Not only does Highway Robbery Vintage have a storefront on East Carson Street, but owner Kate Colussy will be traveling to the Neighborhood Flea on July 27th with a trunk bursting open with vintage fashions.
Get to know our South Side neighbor, Kate.
How did you get a start in selling vintage clothing? Tell us about the process of identifying the right neighborhood for and opening a brick-and-mortar shop.
I have collected vintage my entire life. I was a thrift store and flea market shopper from a very early age. I started selling on etsy. I missed the personal side of interacting with customers face to face so once I was done with school I started getting some ideas together and writing a business plan for what is now Highway Robbery. I had lived in South Side while I was a student at AiP and felt comfortable there. A lot of people who live in the South Side do quite a bit of shopping in the neighborhood and I thought vintage would fit right into the retail atmosphere if the neighborhood. East Carson Street also gets a lot of traffic from out of towners. I love the block Highway Robbery is on. There are some great little shops and a friendly neighborhood vibe.
Owning a small business can be harder than many might think. You surely have some tasks that are not as fun as others, but what is your favorite part of running your own business?
Probably meeting people. I am fortunate enough to have really cool regulars in addition to meeting interesting people from around the world on a daily basis. I've also had amazingly creative and overall wonderful human beings as interns and coworkers over the past three years. They give me fresh eyes on the store and with out them, I don't know if I'd even still be in business.
How do you use social media to help drive your business?
I'm a big fan of Instagram. We post photos of new products, images from photoshoots and general news. We even sell things right off of Instagram. I think people are more comfortable asking questions about items on Instagram than they are calling or emailing the store. We also love to repost customers photos when they are wearing things they from Highway Robbery. We have twitter and plan to use it a lot more once we have our mobile fashion truck up and running. Of course we are on good old Facebook as well.