On the eve of the shop’s first anniversary, founder Geraldine James, 47, shares The Little Shop of Vintage with The Lady is a Revamp.
Founded in February last year, the brand is built on fascination, nostalgia and a passion for creation. With a “something for everyone” ethos, the shop sells vintage clothing, accessories, home-ware and gifts.
Geraldine says: “I’ve always been a very creative person and I’m good at putting things together. My children were involved in acting, dancing and singing from a young age and I always loved making costumes for them.”
The shop is situated in Talbot Green and shares the same building as her husbands kitchen and bedroom business. Geraldine explains that this is where the name derived from: “We had to split the shop in two so I figured it was going to be a small shop. From the outside it does look small but once inside it goes a long way back and opens out. I think it’s one of the biggest independent vintage shops around. People actually get a nice surprise and often remark how big it is, totally unexpected!”
The shop’s stock comes from vintage warehouses and wholesale sellers on EBay: “I spend hours looking through EBay for unique vintage pieces at a good price, with an increasing footfall and regular customers I am also able to buy in bulk,” Geraldine exclaims.
Geraldine also has a personal adoration for vintage. She tells us that she loves the nostalgic feeling she gets when she sees clothes from the 70s and 80s being reborn, especially ones that remind her of her childhood. She now has a few favoured items of her own: “I love my red tartan 1970s long maxi skirt with a high thick waistband, I also have a favourite short pringle vintage kilt,” she explains.
But the shop itself has many more stories to tell. Geraldine states that the most exciting item in the shop was a 1970s Zandra Rhodes dress, which was sold to a collector: “A customer brought it to me and said she had found it in her mother’s attic. I researched it and found something very similar to it. I photographed it and sent it to Zandra Rhodes Studio in London. It came back that I had a very rare dress from her first collection in 1970 and that it should actually be in the Zandra Rhodes museum.”
Geraldine explains that the dress was sold on a 50/50 basis, something she likes doing for her customers: “I also source items especially for them, I look after my regular customers often giving them discounts at the till, especially as they are supporting me in my business,” she says.
The Little Shop of Vintage is expanding, Geraldine hopes that in the future it will be able to become a record and coffee shop too, whilst currently she is looking to set up at ASOS Boutique.
She finishes with the following: “The whole essence of The Little Shop of Vintage is to bring back a personal shopping experience to the high street.”