Taylor Randal, Softpaw Vintage

Apr 14, 2024 | Uncategorized

Get to know Taylor Randal, Softpaw Vintage

CC Muses: In Greek mythology, the muses were Zeus’ daughters and the goddesses of the arts, sciences, and literature. Today, in fashion and beyond, a muse is a source of inspiration. Next up in our “Consign Couture Muses” series we are pleased to hear from Taylor Randal, the creative, resourceful artist, designer & maker behind Softpaw Vintage

Taylor makes pieces that feel at once classically vintage while still being current and modern. And with a list of materials that includes rescued fabrics that range from vintage quilts and curtains to feedsacks, table cloths and bedsheets, her business is an earth-friendly testament to the adage that one woman’s trash can become another woman’s absolute treasure. We’re so pleased to highlight Taylor on the blog this week.

What’s your name and what do you do in life? Tell us about yourself!

My name is Taylor Randal and I run Softpaw Vintage, an up-cycled clothing brand based out of Portland, Oregon. I rework vintage textiles into clothing. Quilt coats, towel shorts, table cloth dresses and more!

What inspired you to start Softpaw, and what is meaningful to you about it? 

I moved to Portland, Oregon right before Covid. Prior to the pandemic I was bartending, when everything shut down I couldn’t get a job. I had sold vintage on the side for years, and had collected a lot of old quilts and denim. With no form of income coming in, I had to get creative. A few years before I had made myself a quilt coat, and I thought why not make one to sell? I listed it on the reselling platform I used to sell vintage, and it sold within hours. The requests started to pour in, and I would take custom orders with quilts customers already owned. From collecting vintage for almost 10 years, I had a stack of denim that needed mending and I would use the scraps from the quilts I had for patches etc. It snowballed pretty quickly, and having to be resourceful – I started to use the vintage towels and tablecloths I had collected as well. 

What is something that you are proud to bring to the fashion industry?

Something I am proud to bring to the industry is my resourcefulness. I try and utilize every scrap from the material I work with.

Tell us about a milestone for Softpaw or something that you’re especially proud of.

Two weeks after I started selling my clothing I was mentioned in the New York Times!

And a challenge you’ve overcome?

A difficult challenge I have faced just from owning a small business and not knowing any better, I did the first two years of my taxes wrong and am in over 30k worth of tax debt. They don’t teach you this stuff in highschool!

What does thoughtful consumption mean to you? 

Thoughtful consumption to me means – not buying things we don’t need. Doing what we can with what we have and not being influenced by “trends” I think the word trend needs to disappear. I’ve been asking if my clothing is “on trend” right now, and I would like to think its full circle, circular fashion at its finest. The clothing I create I think is timeless and prevents more items from ending up in the landfills.

What inspires you? Where do you look for inspiration?

What inspires me first and foremost is the material itself. I like to let the quilts speak for themselves! Also just going to a thrift store and buying a tablecloth and new pattern can shift my perspective on how to utilize different fabric.

What keeps you going on tough days?

What keeps me going on tough days is gratitude. Being so thankful and lucky I get to make art for a living.

Tell us your favorite secondhand shopping story…

Most of my material is sourced through other people at the goodwill bins, aka the LAST stop before the landfill. Back when i was sourcing my own material, I found a double wedding ring quilt at the bins and that is what I used to create my first quilt coat. I had no idea that would be my favorite type of quilt!

Do you think about how to incorporate environmental sustainability into your business or practice? What challenges have you encountered, or successes have you had?

I only focus on sustainability. Down to the packaging I use!

Tell us about your favorite outfit. What makes you feel your best, or the most “you”?

My favorite outfit would be a good pair of vintage levi’s, thrifted loafers, and a softpaw vintage crewneck and a quilt jacket on top!

Three things you’ve loved lately?

My three favorite books about over consumption/ sustainability /systems of oppression :

Bonus question- what are some small businesses you love?

I have so many! But Shop Lyko is my favorite.

    Find Taylor & Soft Paw Vintage on Instagram here.