Behind the Boutique: New Mermaid
Happy Friday! Behind the Boutique is back this week and I'm so excited to share with you my interview with Jenn from New Mermaid. This lifestyle vintage jewelry brand's shop is filled with stunning baubles that you'll swoon over. Keep reading to learn more about New Mermaid, how the shop got its start, and what Jenn's favorite pieces are!
Can you give a brief introduction of you and your shop?
I'm Jenn, and I'm the founder of New Mermaid, a lifestyle vintage jewelry brand launched in May 2016. New Mermaid is all about having fun, about that "thrill without the cheap." This means that we like to have fun with our jewels, we get that thrill from being interesting, but we'd rather play with authentic, unique, high quality gems while we're at it. We recently relaunched with piñata-esque packaging - a cross between a candy wrapper and Mylar balloon that tears open to a cascade of jewels and confetti, and we're balancing that bits-and-pieces indulgence with a very clean and designer website. We also founded the Vintage Earring Club (#VintageEarringClub) because you can never go wrong with vintage earrings - the ultimate outfit pick-me-up, so every pair of vintage earrings purchased from New Mermaid comes with a unique authenticity card welcoming you to the club.
How did you get into selling vintage jewelry?
It's an interesting story. I moved to LA from Taipei to start another jewelry brand. I was waiting around on lead times, and vented my frustration by visiting flea markets (LA is vintage mecca!). I've always collected vintage jewelry, but now with so many treasures, I was coming home with literally buckets of these unique gems. I took some photos of my new finds and one thing led to another. Thus, New Mermaid was born.
What is your process for acquiring vintage jewelry?
I visit flea markets and estate sales. In the beginning, I just bought whatever I liked. Now, I only buy based on a collection aesthetic. For example, one half of our Spring collection is about beads and sequins, with focus on pink and green, the moon and stars (trends!). I also buy based on our permanent collections. For example, I work with Japanese dealers to acquire pieces for the Couture Collection. All of New Mermaid's vintage is examined for quality, and then religiously cleaned and sealed in packaging as they wait for their new owners.
What does an average day look like for you as a business owner? What are the rewards / challenges?
For New Mermaid, everything gets done in the day time due to the nature of the vintage hunt and social media. A typical day consists of social media updates, photoshoots and planning, meetings on brand direction, and PR research and outreach. The greatest reward is living life through my brand persona (this balance between playfulness and sophistication) and having small creative breakthroughs, making the great challenge that is the anxiety and panic that comes with pursuing an undefined creative path worth it.
What is your favorite era for vintage Jewelry?
I especially love the 50's for the cluster bead earrings, so funky yet feminine! And I adore the 80's for the large dangle statement earrings!
What are your 3 favorite pieces on the site right now?