Once upon a time, I did actually have a retail vintage homewares shop -
I LOVE this pic, out the front of my Duthy St shop..somewhere, SOMEWHERE I have a better picture of my windows, but for now, you can get a feel for the GORGEOUS signs that adorned the two huge street fronted picture windows. These were made by a fabulous sign-writer/artist, that I’m so very proud to call my friend, Mr Milsy!! (Also a fellow singer/musician) After giving him a brief, he exceeded my vision – a sensational ‘Trademark’ was born!
In the early 2000′s I felt the passion to experience my own bricks & mortar. Named by my darling Mr B – April Love – the little shop became an entity of its own. With the support of Mr B, the chitlins & wonderful friends, I set up a little shop in the suburbs of eastern Adelaide. Set in an adorable group of shops built in the late 1800′s, what else would you expect?! WHAT a grand adventure! I discovered some pic’s just the other day & thought I’d share this moment in my life. It’s amazing how the pictures still stir my imagination!! This darling little shop had been many things in its past life, including an antique shop!! When I discovered it, it was a magnificent florist, The Flower Room! The flower Room was the creation of the talented floral stylist, Miss Caroline http://flowerroom.com.au/home/ It wasn’t just the stunning flowers that captured and drew my attention, it was the way Miss Caroline presented this amazing little shop. It was ‘Shabby Chic’ heaven – without the hype, just bare-boned style, feel & soul, that oozed from her fabulous, eclectic personality. I will be featuring Miss Caroline, complete with pic’s, in my ‘inspirational people’ section of my site coming soon…stay tuned!!
Miss Caroline & I became friends – Kindred spirits indeed – & remain to this day. We would talk for what seemed forever (there’s that chatting again!!)..and you will be happy to know, i DID at times buy flowers! We discussed at length our love for all things ‘vintage’ – and what that meant to us. We even laughed about how wonderful it would be to combine the flowers business with my ideas for vintage homewares someday. Sometime down the track, Miss Caroline’s journey needed to lead her from where she was. The little shop I dreamed of would be for lease.. . The rest you’d say – was history!
I can’t begin to express the satisfaction this journey brought to my life. More than sales, it was the extension of the passion I have for all things vintage and it was born from my soul. Walking a mile in those ‘retail’ shoes has given me great insight into the fact that EVERY business is hard work! I have nothing but admiration for anyone building their ‘bricks & mortar’ dream – no matter what it is. Small business, in particular, is filled at times, with all the harsh practicalities of owing & operating, there’s no denying. Regardless, seeing something YOU create, evolve & grow into a beautiful ‘space’ is so inspiring & self satisfying. Like a vortex your passion begins to draw others, people, places, things, to join you.
Always loving the creative licence to marry old & new – making it ONE OFF & unique!
Christmas time always lent itself to be extra creative – I LOVED styling my displays!!
I remember combining the dried roses & vintage baubles – I would’ve happily hung this anywhere, any time of the year! The clothes in the background always made me smile – vintage lingerie & sleepwear…so delicate & feminine!!
I was fortunate enough to have many wonderful large items find their way to me without even stepping out my door! This ‘Half – Tester’ bed, with original porcelain decorations, was a fav. Many a fine display graced my window with the use of this stunning piece! When it was it’s time to move on, like magic something equally as eye catching would take up its new prized position.
The chair this display rest on, still lives with us. We literally found these on top of a truck! In the Middle of Melbourne suburbia, theses darling, wooden 19’40′s ‘beach chairs’ shone down the road like a beacon – calling our name! Mr B has always been as taken with them as myself. Their chippy old paint is something to behold! So four little chairs were stacked up, wrapped up and whisked back on the plane lickety split! Why ‘beach chairs’?? I have no idea why, the man we purchased them from gave them the title..I continue the story!
A snippet of RUST peeps into this picture! One of my ALL TIME passions is rusty patina!! This particular darling was off an old homestead in country SA. Picked by some folks I would deal with down at Goolwa markets back in the day. The hat box is also genuine..I still have it to this day – a fabulous ‘pick’ from Sydney & the AMAZING shop ‘Rokkit’
After a number of years on Duthy St, I joined forces with Miss Shabby Sally who had her own most darling shop near the beach, ‘shabby chic living’.!! This amazing little space was also born of her passion & love, she truly is a kindred spirit! We spent the next few years together literally laughing our heads off – what a great way to spend time! Moving to a new, bigger store together - also in a beautiful old row of shops (again, what else would you expect?!), we went under the combined name ‘Roses and Rust’. What an awesome journey we shared, a grand friend & business partner, still to this day & will always remain so!. Many a Saturday we’d open late because we were WAAAYY to busy checking all the garage sale LOL! (actually that’s probably every Saturday!) We were shockers and I’m fairly certain there was more than the passing person that thought we were just a little crazy – but we were livin the dream!!
So many good times, so many amazing & fabulous people I met, from clients, to those who were wholesalers or had business of their own! The fabulous Miss Roes, Sister Violet always brought sunshine when they popped in – many of my most beloved vintage treasures found a happy & treasured new life with them.http://www.missrosesisterviolet.com.au/ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-Rose-Sister-Violet/220864414626053 All these interesting people crossed my path – because of a shop – all who had their own flavour, interest & stories to share – all that FELT the love of vintage and shared its Love in our shops.
Mr B always maintains we were ‘ahead of our time’.. Particularly in Adelaide where the new vision & interpretation of ‘vintage’ hadn’t quite exploded in a retail sence at the time of our businesses. A new day dawns & life pulls us in different directions, because life is filled with MANY journeys & experiences to be had. Would I say ‘never’ again to bricks & mortar?? No – never say never! but for now it’s time to look into a new world that exposes us to ‘vintage’ from around the globe in an instant, in our home or on the go. So it’s with these eyes that I take MY passion, process it & send it out with Love to YOU.