One of the things people always ask me is where I get the continual supply of vintage goodies from. There is no one magic answer, no one place provides a constant source which is part of the fun. It takes a lot of hard work and graft outside of shop opening hours to find an unusual and eclectic mix of stock to make the shop look pretty and full.
Consequently I am always on the look out for new items. As the stock is individual and one offs, that means going to a wide variety of places to source unique vintage items for my discerning customers. From experience I favour a mixture of places including auctions and flea markets. Oh and I can't resist an impromptu visit to a garage sale at the side of the road.
One good source of stock and a constant source of surprise, is a good car boot sale. I love getting up early in the morning to have a good old rummage around to see what I can find, particularly in the summer when the weather is nicer. There are days when I may come back with nothing and days where my car is bursting at the seams full of fantastic items.
Today I was up with the lark and down to the Hayling Island car boot sale. It is pretty cold down on the beach in the middle of winter but on a day like today, with the sun shining it was perfect. I always get to a car boot early to snaffle the bargains. If you go a couple of hours later all the best bargains will have been taken by other people.
The great thing about the boot sales is they do start so early so you can be up out and back home for breakfast which is great. I love returning to hot croissants and coffee, perfect for warming up whilst pawing over my vintage finds.
There were a mixture of sellers, some who have come on a one off, cleared out their lofts and cellars and then there are the people who are down there every week typically house clearance people who bring a variety of wares and also the regular dealers who sell everything from antiques to dishcloths.
One thing I personally love to collect for my home is Cornish ware and I have been lucky enough this morning to pick up a beautiful old Cornish ware jug, which will be added to my collection.
Remember if you are going round the bootsales to take plenty of change. Often the sellers wont have change for large notes. Another tip is to take bubble wrap and bags to help you transport your vintage (bits and pieces) finds back home safely. I tend to buy a lot of china so always take bubble wrap to make sure I can get them back safely.
Don’t be afraid to barter, people will always expect you to barter and they can always say no, just be polite and ask if that is their best price. Sometimes you can get a little bit of money off.
Today after a quick run around I have picked up some sweet vintage cake tongs, a french jug and a pretty floral jug by Alfred meakin. Some of these items will be coming home with me and some will be for sale in the shop. It is always nice to keep the shop nice and full with unique items so it looks exciting when customers come to visit.