WORDS: SIOBHAN LEDDY
IMAGES: EVIE BURROWS-TAYLOR
Emete Yarici runs Make Lemonade, an online vintage store and fashion blog. Her beautiful pop-up shop runs until February 1st, with an array of accessories, one-off vintage pieces and workshops. Flamingo caught up with her on a busy opening night to find out how she made it happen.
How did Make Lemonade start?
It started as a blog in 2007, which was just my commentary on trying to get into the fashion industry and my experiences as a fashion student. In my second year on university I found a vintage wholesaler and decided to buy a collection – I don’t know why, it just seemed like a good idea!
I found a website called BigCartel and decided to sell about twenty different items, which all did really well. From there I just sort of kept on going, so now I run a fashion blog and a vintage site.
Has it mostly spread through word of mouth then?
It started amongst friends, and began as a way for friends to buy cheap vintage from me. It spread to friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends and then I thought it was time to invest in a proper website for everything.
So we’re now at your pop up shop. How did this come about and how long has it taken to come together?
It took about a year. I’ve known that I’ve wanted to do one for a while, but didn’t really know how. I was sitting in Starbucks one day I just thought, ‘You know, I’m just gonna Google pop-up shop’. Camden Council came up, so I called a number that was posted in like, May the year before. I asked if this was something they were still doing, and I was put in touch with a guy called Alex. I put a proposal together and it just sort of went from there. Although it was a long process – it took months for Alex to get back to me and several months to re-do my proposal so it suited what Camden wanted.
It was hard proving to people that we were doing something worthwhile, and that we could make something good from the space. Councils can be quite corporate sometimes, and can be a bit sceptical about creative projects and how little money is involved.
So what sort of things did you have to change?
It’s always kind of been the same. I’m a very laid back sort of person and my thoughts are very fluid, so I never had a clear idea of it all until Alex asked for a list of everything that was going to go in the shop. I thought of all my friends who were doing lots of different things, and decided they could go in the shop along with our stuff. The only things that have really changed is that we’ve redesigned a lot of the vintage stock so it’s exclusive to the pop up shop.
The jewellery range came out just before Camden Council said yes – but we’d decided to make it anyway. Holly [ann Ladd] literally just started making it two weeks ago, and we’re planning to make it permanent on ASOS concessions.
Are you planning to look for a more permanent space?
Definitely. We’re already going to be stocked in a boutique in LA, which is cool but totally random. We didn’t intend it to happen, it all came about through Twitter. My intention was to get things into UK shops, but LA seemed to have faith in us first!
Any trips to LA then?
Well, I’d have to pay for it; I can’t exactly put in an expenses claim to the big boss. I am the big boss! But the plan is to get lots of concessions and from there, when we’ve got the money, we’ll start our own shop.
Did you always plan to work for yourself or has it just evolved?
My family all work for themselves, and my grandad is quite old-fashioned. He always said if you can work for yourself, you should. I never planned on it though, but seeing as Make Lemonade was doing quite well while I was at uni, as soon as I graduated my parents just said that I should give it a go. I guess it was them that really pushed me into it, because I didn’t have the faith in it that they did.
Is there anyone you really admire in the fashion world?
I’ve got this philosophy of trying not to pay too much attention to what’s going on outside, because you kind of get bogged down in what they’re doing and what you haven’t done. I guess it’s kind of sad that I don’t admire anyone!
And what’s on the Make Lemonade stereo?
I really like Wild Beasts. Anything from their album – they’re my favourite at the moment. I listen to it over and over again.
The Make Lemonade pop up shop will reside at 24 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JH until 1st February.