It’s that time again!
I’ve been on the hunt for even more vintage treasures and March has been a great old month for me!
I’m very excited to share these finds with you so be warned: you’ll be blown away!
Lady Bird Books
This was such a lovely blast from the past! I stumbled upon a box of Lady Bird books that range from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s – many of them I read myself as a child (not showing my age at all here…)
Some of them are highly collectable and worth £10 each yet I managed to snap up over 100 for a mere £30!! Bargain of the month I’d say!
It really is amazing what some can be worth so go and check your cupboards!! You never know what you might find!!
Franco Albini Lobster Pot
I actually searched this piece specifically for a customer of mine. It’s a real beauty!!
This wicker ‘Lobster Pot’ (stool to me and you) was designed in the early 1950s by Franco Albini. What’s unique about Albini’s designs is that he was heavily influenced by small spaces and functionality.
This particular piece, for example, would work really well in a small room because the loose wicker structure gives the illusion that it’s almost transparent, allowing light to travel through the object whereas a solid, heavy structure would completely over-dominate a small space.
Franco certainly knew his stuff; I even featured him in my book, Style Me Vintage Home
It’s a fantastic design and a mid-century must have!
The Harry Bertoia Chair
LOOK AT THESE! I had to have them!
Introducing Harry Bertoia, another Italian innovator who knew how to create a good chair! His first ones were produced in 1952 at a time when most were made out of wood.
He went above and beyond with his designs and people couldn’t get enough – they still can’t today! He drew inspiration from weight and motion, which is evident in this welded wire frame; a complete contrast to the rigid, solid seating that’s more generic of its time.
I’m actually keeping this one for my long awaited new house… Couldn’t resist and well, perks of the job and all that! Thanks to Whittaker & Gray for bringing it to the Vintage Home Show for me to buy!!
Midwinter ‘Nature Study’ Plate
Spring has arrived! How much does this plate make you daydream about walks in the park?
Terence Conran designed ‘Nature Study’ for Midwinter in 1955 – it’s actually rare to find this particular piece, especially as it’s a bigger size BUT I managed to find it at Jaguar Antiques Fair when I rocked up at 2.30 in the afternoon! It was hiding under a load of Homemaker plates (I may also of bough them too…)
Make sure you come back next month for more!
I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been around the block a few times…
The Vintage Block, of course!!
I’ve spent years and years all over the UK, not just running vintage events but being a stall-holder at them too! Countless times!!
As a result, I often get asked for insider tips and tricks! Anything from ‘How do you make your stalls look so lovely?’ to ‘How do you set it up so quickly?’ and ‘What are your selling techniques?’.
WELL, I thought I’d take the opportunity (while I have a spare moment) to share some of my secrets…
The Set Up.
SO, you arrive at the venue, the unloading dance is finally over and you’re at your space with all that stock you definitely don’t want to be going home with! THEN you have to somehow make it look presentable and perfect…
Now, I happen to love doing displays, some of you will, some of you won’t but either way, customers are going to be entering that venue soon and you need to get cracking!
Now for my gift to you….
5 tips on how to make that all important set-up go flawlessly:
1. Focus on the Biggies
You’re looking at your stock wondering where to begin. My advice?
Start with the large pieces you have first and get them into place.
Once you have your tables up and display cases in position, think about the space you have and how to make it slightly less grid-like. Think of it like sketching out a floor plan – use the big items you have (display tables, shelves, stands, rails, trunks etc) as markers.
The rest will follow nicely, I promise!
2. Light It Up
Never underestimate the importance of lighting; I always have my own! Never rely solely on the venue – shadows are our enemy!
Once you’ve mapped out your stall, the next thing I like to do is hunt down those power points! An extension lead is an unloading essential of mine!
I like to get my lamps into position so I can see how my space will reflect the light, that way I can get those mirrors in the right places and be more strategic in garnishing my stock!
Then the fun bit can begin…
3. Block It By Colour
This little technique really helps speed things up. Colour blocking is one of my favourite methods of all! Not only does it make your stall look stunning, it helps you to become more efficient when unpacking your items.
As you unpack, pick out the pieces that colour match and pop them into groups. Once you’ve unpacked everything you’ve pretty much got your display sorted – all you have to do is lay them out!
Orrrr if you’re very clever at packing you can get them grouped together beforehand!
Not going too badly now, is it?
You’ve done it. You’ve powered through and now you’re left with a few bits that don’t have a particular colour theme like maybe some fabrics, nicknacks, pictures and clocks.
The Tip: Take a step back!
Have a good look at what you’ve created so far and see how its balancing out. Then simply use what’s left as gap fillers.
Spend a few moments shuffling things around and you’re done!
5. Who are you?
You’re not out of the woods just yet. Visitors need to know who you are and where to find you!
This is possibly one of the most common-occurring errors that I notice at events.
Whilst most stall-holders do put out signs, business cards or flyers, it’s WHERE they choose to put them that bothers me slightly. They’re nearly always out of the way, hidden near the back or submerged among piles of jewellery and fabrics.
Promotional material is equally as important as the stock you present! Bring signage and display with pride! They should be positioned at the front and in clear view and not lost in clutter!
Lastly, remember that less is more! Don’t over pack your space! People won’t see everything on a crowded table!
Now you’re done!
Breathe, get a coffee and prepare yourself for the onslaught that will hopefully follow as soon as those doors open!
A quick note: Don’t plan to sit down all day! Open up the space by standing up, interacting with your visitors and inevitably sell to them!
I’ve been here, there and everywhere once again folks!
What can I say?
I’m an unstoppable vintage-force to be reckoned with!
So, what have I been plotting?
Firstly, my wonderful Discover Vintage Fair is back on its Manchester stomping ground on Sunday 3rd April!
I always love doing this event especially at the fabulous Victoria Baths! It’s a golden oldie favourite of mine! If you love Vintage Fashion, Homeware and Curios from the 1920s to 1970s then make this your next stop for a good old vintage fix!
You know that amazing vintage event we all love attending once a year, at York Racecourse? The one that usually arrives at the end of April, making York explode with excitement and incredible vintage antics?
YEP, of course I’m referring to The Festival of Vintage! I’ve been a busy bee making sure this year is even BIGGER and BETTER than the previous. I certainly have some treats up my sleeve so be sure to mark these dates down in your diaries – the 23rd & 24th April.
For those of you stumbling upon it for the first time and desperate to find out more (how could you not be?) make sure you click here and prepare to fall deep into a vintage-clad rabbit hole!
I promise you will come out of it alive but you’ll no-doubt emerge fully transformed into a glorious vintage butterfly!
Tickets can be bought in advance here or on the door upon arrival.
Can’t wait to see you all very soon!
You know how, when you’re an avid Vintage Enthusiast, you get side-tracked at the sheer thought of your next real ‘find’ (the kind that sends your pulse into a frenzy) and, how, there’s always another one and another one, and another one…?
WELL! I thought it was about time that I shared my special finds with all of my fellow vintage lovers out there because, well, there is a reason why your pulse quickens and your hands twitch…
So today, I would like to introduce to you my favourite (of many) Mid Century home treasures that came in and out of my possession throughout the month of February.
The 1950s Cocktail Chair
Isn’t she a beauty? I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled upon this German Cocktail Chair from the 1950s.
The vibrant yellow-green hue and perfect condition, velvet upholstery makes it incredibly stylish. The grooves at the back add a special yet almost deco-esque twist.
What can I say? I fell in love! People raved over Cocktail Chairs in the 1950s almost as much as the cocktails themselves and your home wasn’t considered modern or tasteful without one!
The Jivers Plate: Alfred Meakin
Not just a funky plate ladies and gentlemen! This lovely little find is a VERY rare piece of Meakin.
A piece I had never had the privilege of owing before! It’s safe to say that I was over the moon to discover it! The date of production was 1957, I believe, not to be confused with the Royal Tunstall design of 1961.
1970s Brass Pineapple
Now, this particular design is having a revival. You may have seen it pop up in various ‘get the look’ features in Home Décor magazines and in quirky boutiques all over the country. It’s a must-have for any groovy, 1970s retro-lovers! It’s a complete novelty item and a perfect on-trend collectable.
Don’t know what it is? It’s an Ice Bucket and a wonderful one at that!
1968 Home Encyclopaedia
Perhaps a slightly more random find but probably the most interesting! The graphics and colours featured in this Encyclopaedia is what caught my attention.
If you’ve ever wondered how they really lived in the 1960s THIS is the perfect place to start! It has comprehensive lifestyle details of 1960s housewifery! From chairs, what cookers to buy, how to knit and clean – it really has got it all! The imagery is truly fabulous too!
Well, that pretty much sums up my finds for February!
Follow me on instagram @vintagekeeley for more vintage finds and updates!
I had a crazy idea in 2011 to go big! Not content with being the average sized vintage fair organiser I had aspirations of something with much more impact- The Festival of Vintage! There was nothing like it ‘Up North’ so I created it.
So…… the reason my blog has been a bit of a non-blog for the past few weeks is that I have had my head down creating this monster of a vintage festival with Classic Cars, Fashion Parades, Displays, Workshops, Dancing, Beauty Parlour and more !
Taking place next weekend, 25th & 26th April at York Racecourse it draws in both traders and visitors from the length and breath of the UK, I kid you not!
One of my favourite things about this event is the amazing effort the visitors make to look totally amazing. I get to compare the Best Dressed contest and find out more about these stunning ensembles. I spend a lot of my time (when not running around) people watching and being envious of those who can dance. One day I will have time to learn just a few steps.
I have maxed out on the entertainment budget this year and have booked some cracking bands and singers including The Jive Aces, The Bevin Boys, Doug Perkins & The Spectaculars and Rockin Em plus many others on my two stages!
A couple of great new features have been added too- Beamish Museum are bringing a 1950’s Living Room and Marks & Spencer Company Archive are bringing a display of some of their Fashions from the 1930’s-1960’s. Plus fellow ‘Style Me Vintage’ Author Liz Tregenza is coming along to promote her new book 1940s…..more on that in another blog.
This event is really something special and I am not just saying that! My faithful traders go all out to bring a stunning collection of 1940’s & 50’s Fashion, Home wares & curios and everybody has a fab time. I might even accidently buy another Lucite handbag as a treat for all my hard work as there are normal quite a few to choose from.
When the gates open and the visitors come streaming in, looking amazing, it makes all the long hours and endless admin all worth while!
Tickets are £10 per day and can be purchased in advance or on the gate here
Follow the goings on Twitter: @fovvintage , Facebook: Festivalofvintage & Instagram: festivalofvintageyork or check out the website www.festivalofvintage.co.uk
See you on the other side!