30.3.11

Missy Vintage meets Hummingbird Vintage


 My first interview, all very exiting. When Lucy from Hummingbird Vintage approached me to see if I would be interested in doing a feature about her online boutique I was interested straight away, but knew I wanted it to be more than a blog link or name drop and it didn't take me long to think an interview would not only be an interesting feature for me to do, but it would also be an inspirational post to read. I love vintage fashion and am dreaming of opening a vintage boutique myself one day, so I'm always inspired by anyone who is brave enough take the plunge and try and make a business out of something they love doing. So whether you dream of selling vintage, making cakes, taking photographs, writing, painting, ironing, cleaning, or any other kind of business maybe it's not an unreachable dream? 

As much as I'd have loved to have been able to hop on a train to London and chat to Lucy in person, my schedule didn't allow for such a fun jaunt (boo to you diary!) However, blogland is a funny place. When you blog, tweet, facebook and email you do feel that you spend a lot of time 'talking' to people even though it's not in the flesh, so although this interview was via email, I can easily imagine this exchange taking place in The Ritz over afternoon tea in our best vintage frocks. (Ah the wonders of the imagination, you can be where you like, wear what you like and never have to worry about the bill!)

So I posed the questions and Lucy from Hummingbird Vintage gave some excellent answers.  Here's what Lucy had to say........

Me : Congratulations on starting your own vintage clothing business, what have been some of the challenges you have had to overcome to make it work?
Hummingbird Vintage : Thanks you very much...my main challenge is the amount of other vintage retailers out there.....there are TONS and almost all have beautiful things that I (and any other vintage lover) would love to have tucked away in our wardrobes. However, where I differ slightly is that I want to try to make vintage accessible to everyone....not just those looking for a fab 1950's prom dress for an event or a beautiful evening gown. I wear vintage everyday and mix it with  high street accessories and I wanted to give people the chance to do the same so all my items are under £35 and all the wedding dresses are under £100. Affordable and original....can't go wrong really.


Me : I really enjoyed reading your blog post 'An affair to remember' where you blogged about selling at a vintage fair for the first time, whilst sneakily drinking red wine with your sister! What are the best and worst bits about working with a sibling?
Hummingbird Vintage : I am very lucky in that my sister is also like my best friend so she knows how to handle my 'stressy' moments and when to bring me some red wine to calm me down...!! However, because she is my sister I find it hard to get into 'boss mode' and ask her to do things for me and I always feel bad afterwards......clearly I need a lesson from Alan Sugar on being tough.


Me : Being surrounded by all that lovely vintage must be a dream. Has there been one piece that you sold but really really wish you had kept for yourself?
Hummingbird Vintage : I WANT TO KEEP EVERYTHING....!! However, on my first ever trip to buy a big load of gorgeous stock I fell in love with a red 'dirty dancing' dress. I loved this dress, even though it was too big (I was hoping I would grown the required three inches) I truly loved it. At the aforementioned fair a lady requested to try it on...my sister had to literally prise the dress out of my hands in order to give it to her and then when she decided to buy it, although I was very happy to sell the dress, I was also slightly devastated..!

Me : You have also just launched a lingerie range, so here is your chance to tell us about your knickers! What can you tell us about the Hummingbird boudoir range of underwear?
Hummingbird Vintage : Firstly let me tell you that I love underwear...love it...I buy it more than I buy anything else and my underwear draw actually broke at the weekend due to the fact I had tried to cram waaay too much into it. 
This said I hate it when you pull on your sexy undies and find, that, due to enjoying a bit to much red wine and chocolate they no longer fit properly and give you a lovely muffin top effect.....not a good look. So...in order to banish this I have launched a range of underwear designed to make us feel good all the time. Each set is adjustable at the side of the knickers, bra straps and front of the bra. it is adorned with vintage buttons and ribbon and comes in all sizes (and I do mean all). I have also created a range for women going through cancer treatment as women lose or gain weight rapidly during the treatment and do not generally feel at their sexiest.....this underwear can help on both counts!!


Me : You seem to have lots of plates spinning with your different projects and you are also planning  what sounds like a brilliantly fun vintage event on May 8th in aid of two amazing charities Macmillan Cancer and CoppaFeel. How have you found planning this event so far and what can guests expect to experience? 
Hummingbird Vintage
I actually used to be an event planner so organising this event has felt like slipping back into some comfortable vintage (naturally) shoes. Both charities are amazing and this has made it easier with regards to getting venues and suppliers to do things either for free or at a reduced cost. My biggest challenge now will be getting the word out but we have had some great responses so far so fingers crossed..!



Me : It's obviously been quite a year for you already so far and there is still along way to go, how would you like Hummingbird to develop?
Hummingbird Vintage : I am currently looking at stocking Hummingbird Vintage in boutiques both in London and my home town of Leigh-on-sea (the only way is Essex...!!) and also I have had interest from various lingerie shops with regards to stocking my lovely undies..which is great. 
I am trying to develop the bridal range at the moment so that next year I will be able to be part of various bridal shows and I would like to carry on with the vintage events. 
To be honest even typing this makes me tired and wonder where I will find the time so goodness knows what I will be like come December but luckily I love what I do and feel lucky to be able to do it!


Lucy also blogs about her experiences in setting up her business as well as her general love of vintage and you can read all about that here.
All pictures belong to Hummingbird Vintage.
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28.3.11

Kooky vintage adverts part 2

More fabulously weird vintage adverts. I'm fascinated by some and horrified by others but like them or loathe them, the fact that they are still worthy of a reaction all these years on, is in itself amazing. We saw these gems in kooky vintage adverts part 1.
Vintage adverts make fabulous art. Do you have any framed on your walls?  Part 2 brings you more kookytastic images to make you gasp and snigger!

I'd love this as a poster!


This is actually quite similar to my driving face.
I find this scary. Vintage pictures of children are often quite scary I find?


Total misery!





Proof that sex sells........oil!
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23.3.11

Happy Birthday to me!


Yesterday was my birthday! I was...................34 years old!! Woohoo. I'm freakishly excited about being another year older. I certainly don't fear approaching the big 40 in the way some women seem to. I took the day off work (in fact I took two days off!) I treated myself to a leisurely morning with several cups of tea and then took myself shopping in the hope of adding some gorgeous dresses to my project 365 collection and I was also hoping to add some vintage bowls to my mismatched vintage china collection. (If I'm honest it's not turning out to be very mismatched....I appear to be naturally drawn towards blue china!)


However I wasn't lucky on either front, although I did manage to pick up a divine Kelly bag. I've wanted one of these for ages and found this navy blue one which I have fallen in love with and now I realise that I *need* one in black and another in brown!


It's in amazing condition. Like new. The inside smells of smoke which as a non smoker I wouldn't normally like but there is something about it that makes me smile. I can visualize granny with her best bag, best outfit and fag in her hand. It really adds a personality to the bag. Like it's holding a memory.

I also picked up another old wicker picnic basket which will be perfect for storage and of course picnics in the park when summer gets here. Yesterday almost felt like summer, walking around in the sunshine with vintage goodies in my bag was the ultimate birthday present. I had fish and chips for lunch to celebrate by birthday and in the afternoon I had a long soak in the tub then popped my hair into velcro rollers and caught up on reading some lovely blogs whilst drinking lots of tea.

Here I am looking uber glam. My lipstick matches the sofa! The bf has never seen me in rollers before.....

In the evening I attended a charity event at the fantastic Hooloovoo Hair salon all in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I arrived accidentally fashionably late thanks to Norwich buses, but the girls were lovely and I did my best to tip toe across the tiled floor so as not to interrupt the silence from the crowd as a speech about the purpose of the evening was taking place. As soon as the speeches were over, a lady stopped me and asked where my dress was from because she thought I looked lovely. Always a good start to an evening and she looked a little disappointed when I said it was vintage. When you love fashion and you see a dress you want but can't go and just select your size from a rail of a dozen exact dresses, it can be vexing. This is why vintage can be bitter sweet.

 Here is the dress in question.......



It's a fantastic blue cotton 60's number with huge white buttons. I teamed it with my new handbag and a red elastic belt. I felt like a vintage nurse! For outerwear i wore my Primark mac, which I bought two years ago for £17 and I adore it. It is easily my best ever purchase from Primark. Beige macs are so versatile and I would never be without one now.

Waiting for the bus...



The Hoolovoo girls were as always really lovely and all looking very glam! There were some amazing updo's being demonstrated and they were all brilliant at answering questions and giving advice. The evening was washed down nicely with some fabulous wine and food and at the end it was lovely to receive a goody bag with samples and a money off voucher. It was a lovely mild evening so I walked home pondering the fabulous day I'd had and it was lovely knowing that I wouldn't have to wake up to the alarm clock the next morning. I think everyone should have two days off to celebrate their birthday!
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17.3.11

Project 365?



You may have noticed there is a new page added to my blog...........

Project 365 is my attempt (and my excuse) to try and own 365 vintage dresses. A dress for every day of the year. Some may call this decadent but each dress will only be bought because I love it, not just for the sake of it, so I'm not setting a deadline on this one. Each dress will get to have a very good home, like stray cats or dogs they will to be rehomed and well looked after. Some girls have a shoe fetishes, mine is vintage dresses.

Project 365 has it's very own page on the blog so as I post about each dress it will go into the Project 365 gallery page and we can watch the collection grow.......... I have a few dresses already which will I will add to the page and the count can begin.............

You can see the rules for this aspirational ambition on the page, so pop over and have a look and the dresses will start going on asap. *exciting*
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15.3.11

Dress to impress part 2

So we checked out my new 80's does 50's dress a few days ago in 'Dress to impress part 1', I also found this preloved little red number. Now it's not vintage, in fact it's supermarket chic and is probably one of the youngest items in my wardrobe! But then I often wear blouses for work that are older than the person sitting next to me! Despite the fact that makes me sound ancient I will actually hit 34 this month. I'm not at all concerned that I'm no longer a twenty something. My thirties are simply a blast, I've stopped torturing myself with constantly trying to work out what I want to be when I grow up and quite frankly I'm having a ball.

I've developed slightly crazy aspirations including the need to own dogs called completely normal names like James, Paul, Gordan etc (no pets as yet though) and I'd like to have a different vintage dress for every day of the year. Which is utterly decadent and shockingly greedy I know....but even though I have to watch the pennies I think this is quite a realistic dream and I'd be interested to see how much 365 would add up to in £££'s if the rule for example was a maximum spend per dress of no more than £30 (and it could take me  years to achieve - everyone needs a hobby though, right?) Sounds like an experiment to me..... or do you think that's taking dress love to far? Do you think I should include what I already have in my wardrobe?? Yes I suppose I should really. I've got a brilliant memory when it comes to recalling what I paid for things yet if you asked me what I had for dinner last night I would have to stop and think about it! Why is that?

 I haven't counted my dresses but adding to my  collection of non vintage, is my  lipstick red wiggle dress (do you see what I'm doing here, I trying to aim for 365 vintage dresses plus a selection of other dresses on top of that..............I'm not a crazy cat lady, I a crazy dress lady!) This one is a 50's style pinup pencil dress from none other than the 'George' label for Asda supermarket.

Not fab pic but a fab dress. I'm keep checking on Ebay in hope a black one comes up!
 It's not the first 'George' dress I've bought that is absolutely amazing to wear. Two years ago when I bought this super blue one for £9 (half price!) I got asked if it was Karen Millen! Here's a snap shot of me at a wedding wearing it.


End of the night snapshot. Much champagne had been consumed. Shoes had been carried around in my hand for about an hour, so I was sporting dirty street urchin feet! You know how it is....

 I loved it so much I bought a black one for £9 too! Both are still going strong. I do like strapless dresses on on those warm summer evenings. Thank goodness for Bravissimo! I do pretty well for a girl on a budget. If I've got dresses, tea bags and vino in the house all is not so bad.  Whilst vintage will always be my true love, I'm also happy with a bit of vintage style supermarket chic thrown in too! Big kisses to you George! X
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12.3.11

Dress to impress part 1

In my previous post 'suspender arrest' I mentioned I had snapped up a couple of very cheap and gorgeous dresses. I've finally got round to taking some pictures. I am time poor at the moment, there is never enough hours in the day, but I am glad the mornings are getting lighter and the weather is getting milder. Let's hope it lasts and we can all get our peep toes out!

One of the gorgeous creatures is this lovely black 80's does 50's number. Very glam. Perfect for sensible dinners out.....I do feel rather grown up and  sophisticated when it's on, although I often find such grown up like behaviors often surrender to the power of vino....  I was toying with the idea of taking it up and I think I would possibly get more wear out of it if I did, but it feels very elegant and has a lovely swooshy feel when one moves so I am having serious second thoughts about touching the hem line..... What do you think?










 It was a total bargain  and I have a little mustard coloured waist belt and some mustard/gold Van Dal vintage sling backs that I thought might go nicely. The options are endless so I'm going to have a play around with the accessories and colour combo's. God bless the versatility of the little black dress. Where would we be without it?





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6.3.11

Suspender arrest


I've snapped up a lovely 80's does 50's dress on Ebay (pic to follow!) and I'm still deciding if I should take it up or not, but as I was playing dress ups and swirling around in front of the mirror I realised that I could do with a little slip underneath it. Then I got to thinking about underwear as it's quite light material,would all the lines of a suspender belt show through?....

I've also acquired a gorgeous wiggle dress (not vintage but pre-loved, it's very 50's pin up - again pic to follow. It's worth the wait!) It would be a shame to ruin the smooth lines it creates with a vpl. So I have been looking at vintage style underwear and it's just all a feast for the eyes. Some very gorgeous lingerie out there to make you feel like a pin up and I personally  feel it purrrrs ''hello boys'' more than an average push up lingerie set? What do we think?

Here is a taster of what's available at What Katie did

Maitresse Girdlette £32
Glamour Girdle £35
My online search for vintage lingerie also found another gorgeous website with lots to offer Vintaga

Pin up Girdle by Stockings & Romance. £39.99. Art becomes underwear. Completely amazing! Congratulations to the designer of this. *Love it*

Fatale retro waist clincher by Stockings and Romance £39.60




So vintage inspired underwear.............what do you think?  Too hot to handle?





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