Q: So tell us about Lost Girls Vintage. How did it come to be?
Kyla: We met at a [vintage] sale last year and just became fast friends. We started doing sales together last summer—producing our own pop-up sales around town and selling together at established sales like Vintage Garage and Vintage Bazaar. We’d thrown around the idea of sharing a storefront space, but neither one of us wanted to be tied down to a physical location. So I think Sarah threw out the idea of having a camper, and I loved
Q: You were both selling vintage clothing separately in the city—and there are a number of young women doing the same thing. Was there ever a sense of competition between you?
Sarah: I feel like we’re really lucky to be part of such a strong community that supports one another. We all feel like there’s enough to go around. Also, everyone seems to have their own style. Not to say that we won’t have the similar things as Rose Vintage
or Dethrose Vintage, or any other seller, but we definitely have different tastes. We can overlap in some ways, but never to the point that our [inventory] is identical.
Kyla: The sense in this community really—and we’re so fortunate—is that the more we can help each other, the better we all can do. It’s very collaborative and we’re friends with most
‘The sense in this community really—and we’re so fortunate—is that the more we can help each other, the better we all can do. It’s very collaborative.’
of the other people who are doing this professionally. We’ve talked to Sam from Rose Vintage and Karyn and Jen who do Silver Tin—the other two mobile vintage shops in the city—and we really want to collaborate and come up with our own sale to do together. We all love each other, so it’s not really competitive.
Q: Is there any special meaning behind the Lost Girls’ name?
Sarah: We were coming up with a lot of different names. I like to call myself “the name guru,” because I really like coming up with names for things. The first name I threw out to Kyla—just as a joke—was Happy Camper.
Kyla: It was so mean because I loved it so much! I was like ‘Yes! That’s perfect, I love it!’ And she was like, ‘I’m joking. I would never
use that name.’ I was heartbroken.
Sarah: I think Happy Camper would be really cute for a children’s mobile shop, but it didn’t really fit our aesthetic. So both Kyla and I have a different association with Peter Pan and when I mentioned Lost Girls, it resonated with both of us really well. I’ve always loved Peter Pan and the idea of being forever young, fun, and playful so it just worked. Also, we’ll be travelling and we’ll probably get lost a lot!
Q: What was the reaction from your parents when you told them you’d be travelling the country in an old RV to sell vintage clothing?
Kyla: My family thought it was super cool. I think both Sarah and I were really open the whole time about wanting to do this. My stepdad forwarded me different campers that were for sale in Georgia, where I'm from. So my family was really supportive.
My kindred spirit and my style icon is my great, great grandmother who wanted to travel the country in an old camper…So I think my family saw a little bit of her in me in taking on this endeavor.
For me also, my kindred spirit and my style icon is my great, great grandmother who wanted to travel the country in an old camper. That's what she wanted in life. So I think my family saw a little bit of her in me in taking on this endeavor.
Sarah: I don't know if my family believed I was going to do it! But now that it's done they're really supportive and excited for me.
Q: So you bought a 1970s RV and were faced with renovating it. How did you know where to begin?
Sarah: We didn't. [laughs]
Kyla: We had no idea. We were so overwhelmed... We got to a point where we were scratching our heads thinking 'What do we do? How do we even start?' And that's when I realized that I know this guy who's a contractor. He was a regular customer at the Starbucks I work in part-time. So John, this stereotypical Texan, came out and he's like [cue up the southern accent] 'Oh, yeah, this'll be a lot of fun. I can totally do this. Here's what you can do: You guys can take over most of the demolition inside.' And Sarah's like, 'Well, what do we do to get stuff out of here?' And John said, 'Just beat the crap out of it with a hammer.'
Sarah: It was really funny because I asked him, 'What do I hit it with?' And he was like, 'I don't know? A hammer? Your foot? Whatever.'
It was really funny because I asked him, 'What do I hit it with?' And he was like, 'I don't know? A hammer? Your foot? Whatever.'
Q: So how fun was that, taking a hammer to the inside of the RV?
Sarah: Well, we didn't have goggles or gloves--
Kyla: We did end up putting on sunglasses to shield our eyes from the flying particles. I think we looked pretty stylish doing it.
Sarah: Yes, we may not be handy, but we are
stylish. My favorite part of the whole demolition process was finding the original wallpaper. This old 1970s wallpaper. We ended up saving a piece to frame and put in our studio later.
Kyla: When we get a studio.
Q: So you’re embarking on a nationwide tour over the summer. How will that work? Are you worried about spending so much time together in a tiny RV?
Kyla & Sarah: No.
Sarah: Should we be worried? [Laughs] No, we spend so much time together that it's gotten to the point that, well we can be around each other and not talk and have it be comfortable. It's like my second relationship. Like a marriage.
Q: We have to ask, what’s the gas mileage on a 1970s RV?
Sarah: It gets 16 to 18 miles to the gallon.
Kyla: Yeah, I think it's more like 13 to 15.
Sarah: We're going to have to test that out. We're not even sure how well the gas gauge works [laughs]. There's a lot of guesswork with this RV. We actually have to let it warm up for ten minutes every time we want to drive it... We just have to get to know her.
Kyla: It's going to be an adventure is what Sarah's saying.
We're not even sure how well the gas gauge works [laughs]. There's a lot of guesswork with this RV. We actually have to let it warm up for ten minutes every time we want to drive it...
Q: We don’t see too many vintage shops around Chicago catering to men. Are you getting a good response from the guys?
Sarah: We are. It seems like a lot of the guys have been itching to start buying vintage. Both of our significant others are obsessed with our men's collection.
Kyla: Yes! We both have the problem that any time we get something new in their size, they want it and we can't sell it. It's in the cutest, most endearing way possible and of course, you want your boyfriend to look good.
Q: Are your partners going along with you when you’re ready to pack up the RV and head out of town?
Kyla: No, they're not. No boys allowed.
Sarah: [Laughs] But they're taking it okay. We're only going to be on the road for a full week at a time. We're going to try to keep coming back because we'll run out of clothes, hopefully. But I do think it will be hard. There will be a lot of Skype calls. But they understand that this is our dream and we finally get to live it.