If you enjoy hunting for vintage clothing and preloved designer garments on websites such as Ebay and ASOS marketplace, then my guest this week would be a familiar name to you. Messina Hembry is eBay’s largest retailer of secondhand branded clothing and is one of the top 10 boutiques on ASOS marketplace. They have now launched their own new stand-alone e-boutique to compliment their existing outlets and I caught up with founder Zac Hembry to find out more. Hi Zac…
Hi there! I’m Zac Hembry the founder here at Messina Hembry Clothing.
What inspired you to launch Messina Hembry?
I always had a desire to start my own business once I had left university. I wanted to create something which could offer people real savings and doing it in the most environmentally friendly way possible. I always had a keen interest in buying and selling second hand designer clothing on eBay which lead to the creation of Messina Hembry.
Have you always had a passion for fashion?
I have always loved designer brands but I found the new price tags really limiting. I always had to shop smart on places like eBay or etsy. There is something really satisfying knowing that someone has already paid 4-5 times the price for the same item. My passion for fashion definitely came from the savings from buying second hand pieces.
When choosing outfits to represent Messina Hembry, do you go by popular styles, customer requests, your own preferences, the uniqueness, the brand or bits of all those?
We always try to choose our most exclusive pieces when picking out styles for Messina Hembry. We want really want to show off the pieces which people can’t get hold of anymore. Some of the more difficult stuff we like to show off include any Moschino, Versace and YSL are always winners!
My favourite items from your website are the collection of Diesel jeans – timeless pieces! What outfits/brands are proving popular amongst your customers so far this season?
We’ve always got a high demand for any Ralph Lauren and Lacoste. I think we because we offer such great savings on these brands it’s really pushed the demand forward. Whenever we can get hold of the more expensive brands like Burberry, Armani and D&G they always go really fast as well!
Your company is the largest retailer of secondhand branded clothing on eBay and one of the top 10 boutiques on the ASOS marketplace as well as having your new standalone e-boutique. What do you feel was the hardest part of getting your company launched? What advice would you give to others who aspire to see their passions materialise into reality?
The hardest part has definitely been building the inventory up. As every individual item has to be photographed, measured and listed online we had months of really hard work to ensure our stock levels were large enough to give our customers a lot of choice. There was a lot to learn in a short space of time so I would advise anyone with a similar idea to ensure they’ve done their homework and make sure you are familiar with the rules and regulations on any marketplaces you’re thinking of selling on.
Which famous lady or man would you love to see as the “face” of Messina Hembry?
It’s a long shot but we’d really love to see someone like Leonardo DiCaprio representing the brand. He loves his designer clothing whilst having a keen interest in the environment and I really think that’s the way I want to push the company forward. We want people to understand not only are there great savings in second hand clothing but the environmental benefits are astounding as well.
As you are based in the UK, is your clothing range available overseas too?
We currently ship worldwide on our eBay store & ASOS marketplace boutique. On our website we only currently ship to the EU, Australia and USA.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Normally it has to be a Ralph Lauren shirt, Diesel jeans, Nike trainers and Barbour jacket. All of course from Messina Hembry.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?(apart from your own!)
There are some really good online thrift stores in America like Twice or Poshmark which we tried to use to as guidance for the business. We also really like Etsy for unique designer vintage clothing.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Messina Hembry
Thanks for chatting to us today Zac and I wish your business every success. Dear readers, what has been your best vintage/preloved fashion item that you’ve bought? I once picked up a fab dotty Next dress that still had the tag in it from a local jumble sale about 12 years ago for the princely sum of 50p – I was really chuffed with it as the tag marked it up around the £50 mark! It saw me through quite a few social events & parties that year!
Photos have been published with kind permission of Zac Hembry