By Erin Peterson
Growing up in South Florida, Sarah Farid, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’09, spent long hours in thrift shops and flea markets with her mom, snapping up all types of unique and unexpected jewelry.
But in 2010, at home during a school break, she saw more than just a collection of beautiful vintage items; she saw a business opportunity. With her mom’s permission, she gathered up a few of the items and started up an Etsy shop, LUXXORVintage. Sales were brisk from the start, but it was an offhand comment from a savvy buyer that helped her realize the shop’s true potential. “I sold an agate heart for pretty cheap, and the person who bought it told me that the piece was actually Victorian, and worth a lot more than what I sold it for,” she recalls. “That’s when I got really serious about it.” Farid pored through reference books and talked to antiques dealers to learn what older pieces were really worth. Slowly, she learned to separate valuable vintage pieces from newer knockoffs. While she kept the shop as a side business for a little while after graduation—she landed a job in sales and public relations to pay most of her bills—it was never far from her mind. In 2013, she partnered with textile artist Margot Becker to open a vintage and handmade goods store called, transparently enough, the Store at 17 N. 5th, in Hudson, New York. It included many of the items she’d been selling through her Etsy shop. The retail location closed after just a year, when the owner converted the space into an apartment, but Farid’s interest in her online venture grew. Since opening LUXXORVintage, she’s sold nearly 2,000 items and has hundreds of five-star reviews; it’s currently her full-time job. For Farid, the joy of having the shop is the freedom it gives her. “It requires dedication, but I really like being in control of everything,” she says.