Betty & Leroy is a one-woman business run by me, Kim.
For many years, I daydreamed about running my own preloved clothing store. But it was a huge step to take so it never happened. I also make jewellery, so from 2011-2017, I ran my own small business making and selling jewellery.
However, my mind kept daydreaming about preloved and vintage clothing.
On a trip to Los Angeles in 2017, I visited my favourite flea market in Pasadena. It has miles of amazing stalls, including amazing homeware, handmade goods, and stall after stall of vintage clothing.
I loved what I was seeing so much, that I wanted to find a way to bring it back to NZ to share with others. I spent the next 12 months researching and planning, then visited LA again in 2018 for our first stock buying trip.
We opened in November 2018, and in September 2019 I left my day job to run the store full time.
Since the borders closed in 2020, I've been sourcing more and more stock locally. I also really missed making jewellery, so started making and selling it again through the store.
When sourcing stock, I have two rules. The first is that I will only sell stock that I would wear myself. If it's in the store, you know I love it, and it has been carefully inspected, and washed by me.
The second rule is to find stock in as many sizes as I can. Everyone is different, and I want to be able to be as inclusive as I can with the sizes provided.
We've slowly veered more towards preloved in the last 12 months, rather than vintage, and it's been exciting watching the store grow and take a life of its own.
Lastly, if you've ever wondered where the name Betty & Leroy comes from, they're my two assistants (chihuahuas) who were rescued by the SPCA back in 2014. They're a huge part of our family, and are always next to me while I work.