Monday, 2 April 2012

Finally a bit of order!

Since January I have re located storage units and am embarking on clearing the last of the clothing and textiles from the shop… I anticipate that this may still take some time! The process of packing, freezing down and then unpacking at the other end is long but ultimately very rewarding when I find myself pulling out a fine sequined top or gorgeous ‘mother of the bride’ ensemble that I’ve never seen before- didn’t I put them in the bag?
It’s been a real boost doing various events during this process.  As well as clearing pockets of much needed space as I sell bits and pieces at markets, I have met some great people; general public and local designers and makers, many of whom have had visited Clifton Hill Antique Costume and Textiles in the past and are hotly anticipating it’s reopening.

So as I unpack the last of this week’s sacks and assemble the remaining rails, the welcome site of the floor means I can now get on with picking the stock for the weekend’s markets.  I am very excited to be taking part in the first of the Tobacco Factory’s monthly Retroville, it will be held the first Sunday of every month and show case a selection of local vintage sellers.  As I live just around the corner, this is a market I attend most weekends for a snack and a browse and I can’t wait to get involved.   The second event this Sunday is the ‘Marry Me In Somerset’ wedding fair that will be held in Yeovil’s Westland Leisure Complex, where I shall be showing a selection of wedding dresses, mother of the bride outfits, evening gowns and party costumes alongside some of my beautiful Babydoll/ Mad Men style nighties, dressing table sets and accessories.

Out and About in Spring 2012

Research well underway and the shop four-fifths emptied, the time to start trading had come.  The amazing response from people who had dropped notes through the door in the last year or just happened to be passing when I was on a ‘shop day’ meant I had a small contingent sworn to come and support my first ever market at  Ashton Gate Flea and Vintage Market.  I had been to this market a couple of times previously and had managed to spend  my week's (ahem) allowance pretty easily, so if everyone that attended had the same reaction as I did, then I should be guaranteed to sell a few garments or textile pieces and start spreading the word! 
Deciding on what to take proved much harder then I had imagined.  Armed with a few of my favourite issues of World of Interiors, Elle Decoration, my new John Peacock Vintage study ‘bible’ and the new issue of Vogue, I took to the storage unit and stared around hopelessly.  Apart from everything still being hidden away in the sacks I transported them here in, what kind of range should I take?  If you had a seemingly limitless supply of curtains, tablecloths, doillies, lace and netting, buttons, buckles, shoes and clothes for all tastes then you’ve got to leave a few things behind.  I decided for the first event, to take a few doillies, tablecloths and bedspreads, concentrating on the war time embroidery and tapestry pieces, and then a mixed selection of nighties, jumpers, dresses, coats and shoes. (Oh and a few hats for good measure).  I had a fab response from the public and many of those who said they would pop by came along with friends.  That first event was a great experience, and I met many other first time stall holders as well.  On the back of that market I got several offers of help; another monthly market spot (at the Tobacco Factory’s forthcoming Retroville); and a couple of potential trade customers. All in all a good day.  I see many more early Sunday mornings to come.

It’s now the end of March and I’ve had three markets at Ashton Gate, with two more in April & May before they concentrate back on their Bath Racecourse event.  I have had a number of people who have attended the market in search of me, which is a really great feeling.  It’s good to know you are doing the right thing and that people are behind you.

And remember, until the shop opens, it is hard to bring along everything to a market so if you are looking for something specific in textiles, haberdashery or costume that you think I might have drop me a comment or email to and perhaps I can bring the right thing along for you or arrange a viewing. 
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