When Sam Hatfield was a kid, she used to design hypothetical outfits for the Spice Girls. Her drawings were so good, she sold them to friends at school for 50 cents apiece. The fashion lover has always considered herself a creative, but despite these early forays in design, she never really dreamed of having her own line.
"I did go to fashion merchandising and design school for a minute," says Hatfield, who has years of experience in retail and merchandising on her resume. "But I didn't see it as something I could make a living doing, I more thought I'd open a store some day."
Now, she's the thrift hunter and self-taught tailor behind Shotgun Vintage—like the passenger seat in a car, she says: "People 'call shotgun' because there's only one of them, just like there's only one of each piece that I sell."
It's a line of reimagined second-hand finds that got its start like everything does now: Online. "I'd always worked on my own stuff, for myself. Mostly I was into denim, turning jeans into shorts, dying them, adding studs," says Hatfield. It was after selling vintage from her own closet via Depop, a marketplace app, that she decided to focus on local shoppers via Instagram. "Some things weren't selling so I was like, 'What can I do to make these more appealing?" She pulled out her sewing machine, and started with basic alterations, turning sweaters into crop tops. Next thing she knew, "they started selling."
In the past year, Shotgun's evolved to be what Hatfield calls an edgy streetwear collection that harkens back to the '90s and early aughts by taking quality garments from the era, tailoring them and, sometimes, adding custom embroidery. She's not afraid to call it trendy. Her next steps include moving shoppers from Insta to her website (shotgunvintage.com), designing a fully formed cohesive collection and maybe even hiring an employee. "It's really great because honestly, whatever keeps people out of major retailers. When I was working in retail, you'd see how much waste there is—the turnover rate is so fast," says Hatfield. "I just look at it like, there's so much out there already, and every style comes back around."