Interviewee: Liz Gardner
In your words… Tell us about your organization, business, initiative.
Eleventh House Vintage creatively curates vintage clothing, accessories, and home goods for folks to look good, feel good, and do good. We specialize in sourcing gorgeous vintage garments and accessories from the 1920s – 1990s for every body.
Our shop name is inspired by the astrological concept of Houses, or the sections of the sky in your chart that correspond to different facets of your life. The Eleventh House represents your friends and community, and that’s what we’re all about. We are passionate about connecting people and building community through a shared love of vintage and sustainable fashion.
Tell us a bit about you and why you do what you do? Share your passions for your business, initiative, organization.
I founded Eleventh House Vintage in 2022 after seven years of co-owning a successful part-time vintage pop-up shop with my mom, Rebecca. We continue to collaborate on sourcing, mending and repairing all the vintage goods for Eleventh House. It runs in our blood: my maternal grandparents were also antique dealers!
I consider myself an entrepreneur who explores the intersections of fashion, history, art, design, and sustainability. Before I decided to pursue Eleventh House full-time, I worked as an educator in art museums for over a decade, and that background continues to inform my work researching fashion history and connecting people with vintage and material culture.
I’m passionate about promoting sustainability in fashion, and specifically the unique role that vintage clothing can play in reducing our consumption of fast fashion, an industry that causes a lot of environmental destruction and exploits garment workers around the world. Vintage garments are such a beautiful and creative alternative to mass-produced clothing, and we believe that everyone should feel good in them. We work hard to ensure that we always have an inclusive range of sizes and styles in stock.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, I have three planets (known as a stellium) in Cancer in the Eleventh House of my astrological chart (Sun, Mercury, and Venus)!
What role do you think your business plays in supporting a more creative community? OR your community in general. (Bonus! Why do you think a more creative community is important?)
My creative outlet is curating our vintage collection and interpreting it for our community–and in turn, one of my biggest joys is seeing how our community selects our vintage pieces to tell their own stories and express their unique styles and perspectives. I also love seeing how our pieces can inspire new creative projects and be featured in photo shoots, performances, film productions, and more.
Because one of our core values is building community through vintage and sustainable fashion, it’s also incredibly important that we help folks to learn about these topics, collaborate with like-minded local institutions and shops, and give back by partnering with and donating to local social justice organizations. Change in the fashion industry and in the environment won’t happen overnight–but it will happen a lot faster if we work together and take care of each other!
What was the last book you read OR What was the last video you watched that made an impact on you?
I’m a huge fan of writer and educator Aja Barber. Reading her latest book, “Consumed, The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate Change, and Consumerism” had a big impact on how I think about my work in this field, and prompted a lot of reflection on why it’s so important for all of us reconsider our clothing consumption habits. I’m hoping to host a book club on this in the near future–stay tuned!
What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you our your business?
When we talk about vintage as part of the “slow fashion” movement, I don’t think people realize just how slowwwww it can be. Before our vintage garments are in front of you at a pop-up, we’ve had to research where to find them, travel to get them, clean them (there’s SO MUCH cleaning involved!), repair and mend them, research them, price them, photograph them, etc. It can be months before an item is ready to go to its new home!
What is Creative Collective?
Creative Collective is a group of economic development strategists, small business supporters, activation specialists, and believers in the importance of the creative workforce. We foster growth, sustainability, and scalability for small businesses, creative thinkers, organizations, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Learn more and join Creative Collective at www.creativecollectivema.com/join