Student sells vintage online

Molly Emmett

Like most Whitman students, Ryann Savino doesn’t have a lot of free time. She is a junior Environmental Humanities major: and is also running her own online store.

Credit: Faith Bernstein

Raggedy Mermaid is a shop that Savino created on the independent commerce website Etsy, where users can register to sell anything from handmade creations to art supplies. The focus of Raggedy Mermaid is vintage clothing, which currently includes about 20 pieces ranging from “dynamite dresses” to “soft sweet skirts,” according to Savino’s page.

Savino opened the shop this summer, but she has known about Etsy for a few years. One of Savino’s friends from Diamond Springs, CA, her hometown, has her own Etsy shop, and Savino has modeled the clothing frequently over the years. Savino has also been interested in vintage clothing for a while, but it wasn’t until this summer, when her mom and some friends were setting out bags of vintage clothing to give away, that Savino had her idea.

“[I thought] it’d be great if [the clothes] were with someone who loved wearing them all the time,” said Savino about her decision to sell them on the internet.

Raggedy Mermaid was thus created. Though some Etsy users start their sites with the mindset of creating a business, Savino is simply enjoying the experience of having her own shop. She recently sold her first two items, and although she is grateful for the extra money she now has, she  isn’t  planning to invest much more capital in her shop.

“Maybe I’m entering the realm of entrepreneurship, but it’s not about getting money. It’s more of an adventurous thing,”  said Savino when asked about the business side of her endeavor.

Though it is open to anyone with internet access all over the world, Raggedy Mermaid has a special Whitman flair. Savino recruits her friends to model the pieces that she sells, and it is really a way to share her personality with the Whitman community.

“I like to wear a lot of vintage stuff, and I would get comments about my pieces. This is a way to share that interest, that self-expression, with Whitman,” said Savino.