When I was about twelve years old, I began to embrace and experiment with vintage fashion and make-up, and since then I have never looked back.
Even as a child I was always fascinated by anything vintage and antique, old family photos and possessions, then later Victorian fashion, and now my most recent obsession is everything 1960s. As I got older, I began to regularly wear vintage looks; one day a high beehive, the next some bouncy pin curls. Brigitte Bardot’s smokey eyeliner or Twiggy’s quintessential mod cut crease.
Looking at vintage clothing, I like to wonder ‘who wore this, what were they like?’ To me, the fact that each garment has its own unique story adds to the whole experience – it’s wearable history!
For as long as I can remember I knew college was not for me. While studying for my Leaving Cert last year, I realised the time had come for me to think of my future. I was quite good at school. I loved English, Irish and Art, so there was always an expectation from teachers, peers, and especially family, that I would progress to third level education. ‘You’re more than capable!’ or ‘just go to get some qualifications under your belt’ were phrases I often heard. This was never going to work for me as I don’t believe in doing something for the sake of doing something! I was determined to choose a path I would love, not one that would make me unhappy.
When I finished school I worked for a short time in a florist. My favourite part was meeting with and helping customers. If I made up a bouquet for someone, the happiness my work brought them would make me smile all day. Although that particular job wasn’t for me, I now had a taste of how a business was run and I knew I’d like to work in retail.
But what now? … One night I was talking with my mum, feeling directionless, about what I should do. She said, ‘would you like to have your own vintage clothes shop?’ suddenly I realised, yes, I would love that!
I was constantly getting complimented for my unique style, people would stop and ask me where I got my clothes, how I did my makeup. As a very shy person, this gave me much needed confidence, opportunities and friends, and that is why vintage is my passion.
Now, I am turning my hobby of sourcing and collecting, into selling beautiful, unique and timeless garments, and in doing so I hope I can encourage others to attempt a more sustainable lifestyle by giving old clothes a new lease of life!