Selena Blackstone of Blu Butterfly Vintage has been searching for unique pieces since the early 90’s! I remember going on “treasure hunts” with her at all of the local Orlando thrift shops when we were in high school together. We both shared that love for taking care of the Earth and being creative. She has a real gift in being able to find one of kind pieces, and even reinventing a fashion piece. We reconnected last summer to collaborate on a blog post. She was gracious in allowing Liliana, who loves to repurpose old clothes, to interview her.
Read more about Selena at Blu Butterfly Vintage and sustainable fashions. This may be something you are interested in doing in your future!
Leo the Lion visited Blu Butterfly Vintage this past summer.
Liliana: What inspired you to be a fashion designer?
Selena: I have always loved clothes since I was a little girl and would make clothes for my Barbie dolls. I would also dress up in my grandmas clothes and my cousins and I would have fashion shows for my grandparents. I always found it hard to find clothes that I liked when going to the local stores/department stores. As a teenager, I always found different pieces at the local thrift stores that I loved and that was eccentric, unique and different.
Liliana: How did you come up with the name of your business?
Selena: As a little girl, my grandmother and I used to chase butterflies in her garden every summer. Once she would catch them, she would put them to sleep and put them in shadowboxes. It was fun, yet…. sad but they were great memories that I had with my grandmother. The butterfly was always a creature that I loved and was a part of me. When searching for a name for my business, blue butterflies were surrounding me at that time. I was seeing them everywhere. I was also seeing a lot of monarchs. It was a sign, and the name was a new beginning.
Liliana: What kind of styles do you usually look for?
Selena: My styles and taste change from season to season. It really depends on what I am feeling at that moment when looking for inventory. Right now, I look for full circle dresses and crush velvet for the holiday season. I am partial to the 60’s and 70’s styles though!
Liliana: Where do you get your clothes for your business?
Selena: A portion of my inventory comes from local auctions or estate sales. I have developed relationships with people in the industry that now call me to pick up at their place of sale, and/or auctions.
Liliana: Do you usually make the clothes for your business?
Selena: I usually do any repairs and restoration of already made dresses or clothing. However, Blu Butterfly Vintage has a clothing line on the rise in the near future of reproduced vintage styles.
Liliana: What have you learned about being a fashion designer?
Selena: Being true to myself and who I am is important in this industry. Being in the fashion industry is very competitive and it is easy to get discouraged. Ultimately, I don’t allow myself to look at what everyone else is doing, but I keep my eyes on my own vision and what I see for Blu Butterfly Vintage.
Liliana: Have you been in any shows like Shark Tank?
Selena: This one is my favorite question! I love Shark Tank. Unfortunately, I have not been on that show….yet! YOU never know what the future hold. I have done a lot of fashion shows and fundraising events. Our next event will be a vintage car show where a bunch of us ladies will be dressed in vintage 50’s and 60’s dresses to help raise money for a cancer patient.
Liliana: Does anyone else work with you on your business?
Selena: Yes! It is a family affair! I have a 16 year old daughter who does all the modeling for me. And I have a 3 year old son who helps me package sales for shipping.
Liliana: Do you usually get a lot of customers?
Selena: Most of my customers are buying online right now as the online marketplace is thriving.
Liliana: Do you sell clothes for all ages?
Selena: Yes I do! I have clothes for all girls and women!