Who is behind ric rac?
Abby and Liz! You've most likely seen our faces here (or on the Instagram account). We are sisters who decided to start this project together after being laid off during COVID. We both enjoy thrifting and have a deep love of vintage / one-of-a-kind items. We live in St. Paul, MN and have five animal family members between us (4-Liz; 1-Abby).
How does local pickup / delivery work?
Great question! When you purchase an item (or multiple items), you will have the option to choose local pickup. Once you select pickup and place your order, you will receive the pickup instructions and address.
We also offer free delivery on purchases of $50+ to customers within our delivery radius (excluding furniture). We'll communicate with you to coordinate a day / time for delivery.
What is the 15% pledge? How do you choose the organizations?
It's been important to us from the start that ric rac contributes to the greater good; right now, that looks like making financial contributions to nonprofit organizations. We've pledged to donate 15% of our revenue (meaning total $ in the door, not just profit!) each month to a focus organization. So, for example, if our sales in a given month total $1,500, we will make a donation of $225 to our chosen organization for that month.
We don't have a precise structure for choosing which organizations to focus on, but we like to support organizations that advance racial justice, support unhoused folks, promote LGBTQIA+ rights, or champion Native communities. To see a list of our previously highlighted organizations here.
What are your shipping practices?
We ship with USPS or UPS and send out shipments once per week. Once we've shipped your order, you will receive you the tracking number which will provide a projected delivery date. Once an order is out of our possession, we cannot be held accountable if it gets lost, stolen, or damaged. We do our best to safely package and wrap each item. If you have specific delivery instructions (e.g. wanting packages delivered to a back door or inside a porch, etc.), we recommend creating a free account with USPS to convey those.
Why is shipping so expensive?
We too have had a rude awakening when it comes to shipping costs! USPS shipping costs are generally calculated based on an item's weight, size, and the shipping distance. We've been conditioned as consumers to expect free or super inexpensive shipping, but unfortunately, shipping comes at a cost (and while Amazon might be able to eat that cost, we can't afford to!)
How are items sanitized?
Most clothing and other textiles (e.g. linens, blankets) are machine-washed; dry-clean-only items are the exception (those are spot-cleaned). Other items (e.g. glassware, ceramics) are washed by hand, generally with a fragrance-free soap. Items that cannot be washed (e.g. baskets, candles) are wiped thoroughly with a disinfecting cloth.
Do you accept returns?
We do not accept returns. Obviously, most of our items are preowned, which means they may show signs of wear or use; this is part of the charm of vintage! That being said, we seek to represent each item as accurately as possible, and will note / photograph any imperfections or defects. Please review all product photos and written descriptions carefully before purchasing!
Where did ric rac come from? What does it mean?
The name ric rac came from a combination of things; first, it's a reference to rick rack, the decorative zigzag trim you'll often see on vintage clothing. Second, it echoes the term bric-a-brac, meaning "miscellaneous small articles collected for their antiquarian, sentimental, decorative, or other interest."
(We also learned recently that there's a plant called the ric rac cactus — it's just as cute as it sounds!)
How do you choose items?
We like unique items that have a special quality, whether it's their color, texture, shape, or function. We don't necessarily stick to a particular era or style. If something makes us happy, we figure it'll make other people happy, too!
How do you price items?
When you are shopping with any small business, you are not only paying for the item you have chosen to purchase. We price our items with the following in mind:
TIME - it takes a LOT of time to source, clean, photograph, list, hand package, and fulfill each order
CURATION - we like to think we can spot the good goods when we are out sourcing and it has taken time, research, and creative vision to be able to do so
RARITY - some items are incredibly unique, antique, desirable, or of very high quality and will be priced accordingly
As you can imagine, there are other elements that lead to pricing as well. This is just a quick snapshot!
Have a question that wasn't answered here? Get in touch!