Sunday, 30 October 2011

What's in a name? Please help!

I've been out of action with a horrid cold (combined with aches and pains like you wouldn't believe) .... uugghh! I've been trying to cheer myself up by thinking about a new name for myself. Hilarious I know! Don't get me wrong, I love my name, but now that I am putting more of my efforts into my vintage interests, I've noticed that most of my peers have burlesque-type or unusual exotic names. 
Here's the thing: I've almost finished my 'sister-website' called VaVaVoom Vintage. It should be launched any day now. Whilst I've been unable to mix with clients (I'm considerate like that) due to nasty bugs, I have been getting the website ready for viewing. But my name (Alison McMath) doesn't appear to fit with the image I want to portray, which is pinup makeovers, vintage photo shoots etc.
My best friend always calls me 'Alice' so I thought I could incorporate that (it's close to my real name anyway). It's got an old fashioned vibe and was the name of my Grandma (see below).
Alice (Madeline Alicia)
But what to put with it!?
Here's what I've come up with so far:
Alice Von Band (don't laugh)
Alice in MakeupLand (don't laugh again)
Alice Rose (shut it)
Alice Blush (yeh, ok you can stop now)
Please! I need help and guidence to find a name that sounds cool like everyone elses :-|
Plus, how easy is it to change your name anyway? I don't want to change it by deed poll. It would just be for business.
I look forward to hearing your ideas.
Alice .... ?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Networking Group

It's an idea I've had for a while - To set up a vintage-type networking group for small business owners in the North West. Meet at a lovely location, drink tea (or maybe have a cocktail), chat and even do business! I've met so many inspiring and creative women recently. What a great opportunity it would be to mix with other like-minded women. You wouldn't have to run a big empire, you could just be starting out. You could be well established and would like to share your insights.The itinerary could include guest speakers with tips and advice, or could be a chance to showcase your skills or products. Maybe you need some motivation and some new ideas or connections. There are quite a lot of networking groups out there and our vintage network wouldn't be for everybody. You'd have to have a love of vintage, a positive attitude, a generous nature (and a love of cake)! Any vintage inspired or related business would qualify i.e fashion, makeover, crafts, tattoo artist, events organiser, tea room owner, performer ... you get my drift?
This little blog is just the beginnings of something that could be really great! I'd really appreciate your feedback, ideas and comments. In addition, would you complete this simple yes/no poll on my website which will also give me a good idea of interest.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Grand Day Out

When you go on a grand day out, it's only right you make the effort and dress up, especially when you are going to a vintage fair.
1950s wiggle dress

I met some amazingly creative people today, so I thought I would share these inspiring lovelies with you ....  in no particular order ...
Hannah and Becci of Polka Dots & Pearls
Becci is founder of Polka Dots & Pearls. She organises all sorts of fun vintagy things like photoshoots and prop hire. In addition she organises catering and events like weddings, birthdays and hen parties etc.Contact Becci via the following:
Mobile: 07907 582271

Jenn's business
Jenn runs Little Poppet Cupcakes bespoke cupcakes and occasion cakes made with the finest fresh ingredients.  
Click here for Little Poppet Cupcake's Facebook page and Twitter page

Doreanna of Winnie's Vintage
Doreanna! What can I say! A cross between Gwen Stefani and Gwyneth Paltrow with a Bolton accent!! Her business is so new she hasn't even got a business card. But I can tell you, her store is exquisite. She has a wonderful stock of pretty floral tops and eveything is pristine and well presented. Contact Doreanna at

Kindest people of the day has to be Tim and Diane. I was skint by the time I got to their stall and I spotted these ....
Beautiful butterflies
These beautiful butterflies were a bargain at £8 but I only had £4 (in coppers) left. They insisted I take them and trusted me to pay at a later date.They had some really cute collectables on their stall. If you like my butterflies and would like to see similar unusual and ornate items, you can contact Tim via email:

Tim & Diane
Lyndsey was displaying her beautiful vintage jewellery. Occasionally she finds broken pieces so she makes something new out of it! Contact Lyndsey at
Stunning vintage jewellery

I've been looking for some coloured glass for ages and found just that at Sarah's stall, VintageRetroKitsch.

She's an estate agent by day and runs her vintage business at the weekends, travelling to fairs around the area. Her goods were varied and really interesting (she could open a museum) and I'm overjoyed with my purchases.

Blue glass
Pretty in pink glass
A variety of vintage goodies
You can see more from VintageRetroKitsch here:

I resisted the urge to splurge out on these wonderful treats from Love Cake. They specialise in cupcakes, cookies and cakepops.
They also do candy buffets and cater for all sorts of events.  
Andrea: 07814 677621
Faye: 07540 323919  

Although I loved meeting everyone today, I think the most creative and inspiring has to be Clare Dutton.
Clare of Dolly Cool
She's the creator of rockabilly, tattoo and custom-inspired jewellery and accessories business Dolly Cool

She is amazingly talented! I loved her brightly coloured and creative items.

I bought a beautiful and funky hair clip and an even funkier red and white polka dot blouse which is very cheery and is sure to brighten up my winter wardrobe. 
Cheery cherry!
Contact Clare via the following:

Beverley Holland runs Elizabeth's Attic. She had some marvelously classic clothes and accessories on display today. 

Beverley lives in Bolton and you can contact her on -
Telephone: 01204 363743
Beverley Holland
Kathy Harrison of Made With Luvender was doing her first vintage fair today and had some really pretty handmade lavender gifts on her stall.  
Telephone: 01204 843798
Mobile: 07701 073092

Kath of Made With Luvender
Last but certainly not least is Victoria of Vibrant Vintage. It's thanks to her that this event took place today. 

Beautiful Victoria wearing a beautiful hat
She did a fantastic job! It was run really well and there was a great atmosphere. Especially good was the fabulous 1940s melodies playing in the background. If you'd like to take part in one of Victoria's future events please contact her via the following:
Mobile: 07787 316234
Twitter: VvintagebyVC
Facebook: Vibrant Vintage by Victoria Claire

All the people I met today

Vintage Fairs by Victoria Claire

I never knew Westhoughton held such talent! What do I know!? Let me tell you all about Victoria who organised this fabulous event, held at The Mercury Hotel. 

Wayne, Victoria and Kathleen
Here she is with her lovely parents, Wayne and Kathleen who help run the stall at Westhoughton Market on Tuesday and Thursdays. Victoria is creator of Vibrant Vintage a vintage clothing, accessory and collectable stall. Here's a little interview I did with the lady herself ... 
Q. How did you get into the vintage business?
A. I have always liked the quality of vintage clothing and accessories and regularly travelled to the Northern Quarter in Manchester, York and Durham to purchase unusual dresses.  People in my local area would complement me on my unique style and joke that I should open my own shop.  I was starting to find it time consuming travelling around for vintage clothing so I decided to set up my own vintage clothing, accessory and collectable stall in the Bolton area.  Within three weeks of mooting the idea, I had established Vibrant Vintage by Victoria Claire at a stall on Westhoughton market.  I currently work full time as a lawyer for the housing charity Shelter, so my retired parents agreed to become my business partners and work on the stall every Tuesday and Thursday. My parents were looking for a project to work on and liked the vintage clothing idea as both are interested in antiques.
Kathleen did stirling work on 'the door'
Q. How would you describe your personal style?
A. I would describe my style as feminine but with an elegant and sophisticated twist.  I have a classic hour glass curvy figure so like to wear 1950’s dresses that are nipped in at the waist or fitted pencil skirts with a silk blouse.

Jewels and other finery
 Q. What have you found the most challenging part about setting up a vintage business?
A. I have established my stall in a small town where several people had not heard of vintage.  Initially, we had people coming to the stall saying that they had given clothes like this away and wouldn’t wear them a second time or asking for the second hand shop, expecting very low prices.  We decided to chat to everyone who visited the stall and explain what vintage was, pick out different garments from various eras and show them the quality of the clothing, we also reiterated the individuality of the clothing.  Slowly customers became interested in the stall or recommended us to people who may be interested.  We have started to build up a customer base who regularly visits the stall.  However, some people who visited the stall were interested in vintage clothing but stated that they could not find dresses to fit them.  It was a challenge finding vintage clothing in larger sizes, however by persevering we have managed to source good quality clothes in a range of sizes.  Finally, we have found it challenging setting up a business in a recession as money is in short supply.  To address this problem, we have established a lay away service, where customers can pay a small deposit and put a garment away and pay it off via regular instalments.  This has proved to be very popular especially when purchasing some of our highly collectable compacts.

Beautiful vintage compacts
 Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. I enjoy meeting diverse people while talking about vintage.  I find it rewarding when someone comes to the stall looking for a dress for a special occasion but lacking confidence in how to wear the garment or accessorise the outfit.  I enjoy talking the customer through various options and showing how the outfit can be made to look completely different depending on the accessories used.  It is lovely when that same person returns to the stall with photographs of the occasion.  I also like that we have established a vintage clothing business less than six months ago and have already diversified into vintage fairs due to the interest and lack of such shops in the area.  
Victoria and her helpers

For more information you can contact Victoria several ways as follows:
Telephone: 07787 316234
Oh by the way! I forgot to mention .... Victoria's vintage garments are hard to resist. I couldn't get myself out of this one, so I had to buy it! That's my excuse anyway ...

1950s lilac number

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Bargain of the Week

What a darling of a bargain! I bought this beautiful 1930s/40s display cabinet for just £26.

It's going to display my pretty china tea sets and other vintage regalia. I've already got my 'crafty' head on .... I'm going to cheer it up a bit by lining the back of the cabinet with these three vintage gift wrap designs I found at Art Cards Cornwall

More photos to follow as I make progress ... x

I'm so pleased with how the display cabinet looks with all our little bits and pieces of china. I think the vintage wrapping paper works really well as a background lining too.

Grandma's tea set. I hope she approves!
The pair of ornaments at the front were a wedding gift

Set of pretty floral place mats on the left, I purchased from Juliette Golab, Etsy

£2.99, set of vintage coasters off Ebay

Friday, 7 October 2011

Cyd Charisse

Cyd Charisse was born in 1922. For me, she remains one of the most elegant and beautiful Hollywood icons of all time.

After recovering from polio as a child, and studying ballet, Charisse entered films in the 1940s. Her roles usually focused on her abilities as a dancer, and she was paired with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly; her films include Singin' in the Rain (1952), The Band Wagon (1953) and Silk Stockings (1957). She stopped dancing in films in the late 1950s, but continued acting in film and television, and in 1992 made her Broadway debut. Her legs were reputed to be insured for $5 million. In later years she appeared in Janet Jackson's video 'Alright' at the grand old age of 68! She looked amazing! The video to the song, which was filmed in February 1990 was styled to resemble a 1930s and 1950s musical ...

As you can see from this 1953 film clip from Band Wagon with Fred Astaire, she's hardly changed ... could it be the same dress!!??

I'll be writing about more of my favourite movie icons throughout my vintage blog ...

Monday, 3 October 2011

Vintage Belle Candles

I discovered Vintage Belle Candles just last week at a vintage fair in the Armitage Centre, Fallowfield. The vivacious Lisa Kay operates from Botany Bay in Chorley. She also travels to Vintage Fairs around the area and does candle parties too. What better excuse could you have to get together with your girlfriends and eat cake whilst browsing the prettiest vintage gifts.

The beautiful scented oils are combined with soya wax and hand-poured into vintage glass and china containers as well as other recycled glass and crockery containers. These are eye catching accessories for the home or any event and can be tailor-made to suit your occassion.
Key benefits:
Wonderful scent throw
Lead free wick
Eco soya wax for a cleaner, longer burn
Will burn up to 22 hours
Presented in a beautiful, keepsake decorative vintage teacup, glass etc
The perfect occasion gift
Lovely decorative item for bridal garden tea parties
Here I am with my sister Louise of Catwalk Creative Vintage purchasing a special gift for ..... ? 
Ooops! It's a secret!
You can see a range of Lisa's products here at Etsy
Tel: 07775 867317

Can 'New' Live Alongside 'Vintage'?

Well .... what do you think? I purchased this pretty frilled authentic 1940s blouse from Etsy a few months ago. It looks great with my high waisted sailor pants, but I thought I'd try it with this simple shift dress from Asda ..... yes you heard right! I think it looks pretty smart and goes to show you can always find vintage style for your wardrobe even when you're out doing the food shopping!!

Not for the Faint Hearted

Need a new lease of life!? I've got the answer right here. Rockette Red lipstick from Rockalily. A bit of 'bottle' is needed if you're a natural lip gloss girl, but once you've taken the plunge there'll be no looking back. For just £14 plus P&P you can be transformed from a shy retiring wallflower to a forties femme fatele in seconds.
Rockette Red is a blue based red so it suits pale complexions and makes your teeth look whiter than white. I always use a lip pencil but you can probably get away without as the colour glides onto the lips so easily. It's a matte finish but is non-drying and is super long-lasting ... even after serveral cups of tea.

There are four shades to choose from so there's something for every girl about town.  Two blue-based reds, one orange-based red and a blue-based pink. The blue-based shades are perfect for ladies with paler skin tones while the orange-based shade compliments darker skin tones perfectly. The lipsticks contain vitamin E to ensure they don't dry out your lips and making them perfect for every day use. The perfect pout every time! ReeRee Rockette who runs the business has set up a fantastic networking group called Wonderful Women. So if you live in the Norwich or London areas please check it out.