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One of the highlights of the pandemic for Sheryl Roberts was seeing her clothes worn by an actor on FX’s groundbreaking show. Pose on the 1980s ballroom stage in New York City.

“My clothes are on my favorite show! Roberts posted on Instagram on May 10. “I literally cry tears of happiness!”

Roberts, who changed careers in 2017 to launch a vintage clothing line called IndigoStyle Vintage after 30 years as a model, has introduced new revenue streams since the Covid-19 crisis hit her business hard in early 1900s. 2020.

Selling vintage clothes she’s making for movie and TV shows is just a new source of income Roberts discovered last year when she was forced to rethink everything she had built.

In 2017, she launched IndigoStyle Vintage in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, which sells select vintage clothing, as well as new merchandise such as soaps, t-shirts, and jewelry, much of which comes from non-white artisans.

Sheryl Roberts has started auctioning items on Instagram and offering virtual styling sessions during the pandemic © Stephanie Forshee / FT

For two years, she worked as a salesperson in someone else’s home decor store before opening hers in June 2019 – never imagining what was around the corner for retailers, many of which had to shut down temporarily at the start of the pandemic.

After a great start, Roberts realized that things were not going well and focused on building an online presence with a website and through social media.

Last summer, Roberts began live streaming clothes for sale on social media, an initiative she dubbed “Instagram’s QVC,” a reference to the US door-to-door network. Each Sunday, Roberts goes live on Instagram and talks about several vintage items from his store, detailing their features and measurements, and answering questions as customers bid to purchase the pieces.

Live sales have helped IndigoStyle Vintage’s results, Roberts says, and it’s something she will continue to do after the pandemic. She has also started giving virtual styling sessions and offering clients the option to show her around their home, rummage through their closets and choose outfits that suit them well.

Regardless of how buyers prefer to interact with IndigoStyle, Roberts says she appreciates the personalized service she can provide.

“I encourage customers to play here,” she says, “play with shapes, play with colors”.

One thing that hasn’t changed is Roberts’ frankness with clients. “If something’s wrong, I’ll tell you.” I guarantee you if you go to Macy’s the business partner will say, ‘Oh yeah, that looks great. You should buy it ”, but I’ll tell you if something’s wrong and we can find something that works better.

“I want customers to walk away from here with pieces that they are looking at in their wardrobes and that brings them joy,” says Roberts. “I want them to receive compliments when they walk down the street because it will make them feel good about themselves.”

This is the seventh article in a series for the blog that explores the effects of the pandemic on people and businesses around the world.


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