2011, Another vintage year

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

January:

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!

February:

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!)

March:

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!

April:

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!

May:

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.

June:

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:

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.

August:

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.

September:

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!)

October:

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.

November:

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!

December:

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!

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Last week’s weakness

My weakness is shopping. Actually, not just shopping. My weakness is shopping, thrifting, collecting….I can’t drive past a car boot sale without dropping in, I can’t visit a new town without thrifting through the charity shops, I can’t ignore a sign saying “Garage Sale”..to be honest I can’t even drive past a skip without meer-catting my neck up to see if there’s any bounty inside.

So maybe I should share with you my weakness..in fact here is last week’s weakness.

To prove my weakness is shopping, I share with you my new fascinator.

Do I need one? No.

Do I want one? YES.

This is a gorgeous hand made fascinator made from a pink silk. It has a brooch on the side in a dusty blue. A curled feather adds interest. I LOVE IT! I am off to a wedding next week so I’m sure I will wear it (see I did need it really). Maybe teamed up with my navy lace 50s chiffon dress?

It is made by Mistress Milliner who I will feature more in a few weeks. It has a hair clip attached which is great as I’m not a fan of combs.

What do you think??

Beat the Monday blues

Beat the Monday blues by checking out something or someone we love. Here at Your Vintage Life, we feel it is important to share great finds with you all as well as support local business.

So this Monday, I introduce to you to the truly stunning work by Debbie Carlisle from DC Bouquets.

I first met Debbie through the power of social networking..to be honest I can’t remember when we started communicating or how. But we first met at the Vintage Wedding Fair in Leamington Spa. Her stand was next to mine which meant I spent most of the day in awe of her wonderful creations. (Maybe that’s why I didn’t make that much money that day!).

At that point she made beautiful head pieces and clips but it was her bouquets that stole the show. She takes vintage brooches, adds some beads and pearls, ties them together and voila….she makes a bouquet.

Gosh if only it was that simple and believe me it isnt! Her bouquets are simply amazing, each one is bespoke and in my opinion a real work of art. She made one for her wedding which is her signature shot on her postcards and website which I’m sure you will agree is stunning.

What I love is you can choose your own jewellery or let Debbie do it for you. Imagine having a brooch from an older relative within your bouquet as your something old? Imagine having a bouquet you can keep forever? Imagine having a bouquet that can be displayed on your vintage dressing table?

What also sets Debbie apart, as well as the end result, is her dedication to consulting with the bride, working out exactly what will work best considering the person, the dress, the style. She works tirelessly to get it just right.

As well as the bouquets we particularly love her button holes and posies made from vintage buttons. Again, so eye-catching yet so elegant.

Her attention to detail is apparent in her stand at various wedding events throughout the country. She displays her work on cut crystal glass, so that every element on the table simply sparkles. (It is worth adding, if you ever have a stall next to Debbie, you must make sure none of your stock falls on hers! With so  much glass on one table it would be catastrophic!)

Debbie has now taken the leap and given up her full time job to follow her business and passion full time and has just launched a new collection for 2012.

It is a series of headpieces with such a romantic feel to them.

She describes her ribbon pieces on the website:

“The collection includes a selection of  organza ribbon bands which allow brides to indulge in delicate floral fantasies – from woodland nymph to regency ballroom, 60s ingénue, 70s hippy chick to rock n roll goddess.

The bands can be worn as headbands, forehead bands and bun wraps, allowing brides to mix up their look – and wear their headpiece in different ways long after their wedding day.”

They are truly beautiful and I wish her all the luck in the world with the new range.

Here are a few more of our favourites from the collection.

If you are a vintage bride or just want some beauty in your life check out the website by clicking here. Or why not join Debbie on Facebook and Twitter.

Her website gives information on dates of events that she will be appearing at. Go check out all that crystal!


Now all I need is to get married (hint hint!!!!)

A heavenly breakfast

Flicking through some 1960’s wedding magazines, researching some amazing images of vintage brides for our new range….we came across the most fabulous adverts. As a bride in the late 60s you were enticed with images of home wares to add to your wedding list.

We found this one in Bride and Home magazine from 1969. We love it as we know the range well. We inherited some last year from Nanna Wallis who maybe didnt realise how important it was to revolutionising a newly wed’s life…….

A wonderful looking lady has prepared breakfast using the Midwinter tea service called Riverside. The words say, “Midwinter can’t make breakfast a dream. Just less of a nightmare.”

Now firstly, I must ask how many of you would describe breakfast as a nightmare? For the 1960s newly wed, it obviously was….

“We’re not trying to kid you. Breakfast is almost always hell. But Midwinter pottery helps to make it a bit more civilised.”

So for her it was actually hell before she had this range……

It was designed by John Russell as modern tableware for the more grown up customer who didnt like the stylised shapes of the 1950s. Riverside has a dark green base with reeds over white. The shapes are fabulous especially the gravy dish.

Now back to the advert….so breakfast was hell before…

“Look at the pot. We designed it to be practical as well as handsome” (I havent heard a coffee pot be described as handsome before)

“The lid never falls off in mid pour because it has a lip to keep it on. And the handle is easy to handle because it’s big enough to get  your hand around. The handles on the cups are good and big, too, so you won’t fumble over your first cup of tea.

How do you like the simplicity of those shapes and patterns? We think they’ll be a welcome sight to the most bleary eye.”

We have the dinner service and trios for sale at Your Vintage Life. Why not add them to your wedding list and make every breakfast time heavenly?