WHEN AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE YOUR TV SHOW, THE
"I started The Vintage Voyageur back in late August of 2016. I wish I could say the exact moment the idea for it popped into my head, but it really was something that developed over time by having a desire to combine all my interests into one. Not only am I a performer with a love for the Golden Age of Hollywood, but I’ve been vintage shopping since I was a teenager and have developed an immense passion and extreme knowledge on fashions of the past and where to find them. When I started to put all the pieces together and realized this could be a great show, I thought, surely this must already have been done. I, of course, did some research, and to my delight, even with all the reality shows out there on every subject imaginable, found nothing like this existed. It became very obvious that this was something I needed to create. So, I got to work."
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A FEMINIST? IF SO, IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU FIND YOURSELF EMBRACING THIS LABEL?
"Absolutely! Being a feminist simply means that you believe in the equality of the sexes. Even as recent as five years ago, I feel like there were so many people who weren’t educated on what being a feminist meant and they were quick to put a negative spin on it. With more people using social platforms and making their voices heard, it’s been so wonderful seeing so many women and men embracing the title and demanding equality in their homes, in their jobs and to have it reflected in their paycheck. I find that over the past few years, I’ve really embraced being a feminist by having a much more ‘go getter’ attitude. I’ll see job postings and rather than thinking, ‘Well, I don’t have all the qualifications they're looking for..’, I’ll instead say, ‘I can do that!’ The most recent example of this was the NYC WebFest. When I saw the listing to submit, I thought, “Oh gosh. The people in this festival are serious film makers. Is my work really that good to submit?’ But I put those thoughts aside and The Vintage Voyageur ended up being nominated for the Best Unscripted! In my case, being a feminist has given me more confidence and brought me to new heights in my career. As the saying goes, ‘We should all be feminists.’"
WHO HAS BEEN MOST SUPPORTIVE TO YOU AND YOUR WORK?
"Hands down, my parents. From the high highs to the lowest of lows, to every wild and crazy idea or traveling gig in the middle of nowhere, they have always been there, and I certainly do not take it for granted. I know how rare it is to have parents that have never tried to make me something I’m not or discouraged me from dreaming big. They treat my brother, who is also a creator, and I equally when it comes to our artistic endeavors and I will always be so grateful for that."
DO YOU USE THE VINTAGE VOYAGER AS A VOICE FOR CHANGE? IF SO, HOW?
"Now I do, which is not something I expected. When I started the show, the objective of the series was to teach people how they can wear vintage everyday and not be intimidated when shopping in a vintage store (an experience many people consider overwhelming). But as we started filming and I began to get to know the store owners personally as well as learn about all the harm the fashion industry does to the environment, the show organically became more about highlighting small business and the importance of shopping sustainable fashion. A lot of people don't realize that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter of the environment, right after the oil industry. There are BILLIONS of pieces of clothing made each year, and only about a quarter of those clothes get bought, a small portion gets resold and the rest ends up in landfills. Not to mention the amount of water it takes to die garments that ends up getting wasted. When you shop
second hand, you are putting a tiny stop to all that by buying something that is already made.
In my series, I do my best to show that shopping second hand doesn't have to be going to dusty thrift stores and digging through bins (even though I personally love shopping that way too!) but that you can do your part while shopping at a beautifully curated vintage store that is run by passionate people and sells pieces that are clean, well made and going to last. And I'm happy to say that it seems to be working. I receive emails, almost weekly, from fans stating that they are shopping more consciously thanks to the show, which is incredible! The more people we have shopping small and sustainably, the better it is for our communities and the environment, and it's nice to know I've played a small part in that."
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU AND GETS YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING?
"Funny enough, I would say 'the hustle' and the people that are a part of my hustle inspire me and keep me creating. In NYC, we all have our passions and then a couple jobs to sustain those passions. As much as I wish when I'm at work some times that I could be home creating, it's the conversations I have with my fellow co workers (who are all actively creating and working towards their own dreams) that keep me inspired, as well as the crazy energy of the city itself. A quick fifteen minute walk can give you enough ideas to last you a whole week depending on who you run into and what you see. The idea of a whole city collectively working towards greater things for themselves inspires me. I guess it's the old adage, 'It's not the destination, but the journey.’"
WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT AND MOST ENJOYABLE THING ABOUT CREATING THE VINTAGE VOYAGEUR?
"The most difficult thing has been time management. I have had to make a lot of sacrifices to my personal life, as well as aspects of my professional life, to make time. I do the majority of the work on the show myself, and as there are only so many hours in the day, I often have to take a step back and look at my schedule and say, ‘Is this worth it? Is this the best use of my time?’ Sometimes things I would really prefer doing get pushed to the back of the line, and it’s really hard, but in the end, has definitely paid off. The most enjoyable thing has been connecting with so many incredible entrepreneurs and makers and really becoming a part of the vintage community. I’ve been shopping vintage since I was twelve, but the show has allowed me to become much more intimate with this very welcoming, niche collective who all share the same passion. Meeting so many new friends through trade shows, networking events and social
media, as well as being consulted for fashion advice and/or collaborations has been truly rewarding."
CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR FUTURE PROJECTS WITH US? IF NOT, WHERE DO YOU HOPE THIS TV SHOW TAKES YOU IN THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS?
"Of course! My next objective is to join forces with a production company to create Season 3, which would cover vintage stores internationally. I produced the first two seasons on my own, but for this third season, as the show now has a loyal following and there’s a demand for bigger episodes, the ideas I have would require a larger team and budget. So fingers crossed I find a production team I believe in and vice versa! Already I have invites from vintage stores in Paris, Rome and Japan saying that their doors are open, so now it just comes down to getting there."
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS IN 2017? IT CAN BE BUSINESS OR PERSONAL RELATED.
"I would say my biggest success has been the realization that it’s okay to stray from your original plan and/or the things that people expect you to do. Two years ago, if you would of asked me where I see myself at the end of 2017, I would of said married to my ex, working any theatre gig I could get. I never would have imagined that I’d have two seasons of a show under my belt that I created, that I’d move out of Manhattan and live with one of my best friends in the cutest apartment in Jersey City, and that I’d be making my career
happen on my own terms rather than waiting for the phone to ring with my big break. None of this was part of my five year plan, but I’m happier than I’ve ever been because of it."
HOW DO YOU THINK WE CAN CREATE A BETTER PLATFORM FOR FEMALE/FEMME-IDENTIFIED ARTISTS, BLOGGERS, AND ENTREPRENEURS?
"There are obviously many answers to this question, but I think it starts with always remembering to build your fellow female up. This year alone, we’ve seen the incredible things that happen when women work together. From the Women’s March, to Wonder Woman being the highest grossing film of the year, to the change that is happening in Hollywood and beyond because of women saying #metoo, there is really no limit to what we can do when we come together. Women are inherently collaborative, even though society likes to pit us against each other, so I think always remembering to encourage and cheer on your fellow ladies is incredibly important. When we support each other, new ideas are fostered and more women have the confidence to create and make their voices heard. If plants can bloom from daily verbal affirmations, think about the growth that can take place when women as a whole build each other up."
The Vintage Voyageur
Allison Maldonado is an empowering performer. With her talents in acting, dancing, and singing, and her passion for vintage fashion, Allison created The Vintage Voyageur back in 2016. The Vintage Voyageur is an Amazon Video series where she takes her viewers to the best vintage shops across America! She empowers us to recycle our clothing and explore vintage clothing shops (you never know what you could find!). We are so excited for what the future will bring Allison and her passions and are thrilled to have her on our platform! Be sure to check out her series https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y4CDDXX and follow her on Instagram @thevintagevoyageur.