2011, Another vintage year

We have had a fantastic year here at Your Vintage Life which we are truly grateful for!


We started the year by being named Website of the Month in Period Living magazine. They described the site as “attractive and well designed” which considering I did it all myself through Create was fantastic praise.

We also launched our new category “Your Vintage Playroom” in the shop which has been so successful. It’s great to think these vintage toys are being brought back to life and being played with all over the country. Even Cath Kidston bought some from us!


I was featured, alongside my vintage handbag collection in Homes and Antiques magazine! Here I am surrounded by 50s box bags, 30s bakelite and 60s Enid Collins!

We took this show on the road for the first time with Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. Before now we had only traded at local fairs and this was definitely stepping it up a gear. 1000 vintage loving students rushed through the door at Leicester and Lincoln and we were quite simply staggered at their response. We quickly went out and hired a credit card machine!

We also moved home this month, into our patterned palace. It’s a full on renovation piece of work….nearly one year on we have finished 4 rooms (7 more to go!)


We had by now been writing for Vintage Life magazine for 7 months but it was in March that our article was featured on the front cover. Spring into Action was featured alongside the amazing Kitten Von Mew!

I was interviewed in the great blog by Catwalk Creative Vintage. Louise Sleigh is well known for supporting fully other vintage businesses and I really appreciated her featuring us. Read the “Vintage Perfection at Your Vintage Life” interview here.

We also traded at our first Furniture Flea in London. This was our first real taste of selling furniture and it’s something we are keen to expand on. Bringing  mid century furniture to its former glory is addictive!


Wedding Fever was in the air as we traded at our first vintage wedding fairs. Not doing things by half we did 2 in the first month. The Vintage Wedding Fair in Leamington and The Curious Wedding Fair in Norwich were great: we met excited brides and sold tonnes of vintage jewellery! Selling this gown to a happy bride in Norwich made us feel great….she looked amazing too!


It was at the end of May when we had our first stall at Spitalfields Market in London. It was a great day with thousands of people walking through the market. We are excited to say we now have a stall there the first saturday of every month in the biggest vintage market of its kind.


This was the month when we really embraced Twitter. Before now, we had only linked text from Facebook which wasnt engaging Twitter people at all. Since then, I can say I talk regularly to like-minded people who I havent even met. Some I would now call friends. I love you guys!


July was so busy for us! We sold our vintage clothing at Lovebox festival which I can only describe as a wash out! It was so wet and cold…it felt like winter rather than a summer festival. The only good thing about the whole weekend was I met some new great friends and finally saw Blondie perform.

Then there was the Vintage Festival on the Southbank. For 3 days it was the opposite of Lovebox..it was so hot I burnt my forehead! The first day was amazing, we sold so much to buyers and designers. It was hard work but again we met some great people and sold tonnes of pretty dresses!

We launched our series of blogs this month called “Beat the Monday Blues”. It was a funny month online as there was much heated debate from vintage sellers, buyers and event managers which sometimes resulted in bad feeling. I wanted to buck this current trend and start to openly support others. So the new blog started with the idea of sharing companies and products that we love. It has been very successful and we will continue this in 2012.


We took a rare weekend off at the start of August to celebrate my birthday. We all went away in the camper van to Kent and checked out all the vintage shops we could find!

Over the bank holiday weekend we had a pitch at Twinwood Festival. This is designed for lovers of 40s and 50s music, fashion and definitely dancing. WE LOVED IT! It was such a great atmosphere, and we couldn’t quite believe it was up the road from our house and we had never been there before! We will be there again in 2012.

Homes and Antiques magazine featured our 1950s products through their stunning styling feature. It made me quite simply want to restyle our lounge to this glorious look.


This was an exciting month as finally re launched our eBay shop using gorgeous photos of my model Leanne. We split the shop into 3 categories: vintage, customised and boutique. We felt our eBay shop had a real disconnect to the branding on the website so now with matching slideshow, background etc we feel this has been overcome.

All the photos were taken with our 1957 Morris Oxford car (also vintage!)


We launched our online blog diary called A Vintage Diary. We have been blogging for a long time but wanted a vehicle to just update you on the day-to-day things we do especially all the vintage things! We have managed musings most days! From stuff I’ve bought to things we’ve made it has been well received.


We launched our ASOS boutique this month and had our first sale within a few hours! It’s a vintage accessory boutique with mens accessories still to come. We ensured it had the same look and feel as our other sites with Leanne in her purple blouse on the front page. We have taken all the photos so far against a local bright blue painted gate, with rolling hills in the background. We will be expanding this more in 2012.

In the run up to the Clothes Show Live we were featured in their fashion blog. Frankie says Shop! loved our flutter pleated skirts so much she wore 3! It really helped at the event as many girls came to see us especially for them!


The Clothes Show Live finally arrived and boy was it busy! 6 full days of excited girls, loud dance music and selling vintage meant we were seriously pooped afterwards! We loved it so much we will be returning next year!

It has been a tough year with people spending less all over retail but with a late surge of sales in December we can now have a rest! We look forward to 2012, trading at new events and meeting more of you all. With our look to the year ahead article being featured in January’s Vintage Life magazine I’m sure next year will be even better than this one!

Happy New Year to you all!


Remember, remember the 5th of November

I have had such a great day today.

Thrifting for stock, eating great food with my lovely family, finished off with fireworks in the garden.

Today was auction day…I went to the auction and Mr YVL went thrifting elsewhere (where? I’m not telling!). We have the Furniture Flea next weekend so we wanted to stock up with retro loveliness…and boy did we!

We bought this gorgeous teak and vinyl chair. It goes perfectly with the lounge but will be for sale. I have already cleaned it up and it looks great.

Then we bought this vintage chair..it will be lovely in a little girls bedroom I think.

We also found this Kartell style unit with added orange tray. Now Mr YVL can’t resist anything orange but this one will be for sale! We havent cleaned it up yet..it will be positively gleaming when I’ve finished.

We found some fab accessories too. This pink 60s plastic light shade is brilliant. We’ve found white and orange ones before but never this shocking pink (it’s a lot brighter in real life)!

We have an orange bubble light too. Again, only ever had clear ones before and this colour is so vibrant. I broke the last one at Brighton’s Furniture Flea so must be more careful!

Mr YVL found this 1960s atomic coat stand. Isn’t he good!

Then we also bought a 1950s settee and chair and lots of coffee tables including a 1950s red cocktail topped one! And for us…we got a tiny childs Windsor elm chair for Kitty to sit on. Can’t show you any pics as they are still in the van!

Then we went and ate with the kids, then went shopping for Christmas presents in a  gorgeous independent toy shop…then home for fireworks. Wrapped up warm the kids sat on a vintage hand knit throw and ooohed and ahhhed at the display. Herbie only liked the ones that went BANG!

A really great day.. one to remember!

Our family Kartell

Yesterday Your Vintage Life traded at the fabulous, award-winning Furniture Flea. It’s a mid century, affordable fair full of furniture and  home wares brought to you by Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. York Hall, Bethnall Green was awash with orange, funky flowers and more teak than you can shake a stick at.

We arrived early, still very sleepy to unpack our wares. We have collected 60s furniture, mirrors, lighting, coat stands, glassware etc since our last outing here…so at 8.30 we started to set up.

All the furniture was at the front of the pitch with all the lights grouped together at the back. We had some G Plan coffee tables, Chippy telephone tables, side tables from Denmark and Finland including one with a tulip base, picture coffee tables from the 1950s and an adorable kidney-shaped occasional table.

Then a selection of  our smaller items were displayed on the table. (Thanks to my friend Sarah for this!)

Using original 1970s Kartell units our glass and ceramics looked fab.

So, where did you find the AMAZING Kartell I hear you ask. Well, back in the 70s, my mum and dad bought them for their trade shows. Selling new items (that we now collect and sell…funny old world) to independents, all items were lovingly displayed on the units.

Check out my mum, standing next to a chrome coffee table and leather footstool…..also the silver large pear in the background I think is a winner too!

Fast forward into the 1980s…my aunt and mum designed, made and sold jumpers…..and yes, you guessed it..they used the Kartell again within their stands at yet more trade shows.

So who is Kartell? They are an Italian company specialising in plastic. Originally selling accessories for cars in the late 40s, they then went onto sell home accessories in the 60s and still make great chairs today. Their items are very collectable…their lights are stunning. The clear plastic chair designed by Phillipe Starck is a design classic. They made storage units for the home such as the ones we have…….I’m thinking of introducing them into the kids playroom to show off their retro Fisher Price!

But for now…I think I will continue the family tradition and use them to display stock on!

Beauti-flea retro

We are selling at the upcoming Furniture Flea on 27th March. It is a retro furniture and homeware sale at Bethnal Green. The fair comes from the same team who bring Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair that we also sell through.

The aim is to sell mid century treasures at affordable prices…something a tad rare in London these days. And here is a little taster of some of our beauti-flea retro items that we will be bringing…

Dark elm Ercol coffee table and 60s retro tea set

 60s medicine bottles, Murano glass and chrome coffee tables

50s, 60s and 70s curtains

G Plan coffee table and West German ceramics

1950s room divider and Seaforth homewares

1960s lighting

 Retro telephone table and phone

If you like what you see, come and check out the Flea!