As a teenager, Rhiannon Leifheit was obsessed with Marlene Dietrich. Her AOL handle was leibemarlene and in 2000, she spent her tax return on an autographed Marlene Dietrich photograph on eBay. When she started her blog four years ago to support her vintage clothing store, also on eBay, she called her online journal Leibe Marlene.
She tells Felicity Loughrey, a regular contributor to The Inside Source, eBays digital style magazine, that eBay was a natural starting place for the launch of her e-store because, she says, I could customize the listings and make my store into exactly what I wanted… I’m also a fan of the community on eBay, in particular the vintage selling [message] boards. But last summer, Leifheit, 30, felt her business was big enough for a standalone site, so she wound up her eBay store and recently launched Silent Sundays. There, she sells a mix of vintage and contemporary pieces with a sweet, modern-prairie aesthetic.
Leifheits blog continues to support her retail business, but it’s taken on a lifeand a fan baseall its own. In addition to fashion editorials and promotions for her store, she offers plenty of personal style photos, pictures of Southern excursions and inspiration posts on movies and designers. She describes her personal style as: Simple, romantic, old-fashioned. I dont wear a ton of vintage at the moment, but I always want my outfits to be somewhat evocative of the past.
So far this week . . . : Leifhelt in a Many Belles Down dress, Madewell shoes, a thrift store bag and Karen Walker sunglasses.
For Leifheit, the best thing to come from her blog is meeting others. She has 130,000 readers a month. I never had friends who were into fashion and old movies before. Also some designers have sent me dresses and I cant lie and say thats not a perk.
But back to eBay… Leifheit has been buying on the online marketplace for more than a decade. I signed up because a friend told me I could get old movie photos from auctions for a steal. I could be on the lookout for the most obscure thing and never find it in brick and mortar stores, but one search on eBay and it was likely to pop up. I didnt buy any vintage clothing until 2004.Over the years Ive bought a bunch of dresses for next to nothing.
Her advice: Do a lot of digging around for deals and secret shops that arent high on peoples radar. If youre looking for something specific, do a search on every related word you can think ofyou can find items cheapest when the seller doesnt know what they have. In the past Id follow runway shows religiously and then go to eBay to find vintage counterparts of what I knew would be a trend and in high demand a few months on.
Meredith Barnett is the Editorial Director for The Inside Source, a digital style magazine presented by eBay. The Inside Source writer Felicity Loughrey authored this article in its original form. Click here to read it in full and to check out Leifheits eBay wish list. (Images courtesy of Rhiannon Leifheit/Leibe Marlene/Silent Sundays)