January Stockist of the Month: The Vintage Sweetheart

The Vintage Sweetheart has a true phoenix from the ashes story. After her children's clothing business didn't work out, it was when selling off her excess fabrics that owner Emily Evans realised the huge potential of selling the fabric she once used to make the clothing.

Nearly 2 years on, the online retailer offers hundreds of eye-catching and different designs including childrens' fabrics and Disney prints. We caught up with the busy Emily to learn more about her story and The Vintage Sweetheart.


Tell us about the history of your shop and the team?
 
The Vintage Sweetheart started out as a children’s clothing business in 2015. After a tough couple of years, I realised what we were offering, whilst beautiful, was just too expensive as a large-scale, handmade enterprise. I closed the business in 2017 just before the birth of my second daughter. In February 2018, I started selling off all the excess fabric that I had accumulated. This quickly sold and I realised I was onto something.

Since we started in February 2018, we have just grown and grown. We became VAT-registered in April 2019 and I now have 3 friends ,other mums like myself, who help me out during school hours cutting & packing orders and helping me out with all the never-ending back of house tasks including all the website content/updates.



 
What do you offer that makes you stand out from other retailers?
 
We specifically only stock 100% cotton. This means that for this particular fabric we have a HUGE range, currently over 900  fabrics to choose from. We like to stock particularly unusual, eye-catching and different designs and are particular fans of metallic fabrics. We also have an enormous range of Disney & character fabrics. We list new products every week so there is always something new and fresh to look at.


 
What are you passionate about?
 
Music! Before having my children, I was a piano teacher who could use fancy letters after my name (but I never do, lol!) We are constantly singing and dancing in my house (and in the fabric cabin much to the amusement of some of the girls). I can’t live without it and have it on at every possibility.

 

How do you choose what you stock?
 
As time goes on, I’m getting better at choosing what to stock and what will sell. As previously mentioned, anything unusual or eye catching is usually a winner with us. Beautiful designs and children’s fabrics are always popular, plus metallics and cats and dogs of course.

If we haven’t stocked it before, I’ll usually give the theme a go and if it doesn’t sell we won’t stock it again. I’ve also learnt that designer florals don’t sell very well. We try and stock things now that people can’t find cheaper elsewhere (even if the alternative quality is inferior). We are all about being different and going against the norm here!


 

What project are you working on at the minute?
 
None of us sew (which I know must blow your mind in this industry!) I think part of the reason we have done so well so quickly is that we have a great insight into how ecommerce works and the design/creative aspects behind it. Therefore, any energy we have goes into that rather than sewing/crafting. We have lots of other hobbies and interests (usually no time though being mums to all our kids!) including travelling, theatre, music (of course!), the cinema and even bingo!


 

Are there any future plans you wish to share with us?
 
My third (very unexpected!) baby is due in April 2020. I was told I would never have any more children so this is a massive, massive shock! We are hoping to exhibit at a couple of craft shows this year and continue to progress the way we have done this year.


Shop online at the Vintage Sweetheart

www.vintagesweetheart.co.uk