Tell us about yourself – what’s the story behind your business?
My name is Martha Ruhl, and I own Martha Harrison Print Studio Inc. We’ve been in business for 19 years! After being in the fashion industry since I was 16 I decided to start my own business. I wanted to offer concept to fashion designers. Since I am not a textile designer I thought that having vintage would allow me to bring them any artwork style. A year or so in, before one appointment, I had just bought a lot of dresses that I did not have time to cut and mount on 19”x24” board to show as artwork. That probably sounds horrible to any vintage clothing collector but I had to establish a print textile library. Vintage clothing offered the best prints versus vintage fabric. The customer loved the style of a few of the dresses. That was a pivotal moment. I then started to carry dresses not just for print but solid ones for silhouette. I then added dresses and other garments with embellishment, embroidery and surface texture such as brocade. About 12 years ago I added vintage accessories with an emphasis on jewelry. I buy 80% of my inventory online and the rest through vintage clothing shows, shops and dealers.
What do you love about the Randolph Street Market?
Meeting so many interesting women who appreciate incorporating modern looking vintage into their wardrobe. I also like to see what the end use consumer gravitates to. Oh, and they have the BEST DJ!!!! I’ve found so many amazing pieces, but a favorite I just purchased from a dealer are two 1970’s Roberta Di Camerino velvet coats. One is a tan maxi and the other is a velvet ombre midi with a jersey dress to match.