Monday, 13 February 2012

Sourcing our vintage goodies.... our secret weapon

Whenever I tell people I sell vintage on Etsy the first thing they ask is where we source our stock, so I decided to share with you our secret weapon when it comes to finding stock....

First let me explain that our stock comes from a variety of sources including thrift shops, fairs, auction houses, house clearance and sometimes wholesale vintage sellers.  The clothes, accessories and home-wares we find are little gems that have been hidden away before the owners or appropriators decide to let them have a new less of life - which is where we come in... they often need just a little love to bring them back to life- cleaning, pressing and appropriate storage until they find their new owner.  Or sometimes a bit more help to bring them back, when Susannah weaves her magic with the needle and sympathetically restores them to their former glory... if that is not possible then they head for a slightly more intriguing future in the upcycling shop (opening soon) to recycled into new which retains the vintage charm of its original appearance.

As you may or may not know Susannah and I are both full time mums as well as bringing vintage back to life in the shop, and I live within walking distance of the centre of the bustling historic Colchester where I frequently trawl the local thrift shops for neglected vintage gems... with my children of 3 and 18 months.  And believe it or not this is our secret weapon!  Isobel (3) has spotted amongst other things a 1942 handbook of architectural features, (although this did not end up in the shop it was a perfect gift for her Grandpa this Christmas), the recent 1970s fabric we blogged about, and today she found some Opera music scores dating back to 1910's (although not our usual items- I got them anyway!), and she nearly convinced me to buy a dilapidated toy pram which dated back to the 1930's (although I did draw the line at this as I have a feeling she just wanted to play with it!!)

Even if Isobel didn't spot anything her sheer enthusiasm and the fact she does not get bored in the shops makes it easy and enjoyable to pop in and have a nose around without feeling like she is going to break things or annoy the staff (she is now known by name to the majority of the thrift shops in Colchester!)  Jonny at just 18 months hasn't quite reached that point yet, but luckily he is usually cheery as Isobel and I drag him through the rails of clothes (even if he does try to pull jumpers off hangers and over his head!)

So next time you look through the shop, you may just spot something Isobel chose!  Coming soon a blog post on how Susannah gets her inspiration for upcycling and how she sews with her two little monkeys around the place... as a taster here is a picture of her workspace (and she had tidied up!)

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