I am often asked why I chose to start have a vintage business, why I chose what may be viewed as transient field as my livelihood.
When I think about it though, it wasn't really a conscious decision.
You see vintage chose me...
From a very early age I remember, being inordinately proud of a particular dress that came from the charity shop. I told countless admiring strangers that 'It came from the Sue Ryder shop' with a pride associated with an evening dress from Biba. I am talking about the seventies here and believe it or not there were not that many second hand shops around, people were slightly taken aback, it was a little bit shocking even. Up to that point most of my clothes were made by my mum, so I suppose my 'vintage' probably 50's dress rocked my little world. From that point I was addicted books, toys you name it if it was old and interesting and in one of those shops I probably would be spending my pocket money on it.
I remember some of the early car boot sales in our area, huge affairs, unbelievably exciting. A real event to go to with no need to advertise no new goods or no trade. Shopkeepers took Sundays off.
When I was a sixth form student I would make extra money by buying clothes from the 50p stalls at the bottom of the local flea market and then sell them to the 'alternative' stalls at the top of the market for 10 or 20 times the price, maybe more depending what the item was. I would get up super-early, I had an eye, and I had earned myself a packet before even getting to my first seminar of the day. All through college I dressed vintage, I looked the part, at what was really very conventionally dressed college. I suppose I really stuck out like a sore thumb but it got me noticed and it made me friends. Again vintage was working for me.
It was only when I bought my first house, I fell in love with china. My self expression was directed into my home. I bought cup after cup, serving platters, cake stands. This was a time when no one had really heard of shabby chic so I had my pick. Over time my passion took over and it was time to stop or create something bigger. Dormouse and The Teapot was born.
It is hard to explain to someone who doesn't feel that vintage passion, when I see a perfect item, I cannot breathe, the world falls away , my heart beats faster and I am compelled to go to it. I am under it's spell, I have fallen in love. I don't care about fashion or crazes but until that feeling stops, vintage me will be here to stay.