“We created the gently pre-owned rack to incorporate a more sustainable aspect to our business. At first, it was a test to see how customers would respond to it, but it quickly became a staple to the Maplewood brand. Since launching we've expanded to a larger permanent area in Reverie and a rack in the truck as well. Quite a few of our interns have shown interest in shopping for the rack and are now our primary source. This season two of our interns, Lauren Lieser and Maya Highsmith have a passion for sustainability and do an amazing job buying for us. Lauren also has a great talent with upcycled denim that customers are responding to enthusiastically and something we hope to continue!”
“This summer as an intern at Maplewood Boutique I took on the responsibility of shopping for the thrift rack as well as curating the thrifted vintage denim collection. Some of my favorite thrift shops to find the vintage denim are Goodwill and Salvation Army.”
Lieser has full range to choose whichever piece she wants; her goal is to choose unique quality vintage pieces that are versatile. Lieser has a few things she keeps in mind when determining quality products.
“When buying there are a few things I take into consideration when picking out the denim I will use. One is determining the fabric contents of the denim; I can tell if something is true vintage denim just by feeling the fabric. Next, I choose the brand of denim to ensure quality; I am always keeping my eye out for the big tan Levi’s patch that adds that name-brand value. I also look for the vintage patch on the back that adds to the character of the jeans. Lastly, I consider pricing and sizing to ensure the shorts will be inclusive to everyone.”
After choosing the denim Lieser customizes the shorts herself by hand distressing the denim and cutting the jeans into the shorts featured in the collection. Fabric content is an important factor Lieser considers when distressing the denim.
“When distressing denim, you need to use fabric with 100% cotton or close to that because the more stretch the jeans have the harder it is to get the nice clean distressed look. I stay away from jeans that contain spandex because of the stretch spandex brings to the material.”
Lieser has developed her own technique for turning vintage denim jeans into uniquely distressed denim shorts.
“I first cut them [jeans] to an appropriate short length and take a box cutter to them to create the distressed look. When making slits with the box cutter I typically keep the slits ¼ inch apart or more/less depending on how I want the distressing to look. Then, I throw them in the washer; putting the shorts into the washer pulls out the little blue threads and saves me the trouble of individually pulling them out. After washing and drying them I go back over the shorts and cut any unwanted threads and pull out any leftover threads with a pair of tweezers.”
By Mckenzie Uhrig