Monday, 30 March 2015

On The Road Again



After spending most of Friday morning selecting stock and loading the van, we got back home only to receive an email informing us that Nottingham's vintage market had been cancelled. With festival trade pitches to pay for and Public Liability Insurance to renew, a zero-income weekend couldn't have come at a worse time. Within minutes I was Googling "Vintage events this weekend" and came up with a possible three within a hundred mile radius of home.  I dashed off some introductory emails along with photos of our set-up and stock and, amazingly, all three organisers offered to accommodate us despite the late notice.

Morris Hall
Saturday took us to the magnificent Arts & Crafts era Morris Hall in Shrewsbury, the pretty county town of Shropshire. We set off just after 7 am and the lovely organiser Hannah of Coconut Shy Events was there to greet us an hour later and, with her partner, kindly helped us unpack the van and carry our 30 sacks of vintage stock up the steps and into the venue.

Wearing: 1960s Dollyrockers Maxi (VeryVintage) and vintage white leather go-go boots (Emma Kate)

My pleading email had reached Hannah just as she was at Morris Hall marking out the floor plan. Although fully booked she measured out the space the Kinky Melon pitch required and decided to open up the stage and let us trade from there.

The Kinky pitch
My pleading email had reached Hannah just as she was at Morris Hall marking out the floor plan. Although fully booked she measured out the space the Kinky Melon pitch required and decided to open up the stage and let us trade from there.


It was the first time Coconut Shy (and us) had worked an event in the centre of Shrewsbury. The weather was terrible so we didn't really know what the expect. Happily it turned out great. Although not hugely busy, Hannah and her team had obviously targeted the right kind of people (i.e. proper vintage enthusiasts) so those who came spent money. The fellow traders were really sweet and I met a lovely lady who reads my blog and bought one of my favourite items, a 1970s Sterling Cooper fringed suedette jerkin.


Lots of fair organisers bang on about footfall. It's all very well having 1000 visitors through the door but if those people have just come to reminisce and block your rails with no intention of buying, telling you how they used to have one of those and how they'd be a millionaire if they've not sent it all to the charity shop, then a huge attendance is a pretty pointless boast.

Wearing: Skinnied-up 1950s wool trousers, Vintage Austin Reed waistcoat, Tootal scarf (all second-hand finds)
Others argue that fairs should be free to attend as it puts people off when they have to pay an admission fee. So wrong! A nominal fee, no matter how small, sorts the genuine buyers out from the time wasters, there to kill a few minutes until the next bus arrives or to shelter from the rain. If someone can't afford to splash out £1 to get in then they're hardly the target market for buying quality vintage.


I've got a share a photo of beautiful Gaia, looking amazing in a 1940s gents overcoat her Dad treated her to from our stall. With such incredible, stand-out style it's hard to believe she's just 14 years old.


After a successful day we loaded up the van and headed back to Walsall. Jon made sandwiches for Sunday while I sorted out more stock to replace what we'd sold. A quick bath, a plate of oven chips, The Voice and a couple of rum & cokes and by 9.30 we were in bed.

Wearing: Skinnied-up 1950s wool trousers, clip-on braces, Cherry red DMs, Turnbull & Asser shirt, 1970s Rackhams Blazer - all second-hand finds
The following day the alarm went off at 5am (with British Summer Time, technically 4am but we don't want to think about that) Washed, dressed, cats fed & watered and (vintage) flask filled with coffee we set off, arriving in Bristol two hours later. This time we were trading in a cattle pen at the Easter Compton Vintage Market. What a treat to drive to our pitch and unload the stock without walking miles or climbing steps! We could even park behind the pitches so, if we needed anything, we could pop back at get it.

Wearing: Vintage 1960s Cathy McGowan Boutique maxi dress (VeryVintage) and Lamani gypsy coin necklace
All set-up we chatted to the fellow traders. We'd met Deb, the organiser, at Bristol Vintage Market a couple of weeks ago. She'd brought her huge collection of early Laura Ashley dresses along. Weren't they gorgeous?


The weather was atrocious, battling the torrential wind and rain to use the loo in the stable block next door was a feat in itself, but people came. I was delighted to meet Sue, a blog reader and to see Liz of Rose & Bird for the first time in ages. At Bristol a fortnight ago I'd hit it off with a fabulous girl called Lynette. She'd seen our post of Facebook and brought her boyfriend Barry along to say hello.  Easter Compton is a monthly event and yesterday was only the second one to be held. With a car boot and produce market next door it is the perfect location for a Sunday trip out. We'll definitely be back.

Wearing: Vintage 1960s Cathy McGowan Boutique maxi dress (VeryVintage), 1960s suede & patent leather go-go boots (Kerrang Car Boot, 2011) and Lamani gypsy coin necklace
We were in bed for 9 pm last night - too knackered even to watch Indian Summers. I better get dressed, unload the van and pay the takings into the bank so I can spend a leisurely afternoon reading blogs.

See you soon!

Linking to the fabulous Judith's Hat Attack.

66 comments:

  1. What a busy weekend you had and how nice for the organisers to squeeze you in at the last minute. Morris Hall looks gorgeous from the outside. I love the black and white dress you're wearing xxx

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  2. Good you were able to find another venue for the weekend although it sounds a bit exhausting. How cool to meet someone who reads your blog. Love your maxi and Jon looks daper in that blue jacket. Enjoy the rest of your week Vix. xo

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  3. Kinky on the road again! Hurrah. What a brilliant pitch in Shrewsbury and what a lovely venue. Totally agree with you about footfall and buers. I've had stalls that hundreds of people pass by with nothing more than a smile and the occasional 'Don't buy it.You could make that yourself'...the makers equivalent of 'My gran used to have one of those.' Then I've done fairs that you could count all the punters and sold loads.
    What a star Gaia is! That's how you do vintage...if you like it wear it and mix it up.
    Glad that it was a good weekend and love the maxis- the business.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxx

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  4. Good job you were quick off the mark and got some more gigs. I agree about footfall not meaning a thing, we did a fair in Brum once, there were plenty of people, mostly hiding in out of the rain. We barely even covered our costs that day xx

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  5. You must be exhausted! Just reading about the whole weekend makes me tired.

    I used to do shows similar to this and it always drove me crazy when people just wanted to come out and blab instead of buy.

    I'm glad to hear you made a profit. You're both looking smashing for the long days!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  6. The Shrewsbury pitch was truly serendipitous! All the Kinky Melon displays are remarkable for their cleanliness and bright colors, but here even the beautiful boots have a place to shine. Both Jon and Gaia are wonderful walking models for the real retro look sought by the folks who pay to support the venues. So glad you were able to salvage the week-end, but then you are a scrappy Vintage Vixen!

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  7. Great little pitch on the stage you got there!

    I completely agree about spending a couple of quid on entrance fee - hardly the biggest spend you'll have that weekend!!

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  8. All these events you go to sound marvellous, lots of hard work but lots of fun! I agree about having an admission fee, there is nothing worse than people just popping in to avoid the elements with no intention of buying anything. I don't have a stall or a shop of any kind, but I certainly like to visit them. I got a gorgeous vintage yellow dress in a little shop near me on saturday, it made me squeak with joy! :)

    Jerra

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  9. Hardworking, fabulous couple you are - and doing what you love, that's the thing! Love seeing your pitch up on stage. xox

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  10. Hi Vix, it was great to meet you too, I recognised you from your blog pics straight away.....I felt like I was meeting a genuine celeb! (as you are!). Hope the atrocious weather didn't put too many buyers off and that it was worth your while getting up so early. I did pick up a nice couple of bits of kitchenalia from that stall opposite you. I look forward to seeing you again, we will probably go there again, when hopefully there will be more traders and buyers.

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  11. how fab! i love that there is just dozens of random vintage fairs going on around town and in the middle of yucky weather! we have a lot of set markets here which are a little too hip and you need a bit more notice to get into... Loving all your outfits and those pretty LA dresses! oh my!

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  12. Busy weekend ! Looks great . That girl is aboslutley gprgeous !
    xxxx

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  13. Kinky Melon seems to be growing, well done.

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  14. You are resourceful! many would have given up and had a miserable weekend but you got stuck in,found some venues and did your stuff. How lucky to get the stage at the first one. Thanks btw for comment about my font size - I emailed you from hubby's email by mistake (oops) will get into trouble! but just wanted to say thanks. Hope all your future bookings turn out to be reliable. Betty

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  15. I entirely agree about footfall and when people complain about the price too but the people who love true vintage will spend a long time browsing especially if there are not lots of just curious people there for whatever the reason xxx

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  16. The stall looks fab! That your stock is clean and nice it makes such a difference. I am going to a local Vintage sale on Saturday and I know from experience some of the stall won't be able to say that!

    Gaia has great style. I know at 14 I was hopeless and I admire anyone who knows what they like and have a style of their own.

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  17. Love Gaia's look! So good you figured out some last minute venues for the weekend---makin' it work!

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  18. Awesome! You got the stage! I totally agree about charging. A buck is a soda from a vending machine.

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  19. It's amazing how quickly you managed to find new venues after the previously planned event was cancelled. It was a busy but, after all, a successful weekend.

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  20. Well done on finding the Plan B fair in Shrewsbury, the venue looks very welcoming. Gaia has some style doesn't she? Nice to see a teenager not in the ubiquitous Superdry/A&F clobber.
    Love your Chrysanth frock, you look gorgeous. xxx

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  21. Happy to hear that all ended up very well, Vix!
    I have always wanted to go to Shrewsbury - I'm a big Cadfael fan. One of these years! xo

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  22. What a fantastic place to trade from, in Shrewsbury, those vintage Laura Ashleys look so fabulous displayed in the cow shed!

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  23. The thought that there are so many vintage sales there has me filled with envy, as does the opportunity the shoppers have to meet the two of you in person.

    Your pitch looks so tantalizing!



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  24. What a busy weekend you've both had and sounds like you've met some nice people along the way.
    Can't write up my blog yet until we get home Tuesday evening.
    Hope you are rested up now. We've recorded The Voice and will be tuning in as soon as the bags are unpacked and the kettles on. Meantime we've got the theatre tonight - The Carole King Story xxx.

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  25. Really odd that that market got cancelled so last minute. Tough on the self employed - especially when you constantly need to find venues to sell your stock. Glad the weekend worked out.

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  26. Thank you for sharing! I also attended a flea market Sunday and I had such a great time, I love the connection with the vendors and clients, to bargain and to buy amazing treasures for so little money. This time fou d a vintage camera bag, really needed one!

    I'm glad you guys managed to find another fair. By the pictures I bet I would get some dresses, really need new ones for summer.

    Have a wonderful vintage week :)

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  27. that stage in the beautiful arts&craft hall is the right environment for kinky melon i think!!!! glad that all the work has payed out. young gaia is adorable! fab dresses and jon looks sharp in his wool trousers! xxxxxxx

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  28. I love your small Vix!! It looks so much fun. So bright and beaming! V glad you managed to trade x x

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  29. Wow that first venue is gorgeous!

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  30. Yes, you belong on the stage because you are stars. I'm glad you got some events lined up at the last minute.

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  31. I'm currently praying to the rain gods for decent half way warm weather Easter Sunday just to do a car boot , there's nothing indoor around here

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  32. I admire your work ethic (and your great vintage stock) hugely. Funnily enough I've just posted photos of a dress my mum bought from you (for me) when she managed to get to one of the vintage fairs you were at some time ago

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  33. You and Jon are so very resourceful and a constant inspiration. I would love to visit your spot at a vintage market someday. As a proper vintage enthusiast I would have the time of my life, I'm sure.

    Gala really knows how to wear a hat at the age of 14! Stunning!

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  34. Nottingham's loss was definitely Shrewsbury's gain. Your Bristol outfit is gorgeous!!

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  35. My goodness you are an extremely hardworking couple!! I hope Kinky Melon had huge takings!

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  36. It was lovely to meet you and Jon on Saturday and I am so pleased with the jerkin!
    Both you and Curtise inspired me to donate my drab wardrobe and search the charity shops, ebay and vintage shops for a much better one!

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  37. Fantastic dress flowered last photo and congratulations! You are an amazing couple and these markets are really interesting, real treasure chests!

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  38. I think you got the perfect place for Kinky to set up on by using that gorgeous stage. What a cool old hall, and what a gorgeous 14 year old girl. Those Laura Ashley frocks are beautiful.

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  39. It seems only right you be on the stage as I'm sure you guys are the stars of the show :0)
    xx

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  40. I love seeing your pitch wherever you go, what a fantastic spot on-stage. Both you & Jon have wonderful presence, star quality, and what a team! And your wear-to-work looks are marvellous.

    Stylin' Gaia has an awesome dad. :)

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  41. I'm tired just reading about your weekend of early starts! I'm glad you had a good bit of trading and wow I wish I had been that cool at 14 or ever in fact!

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  42. I feel tired just reading about your weekend! I love the Cathy McGowan maxi you're wearing in the last picture, the colours are gorgeous x

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  43. Oh Vix! So sorry I missed seeing you in Shrewsbury! Yes, isn't the Morris Hall lovely? Well, our whole town is lovely, n'est pas? Surprisingly, I know Gaia's mum and dad (although not well). She was but a tadpole when I did business with her mum's jewellery.
    So glad that the day worked out well for you.
    All the best,
    Rosemary from www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot

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  44. So glad your online store is still alive but I wish I got feel all the garments.

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  45. The Laura Ashley dresses are lovely. Oh, my gosh...those are my kind of clothes. You look ,as always, stunning Vix.

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  46. Wow! Sounds crazy busy! But at least you did well. Love both dresses, but especially the second one! :)

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  47. What a busy bee you've been!! I thought I'd clocked up a lot of miles this weekend but you've pipped me it seems, and certainly you had the earlier starts!

    I'd love to come to a vintage fair that you're selling at one day xx

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  48. Glad you managed to find some other fairs, looks like you have had a busy time. I will have to check out Easter Compton.

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  49. Omgosh, Gaia is stunning...and only 14? what style! love hearing how things are done over there. what beautiful venues you have for your beautiful shop. xo

    ps - looking fabulous as always dear vix.

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  50. Oh you do get around don't you! SO so true about the nominal fee to get into a fair, it really does sort the genuine buyers from the folk just wanting to gawp! Gaia is beautiful, I really can't believe she is only 14, what a stylish gal. Those Laura Ashley dresses are such a treat, I have a friend who works for the archive, it's filled with amazing photographs and dresses from the early days, they are so dreamy and wonderful! It's hard to believe it when looking at Laura Ashley these days! XX

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  51. Gosh you must have been exhausted! I hope you're both recovered and I'm glad it was all so worthwhile. The white boots look perfect with your Dollyrockers dress. I'm so glad they worked out for you! xxx

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  52. As one door closes, another opens m- well done for sorting out an alternative to Nottingham, and Morris Hall looks stunning. Oh man, can you believe people moan about paying a couple of quid to get into an event? I don't mind, it's fair enough considering the work that goes in to putting on a decent fair.
    Don't you and Jon look fab? Loving the new-to-you frocks and Jon the Pout always looks very dapper. Tell him we walked past the old Hacienda site, the ghost of Madchester still lingers!
    Doesn't Gaia look amazing? Hope you did well at the fairs in recompense for all your hard work, and we need to compare notes on the Voice - no Karis in the final, I'm shocked!
    Love you (and I'm even pretty fond of Grumpy Bollocks too!) xxxx

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  53. oh yes, so fabulous to see you hitting the road with style!, because you look so cool, and love that skinnied-up pants Jon is wearing!, such a great idea!
    Fabulous maxis, as usual, and lots of sassiness!!
    besos

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  54. I've always thought you belonged on the stage!

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  55. What an amazing and enjoyable post, Vix! I love all the clothes you are wearing. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  56. What a fab location.Vix - when are you in Brixton? It's just down the road from TNMA Mansions. Maybe we will see you there?!

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  57. Wow, that's one busy weekend!

    I always feel more inclined to buy something if I've paid an entry fee, on the grounds that I've spent money and so want to take something home to show for it.

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  58. Kudos to you for wasting no time fussing about the cancellation and instead jumping right on it to find a solution. It's true when they say that people make their own luck. And you got to be right on the stage - how marvelous. Glad it all worked out, and you met a very stylish 14 year old!

    The Vintage shows/sales over here have entrance fees - the one I went to last month was $10 and I'm going to one next weekend that is $8. It does separate the serious shoppers from the time-killers.

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  59. That black and white one is particularly fetching on you....happy easter!!x

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  60. I'm sooo happy it turned out so well for you guys! Both events sound wonderful and genuine. The Saturday building is such a beauty - and you were on the stage! Gaia's hat and her approach to style do impress me. You and Jon look gorgeous! Love the black and white outfit, so chic! It's hard work, but so rewarding since you love it! xxxx

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  61. Thanks Vix, for sharing Gian and her hat with Hat Attack! When I first saw her photo I was mesmerized.

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  62. I love how your booth is set up! I wanna go shoppin'!

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  63. Where has my comment gone? vanished to thin air ...
    here it is a new one! your picture want me to start our flea market selling season! your booth/stall always looks so great! ... 19th of April the man and I will be on the road selling at our favourite bar's spring market.

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  64. I'm so glad you were able to find some other markets to go to so quickly - yah! It sounds like you had a great day at both markets. Isn't Gaia just a stylish, striking young lady. I certainly didn't have that style at 14!

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  65. Loved this post! Let me know the next time you are back at Easter Compton, I'm pretty sure I can make my way over there! xxxx

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Love from Vix
xxx