This is the first in a regular feature focusing on a vintage lover and their greatest finds. My best finds are often the basis for some major bragging on my part, so I really want to hear about yours! I love the way people can take clothes and objects from the past and make them their own, and use them as a way of expressing their creativity. If you'd like to be featured here please drop me at line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!
Hello! Please tell me all about yourself…
Hello, my name is Erika, I live in West Yorkshire with my husband and black Labrador Hendrix. I run a small jewellery design business, successful blog Eclectic Enchantments, I am Editor of the Beauty & Accessories Section in Voix magazine and fashion writer for Vulture Hound.
Impressive! Ok, first question. What does vintage mean to you?
I think that vintage is incredibly important, it is not just beautiful and well made items, but a physical record of a time long past, one I can not be a part of, but with vintage items I can be a witness to different aspects of history.
I completely agree with that. My love of vintage is drawn from a similar perspective. How did you get into vintage?
I am a little obsessed with history and have always enjoyed things that aren't run of the mill. My Dad has always been a collector of anything and everything and I suppose he has passed onto me the collecting gene. A lot of it though, is my fascination with history.
I wonder how many vintage lovers would cite history as their favourite subject at school? I suspect quite a lot! It's certainly true for me. What was your first find?
My first real vintage find was when I was about 18 years old. I volunteered in a charity shop and found an exquisite 1910's era blue velvet, jewel encrusted evening gown. It was breathtaking and begged me to take it home.
Oh wow, that sounds gorgeous. I love it when charity shops come up trumps like that. What was your greatest find? Fill me in on your proudest vintage moment!
I was at a boot fair and from across the cold, wet car park I spotted this dark wooden box glinting at me. I was almost certain what I had found from that far away and as I got closer was thrilled to see I was right. 1930's vintage radio! It was beautiful, well aside from the fact that someone had put this hideous fabric in the speaker area and had ripped out the original radio to put this awful modern circuit board inside. They had stuck stickers on it also. I was still in love and expected the guy to tell me it would cost me a lot to take it home. I was wrong he only wanted £2! So I took it home, took out the horrible bits and restored it as best I could. I couldn't replace the radio, so instead used the housing to pop a pair of speakers in and use it as a kind of docking station!
What a great idea, and what a gorgeous model. £2! I have radio envy. Onto the one that got away … is there anything you regret not buying? Any near-misses?
There was a 1920's dressing table that was simply stunning and a gentleman got there literally two minutes before me and bought it for his daughter. It was beautiful!
Argh, how frustrating! What a lucky daughter though. Last question! Let me in on a secret, what shops or markets do you recommend for finding vintage gems?
For me, when I am up to it a good boot fair is the place to look, that and charity shops, although the latter have less and less bargains now.
I think charity shops have really started to suss out the vintage market, and the prices reflect that. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me about all things vintage! If anyone would like to be featured here, all you need to do is send me a quick email.