He launched Restated Vintage from his bedroom, but today Ben Randall oversees a global business, which he has grown with the help of Afterpay.
For Ben Randall, there’s nothing more exhilarating than discovering a piece of rare vintage clothing.
“It’s almost like an adrenaline rush. It’s the exclusivity of it… and the feeling of finding an item that you’ve been looking for, for years.”
For the past three years, Randall has been chasing that rush – and helping his customers chase it, too – via his online business Restated Vintage, which sources and sells rare, ‘90s clothing from around the world.
Since launching in 2018, Restated Vintage has become a multi-million-dollar business, which sells hundreds of items every day and employs 12 staff.
This month, Restated Vintage is one of the retailers featured in Afterpay’s Make It Your Way campaign, which celebrates small business owners who are forging their own path and creating businesses of the future.
The success of Restated Vintage today is a far cry from the early days of the business, which was launched from Randall’s bedroom when he was just 20.
“I just started going to thrift stores and finding second-hand clothes that I liked and that I thought other people would like and putting them on a website,” he says.
Within a matter of months, the business was receiving so many orders that Randall struggled to post all of them during his lunch break at work. It wasn’t until he was making $1000 a day that he realised that it was time to ditch the day-job and focus his full attention on his fledging business.
What makes Restated Vintage different to most vintage resellers is its supply chain; Randall sources his pieces from rag factories, who sort through giant bales of second-hand clothing on his behalf to identify the most sought-after pieces. These are then shipped to Restated Vintage in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
“It was quite difficult to set up,” he says of his unique global supply chain. “I had to meet people face-to-face to convince them that it was worth their time to employ multiple people to sort through all these clothes.”
But it’s paid off. “The fact that we have that supply chain is our biggest competitive advantage.”
Randall is proud that Restated Vintage saves tens of thousands of items of clothing from landfill every year. “The amount of resources that go into making a brand new T-shirt is monumental… and fast fashion [products] don’t last very long, which people are very aware of now.”
The amount of resources that go into making a brand new T-shirt is monumental.
Today, he says that sustainability is a major draw for customers shopping at Restated Vintage. “We’ve noticed that more people are coming into the second-hand clothing area purely for the sustainability aspect.
Like Randall, all the staff at Restated Vintage are in their 20s, and Randall is determined to create a fun, positive workplace culture.
Which is why, when you walk into Restated Vintage’s warehouse you’ll likely see surfboards propped up against the wall, along with a basketball hoop and buckets of Chupa Chups.
“In summer, on Friday’s we always finish early and go to the bowling club or something, and half the time we go to the beach at lunch time for a surf because it’s just down the road.
“The work culture we have here is super fun. We’re all here with the same goal of growing the company – and we’re having fun doing it.”
This sense of fun comes through on the brand’s Instagram account, which is filled with videos and photos of staff shooting hoops and packing t-shirts. “A lot of our customers know our staff by name,” says Randall, who is resolutely focused on personal customer service.
“Our customers are our number one priority. At every touchpoint we want to deliver above customer expectations.”
Randall’s commitment to offering great customer service was part of the reason he introduced Afterpay early on. “It just gives the customer so much more flexibility,” he says, adding “Everyone our ages uses Afterpay. If we didn’t have it, I’m sure we’d get 100 emails a day asking for it.”
It’s also helped grow sales, says Randall. “[When we launched with Afterpay] our sales actually doubled. We would have a lot less customers if we didn’t have it. It’s like you’re literally leaving money on the table if you don’t offer it."