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Firstly – where did your interest in vintage clothing come from?
I have loved vintage clothing from an early age, I remember customising my clothes from as young as eleven; I would spend any money I had at the haberdashery stall and adorn my jeans with flowers and ribbons and would tie dye, embellish and re-work anything I could get my hands on.
When I went to high school, I embraced being ‘different’. I would buy vintage clothes from charity shops in Liverpool and spend my Saturdays in Affleck Palace in Manchester. By the age of seventeen I had fallen in love with Vivienne Westwood. On a Politics trip to the Houses of Parliament I stole away at lunch to take a look at 430 Kings Road the famous site of Westwood’s shop that has changed names many times over the years – I bought a BOY t-shirt on the same day -which I still have!
What is it about vintage clothing which separates it from high street shops?
Difference- I love how you buy something vintage and NOBODY else will have it, yet you can follow fashions in vintage clothes, as well as being Avante Guarde but NEVER look the same as anyone else. I love that.
How did you come to own a vintage shop?
I followed my dreams. I teach Yoga so I tell everybody day in, day out to live their life and to never miss a minute. Having spent the whole of my life being very ambitious in the field of education spending eleven years teaching English in schools in Lancashire and Cumbria, I decided that it was time to change my career. I made a vision board five years ago of what I would love to do the most and now I’m doing them.
What sacrifices have you made along the way?
I’ve had to sell my VW camper van and give up a career I was very successful in, along with a healthy salary and all of my savings – all a small price to pay for happiness!
How do you view Lancaster’s fashion scene?
When I moved here from Liverpool I was shocked, people seemed to be quite conservative – everyone seemed to wear understated clothes when I had been used to the flamboyancy of clubbing where fashion was crucial to a night out!
Lancaster seemed to catch on to fashions much later. I think that has to do with the fact that Lancaster’s High Street does not have the shops that it should! Often, people play it ‘safe’ in Lancaster, they stick to Topshop and River Island as it’s easy to have clothes already styled for you – what other options are there? I would love to see a variety of independent shops – people here need more alternatives!
Do you think The Vintage Boudoir has changed it?
The students bring a fresh fashion wave every year and last year the indie/band influence was very strong- I’m hoping this year with the rekindled love of 90’s fashion we will see the students embracing the return of grunge; leather, knits, plaids and checks. Girls looking like they borrowed their boyfriends clothes and boys spending hours trying to look unkempt – how exciting!
I LOVE the fact that all generations of Lancastrians are embracing vintage clothes in my shop. I have had my eyes opened by the amount of people who don’t really know what vintage is about and with support and guidance they embrace it and keep returning.
Any future plans or new business ventures?
Oh yes!!! First of all The Vintage Boudoir will be adding men’s fashion in 2013 and I am setting up a local Vintage Network ‘VINTAGE LANCASTER’- so we can run fairs and events for ourselves; I hope to have quite a big impact on Lancaster! Watch this space.
LIFE IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL!