The 5 Things We Get Asked The Most About Vintage- Sweet & Spark

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If you follow us on instagram, you've probably noticed that we've been doing weekend pop-ups around San Francisco pretty regularly lately. We absolutely love bringing our collections to life and creating an opportunity for you to discover the magic of vintage in person for yourself. 

Given the high quality and craftsmanship of vintage, we usually let the jewels do all of the talking for us! Between trying the pieces on, to flipping over the tags to see which decade they hail from, it's truly like a treasure hunt to find the piece that speaks to you.

Since we noticed a common theme with the questions we get asked most at our pop-ups, we thought it would be fun if we shared them with you...just in the case that you've been wondering some of the same things! But really, if you ever have a question (or comment) about something in our collection, please email us at hello@sweetandspark.com We always love connecting with you!

1. Wait, these aren’t brand new jewels & scarves?

Nope! Everything in our accessories collection is original, one-of-a-kind vintage collected from estate sales and antique fairs around the world! Our pieces hail from the 1950s to the 1990s and although our collection is alway changing (we add new finds to the site every Tuesday), it always feels modern and timeless. Every piece in our collection is wearable for today and will be part of your story forever!

The quality and craftsmanship of vintage is incredible compared to today's costume jewelry. They used to triple plate the finishes so they wear really well over time and do not tarnish easily compared to today's costume pieces that are typically plated only once. Also, most of the rhinestones are glass, giving them that gorgeous shine compared to today's popular use of acrylic stones. 


2. Oh, so you find the jewelry pieces and re-make them?

Nope! Since the original quality of vintage is so solid, they wear really well over time which is why they look like new. We do not alter the original jewelry designs in any way. We just clean the pieces up, tighten any clasps and replace earring backs before finding them new homes so that they can continue to be enjoyed forever.

We use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner to clean any gold or silver plated pieces and hand clean anything with enameling, stones or pearls. Learn more about cleaning vintage jewelry here. In addition, all of our vintage scarves have been professionally cleaned and steamed. 

5 things we get asked the most- Sweet & Spark

 shop: vintage jewelryvintage scarvesclothing

3. Where do you find your vintage pieces?

While we are based in San Francisco and manage the day-to-day business from here, we travel to the east coast and the south to find most of our vintage pieces at estate sales and antique fairs. Jillian is originally from Buffalo, NY and Emilee is from Dallas, TX and each spend a lot of time around their hometowns scouting for the best vintage finds.

Not all vintage is created equal! Only the top 1% of pieces that we see make it into our collection. We only collect pieces in nearly perfect vintage condition and a good majority of them are stamped with the original designers name.

As for our clothing collection, it is not vintage! We love wearing the old with the new. We travel to apparel trade shows seasonally to preview the lines from our favorite contemporary brands including Sanctuary, Line & Dot, Endless Rose, Gentle Fawn, etc. to choose the most special pieces for our collection. We like to keep our clothing collections pretty neutral in color so that we can have fun styling them with vintage accessories! We add new clothing to the site every 4-6 weeks. Stay tuned, we have some amazing fashion sweaters and jackets coming shortly for fall. 


4. How do you identify and date each piece?

We both credit our parents, who have been antiquing for decades, for initially teaching us the vintage ropes. From there, we have a built a library filled with books on the original designers and decades that we reference often for identification purposes.

Over time, we've seen hundreds of thousands of pieces and have been able to learn all of the intricacies of the industry in order to become the experts that we are in identification and authentication of vintage costume accessories across the decades.

5. Are you two sisters? 

We get asked this all the time! We are not biological sisters but we are soul sisters who found each other serendipitously through our mutual love for vintage. Sheer proof that if you just start doing what you love, that the rest will all fall into place. A few months ago, we shared more about our backgrounds and what a typical day looks like for us, which you can check out here!

Thank you so much for celebrating the little things in life everyday with us! We hope this Q&A helped provide some insight into the world of vintage and S&S. If we missed anything you've been curious about, please leave a question in the comments or email us.