Believe it or not Kitten Vintage has been knocking around in some way, shape or form since 2011... back in the days of rainy Manchester and my old shop life of my old label, Me&Yu I used the name Kitten Vintage to sell some of my secondhand clothes and cherished vintage pieces before making the big move to Australia.
The migration to Sydney was absolutely life changing. I'm forever thankful to those people close to me and supported me through this turbulent time of my life. Starting all over again in your late 30's is harder than you'd ever imagine. Last September marked the 5th Anniversary (Wood??) of our arrival in Australia and well it's not turned out exactly as we'd imagined...
We lost our old business, unable to make the transition to a new economy, client base and culture swiftly enough to sustain ourselves financially and unable to manage our Manchester store from such a great distance. Found ourselves working for other people all over again (after 10 years of self employment) and then became pregnant - our little girl Mabel Grace was born in 2017.
Throughout this time, Gordon has been working full-time and I've been working part-time and trying to keep my creative spirit alive through Kitten Vintage, trying a number of different things to try and find the right fit for our new lives.
Things I've tried:
1. Workshop Makery - (now closed) hired a rail space but found after some time that the monthly sales didn't quite cover enough past the rest to make it worthwhile in the end. When I stopped Workshop Makery, I stopped 'making' and just concentrated on re-selling vintage with a few 'tweaks'.
2. Website Number 1 - I taught myself Wordpress and created a website from scratch. It crashed and burned the first time I did updates and never worked out how to salvage it - Aaaarggghhhh!!!!
3. Website Number 2 - Found a "Free" (nothing in life is quite free) website provider called TicTail. Whilst it did the job of hosting the shop, I found myself caught in a loop of needing to learn code to try and add simple things like social media buttons or getting an instagram feed on my site - the technology was just disappointing.
4. Marrickville Markets - Decided to go for a regular spot in the Market Hall - every Sunday for a few months. This was great to meet people but I was finding that the things I would sell would be the things I'd just uploaded to the website and that I'd need to invest into stock every week to make the stall look fresh for regular shoppers. And it was a little disappointing with footfall and sales to warrant the chore of setting up the stall every week.
Then I got pregnant, suffered terrible morning sickness, had a miscarriage scare and developed an increasingly painful hip (yep still got it!) so carting stuff around at a market every week seemed like a bad idea and everything got shelved for a little while.
I still continued to do great events such as Round She Goes and Mixtape Markets "Keeping my hand in" as I like to think of it but for some time Kitten Vintage has just been a hobby business on the side of being a full-time mum and having a part-time job too - there's just not enough hours in my day!
2018 was a tough year for me in many ways and when it eventually ended I had a really good think what I really want in my life and want to achieve for the future. I went through a big 'soul searching' evaluation process and felt it was time to get back to the drawing board and re-start this thing called Kitten Vintage going again. Starting with a new website, a word of the year which is FOCUS and a new vision in mind I'm starting all over again, free from the ghost of my old business which is long gone, free from the failures of a couple of years ago and free to take this business on the road that I want to go on.
Patience is a virtue... it's not going to happen overnight as I'm a tired and time poor mama, but slowly and surely with FOCUS I'm getting this show on the road and hope that you'll enjoy watching this business change and grow... I'll tell you a little bit about my plans in the next few blog posts...watch this space!