Roxie, 31, and Issy Webster, 28, from Belper, first set up their vintage clothing wholesale business, Fox Vintage Clothing, in 2017 with just £2,000 in the bank.
The sisters started the business from a small office in Derby and, as they prepare to move into a new warehouse, celebrate the return of their first million.
Roxie said: “We started as retailers, selling items we found in charity shops on sites such as ASOS Marketplace and Depop before deciding to push our limits and become a wholesaler, supplying retailers in the whole world.
“We saw a gap in the market because we could never find the stock we wanted as retailers. It seemed like a good idea to become a wholesaler.
“We really knew little about wholesale at the time, but we learned as we went. We started by supplying companies that were bigger than us and made people believe we were bigger than we really were; all we really had was a box of vintage clothes in this little room on the edge of Derby.
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Roxie and Issy primarily import their stock from America by the ton, shipping up to 10 tons per week.
The couple believe one of the factors contributing to their company’s popularity is a heightened awareness of the environmental impact of ‘fast fashion’ – the term used in the industry to describe the mass production of good-looking clothes. market in response to latest trends which are often dropped once another trend rolls over.
“By importing 10 tons of clothes every week, we’re actually saving 10 tons of clothes from going to landfill,” Roxie said.
“Gen Z shoppers are tired of fast fashion and vintage clothing is the most sustainable choice.
“Each item has its own story and I love imagining who wore each item before it came to us; we find US dollars in pockets quite often, and we once found packs of chewing gum not 1980s open tops in the pocket of a hoodie.
Roxie, who has always been interested in business, recalls a 15-year-old conversation with her mother Annie where she told her that one day she would have her own business.
Annie now works in the new warehouse, and her younger brother Ki is an equal partner in Fox Vintage Wholesale after joining his sisters last year.
The new unit, located on Royal Scot Road in Derby, promises a ‘dealer experience’ with bold and dynamic branding, a relaxation area and games room with pool table and vintage arcade unit.
There’s also an office space where the team will keep tabs on their 25,000 Instagram followers and growing TikTok audience, while those lurking behind the scenes can make sure the business is running smoothly.
“Vintage clothing is big business — but you gotta know your stuff,” Issy added. “We have been showing retailers around our warehouse for a hand sorting session and that can take hours. It can be quite exhausting.
“Our new warehouse, however, will have more space and the rest areas will enhance the whole experience.”