interview by Kate Schweishelm
Rhiannon Leifheit is the owner of liebemarlene, an online vintage shop she runs out of her home near Atlanta. In less than three years, the store – named after one of Rhiannon’s favourite movie stars, Marlene Dietrich – has become one of the most popular destinations on eBay for fashionable vintage. The store’s companion blog, liebemarlene.blogspot.com, has also cultivated its own set of fans, who flock to the site for its impeccable photo sets and Rhiannon’s charming and self-deprecating posts. Here, Rhiannon talks to WORN about the world of buying and selling vintage online.
You often talk about how you weren’t really interested in fashion growing up – what turned you around?
All during high school I was a complete bookworm and was actually against fashion! I just didn’t get it. I think that old movies turned me around… at the time I was into all the Audrey Hepburn films and movies from the 50s, so it was only natural for me to get into vintage fashion.
How did you get your start selling online? A lot of vintage sellers seem to get into it because they are already addicted to the vintage hunt anyway – was this the case for you?
Definitely – I found that I was going to thrift stores so often that I was finding lots more vintage than I needed, and sometimes was finding things that weren’t necessarily my size or style, but that were so pretty that it was hard to leave them behind. So I slowly started to sell on Etsy, and then moved on to eBay.
Not that long ago you moved to the South from the Midwest. I hear that the South is a great place to find vintage – have you found that to be true? Did your shop influence your decision to move there?
Well, I knew I wanted to move away from the Midwest, and I figured that the South would be one of the better areas in the States for finding vintage. So far, it’s been great. I found some great things when I lived in rural Illinois, but I’ve probably had better luck in the South, especially since I’ve moved to the Atlanta area, which is just filled with huge thrift stores and some really good estate sales.