams and pursue your passion.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
LA Retro Girl is a vintage shop curated by Monique Gatillon. I specialize in sourcing one of a kind vintage pieces for every gorgeous size. I select runway fashions that can be incorporated into everyday wardrobe.
As a mommy of three, my body has changed and I keep that in mind when I source for new vintage pieces. As my body has evolved so has my taste for vintage. I handpick unique pieces that fit an array of sizes. I was tired of going to vintage shops only to find extra small sizes. Becoming a mom sparked my interest in styling women of every shape and size to make them feel beautiful in vintage pieces.
I started selling vintage on Poshmark when the app was still evolving. Every time a friend or potential client asked me where they could shop my pieces I directed them to the Poshmark App. Now, all my friends shop on Poshmark. I’m so thankful I found Poshmark early on because it helped differentiate myself from competitors that sell on Etsy and Depop.
We are now also selling on Instagram and have acquired new international buyers.
What were you like growing up?
I was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States at five years of age. My dad was a Diplomat and we moved a few times during my childhood. I always loved fashion especially growing up. I remember watching Xuxa in Clube da Criança everyday at four years old and admiring her taste of fashion. She definitely sparked my early interest in vintage fashion.
I was an introverted child up until I transitioned into middle school. I started coming out of my shell and really taking my fashion wardrobe to the next level. I went to Diamond Bar High School near Pomona where I would find all my vintage pieces. I started wearing high heels from my freshman year to my senior year. You can ask many of my close friends and they will say that I have not changed much. My favorite eras during that time were the 60s and 70s. I loved mixing them both and making them my own style.
I graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Business Degree in Marketing. I did several internships and sold vintage on eBay for a few years. Shortly after I graduated, I worked for a big corporation for seven years and decided my job was not for me. I followed my dream and created LA Retro Girl.
- Dresses range from $50-$275
- Blouses range from $35-$125
- Skirts range from $35-$125
- Jackets range from $35-$375
- Website: http://Linktr.ee/laretrogirl
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/laretrogirl
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/laretrogirl/
All photos have been taken by Nicole Godinez-Medina; Instagram handle @nicolegodinezphoto