ENTREPRENEUR Gracie Collier from Laois has been using social media to grow her clothing brand, SPICE Vintage. The 27-year-old, who sold vintage clothes at flea markets and online since she was 13, has set up a shop in Limerick, and says Instagram has been a central to the promotion of her brand.
“My main platform would most definitely be Instagram. It is a vital part to the business,” she said.
“It allows me to connect with customers, sell clothes directly from enquiries through Instagram and build a lifestyle around the brand, which is everything.”
Gracie previously ran a pop-up shop in West Cork before moving her ‘wearable vintage’ brand to Limerick. “I was doing really well in Clonakilty but I always had a compulsion to share what I had tapped into with a wider audience. Limerick has a certain vibe. Limerick Institute of Technology, with its art and fashion faculties, UL, Mary I, the recent investment announcement in the Opera district, and so on. It was a total no brainer for me.
“Limerick has one of the best fashion design courses in the country. I want to tap into that energy.”
Gracie envisions SPICE as a space for students to sell designs as well as hosting in-store gigs, yoga classes, talks and workshops.
“I see SPICE providing a creative hub for young and old. My dream is to make SPICE a place where people can come and express themselves freely through one-off pieces of clothing. To have fun and enjoy themselves in clothes that don’t cost a fortune either.”
While she uses social media frequently for her shop, Gracie is careful about her personal time spent online.
“I am very aware of how I consume my feed and make sure I only follow people who inspire me or make me feel good about myself. I purposefully do not compare my life to others on Instagram.”
Gracie has a Masters in Marketing and says her focusing on the use of Instagram for promotion in her thesis has been beneficial.
“I feel I had a really good grasp of how to leverage the app. If I didn’t have my background in marketing I would have struggled.”
She suggests would-be entrepreneurs should reach out to similar professionals for advice.
“Contact people who have Instagram business pages you love and think develop great content, ask for advise. People are so much more helpful than you would think.”