From £50 to £1 Million – Vintage Vibe’s Success Story

First Voice

First Voice Magazine copy right

By Liz White.

Winning front page coverage, creating headlines and causing a stir in the business world, Vintage Vibe has just been featured as a lead business in the Federation of Small Businesses Magazine ‘First Voice’.

Vintage Vibe’s founders Lisa Williamson and Wendy Thomas are not afraid of hard work and as you will have read from previous blogs, they put customers at the forefront of their business ethos so it isn’t surprising that their business success story gained front page coverage – they are a rare company.

Read the article here!

Being included as one of four successful businesses run by women, the article in ‘First Voice’s’ June/July issue entitled ‘Leading the Way’ outlines how Lisa and Wendy built their business from a £50 investment in 2008 and have never looked back – working hard to ensure they never took out a business loan and have always owned all of their own stock. This year they are heading towards a £1 million turn over.

Lisa and Wendy are very down to earth and every day they find themselves buried deep within their warehouse space ensuring first hand that customer orders are fulfilled.  It is a family run business and Lisa gave these words of wisdom to ‘First Voice’: “My advice to other women is that you have to put in a lot of hours, so you have to really want it – to live it and breathe it.”

A business with heart and soul is the key to success and the team are thrilled to be featured in the magazine.  It’s important to note that when you buy from Vintage Vibe you don’t get the sterile, faceless service so many of us experience from online shopping, Vintage Vibe is different, buying from them means investing in a family business run by business women who are always at the end of the phone for their customers – they are the 21st Century version of the friendly neighbourhood home-ware shop.

If you take the time to read the article and find Lisa and Wendy inspiring then spread the word – there is nothing more refreshing than seeing a business flourish that deserves the success it has gained because they have put the customer first.

Congratulations to the whole small but powerful team at Vintage Vibe!

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The Perfect Halloween House…

Harry potter halloweenBy Liz White.

It’s the one time of year that cobwebs in the home are actively encouraged but should you want to add a touch of lavishness to your Halloween decorations, let your imagination run wild.  What springs to mind at Halloween?  Ghosts, spectres and ghouls running amuck? That’s all a little tired isn’t it?

Here is my breakdown of how you can have a wicked Halloween house:-

Start off setting the scene with a ‘Harry Potter welcome’.  Prop a 9 ¾ platform sign at your front door and the door opens, let things become a little more sinister with a blood smeared Gothic mirror hanging in the hallway reflecting a gory horror movie from a hidden ipad (this will raise the hairs on the neck of your guests as the front door closes behind them with a bang!). Bring your guests through to your dark kitchen where a large, spot lit, silver punch bowl overflows with dry ice and spiders.  It contains a green cocktail (frog skin soup) from which you can serve your guests.

Add a sparkling skull to your work surface with a blood stained bread knife placed next to it and rig up a spooky horror sound track as background music and your guests will feel fully freaked out – create ‘blood spatters’ on the walls with ketchup and your Halloween party will be off to the best start possible!

According to a survey carried out last year, some 42% of Britons think ghosts, phantoms and other supernatural apparitions really exist (newsbbc.co.uk). Our homes should be a safe haven, but if your wardrobe creaks creepily, your mirrors have cracked ominously or your lighting is flickering frighteningly it is time to take things into your own hands.

A ghost could be to blame, but it’s probably more likely that your furniture, mirrors and lighting simply need an upgrade.  Maybe you are haunted by the hand-me-down furniture you own, or the broken pieces you have been meaning to replace or maybe you have had a change in life but not a chance in your surroundings.  All are signs for change and making the most of your house doesn’t need to be extortionately expensive.  Think ‘vintage, iconic, yours!’

You don’t have to put up with frightening furniture!  

Visit www.vintagevibe.co.uk for more ideas.

Is your Salon décor up to scratch? Salon Statistics – Beautify your Brand!

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Antique Style mirror bought by Taylor Taylor from http://www.Vintagevibe.co.uk

By Liz White.

Salons make us look and feel beautiful – so salons need to look and feel beautiful too! A poll carried out by promotionalcodes.org.uk* found women spend 20 hours per year, on average, in the hairdresser’s chair – wow! That is nearly a whole day looking at your salon décor! Is it up to scratch?

The same poll found women spend approximately £600 at the hairdressers per annum, so how can you ensure that potential £600 stays in your salon? There are 28,556 hairdressing and beauty businesses in the UK [IBISworld.co.uk] so you need to have an edge on the competition!

The website of London hairdressers ‘Taylor Taylor’ shares their vision for each of their award winning salons: “Each salon has its own personal signature, created by blending the very best vintage pieces from many architectural eras, into one award-winning whole.  Relaxed yet glamorous, it should feel as though you have found your very own exclusive members’ club”

It’s time to spruce up your salon!  Think Vintage. Iconic. Yours! What are your competitor’s doing and what are the leaders in the market doing? ‘Taylor Taylor’ have recently purchased some gorgeous vintage mirrors including the ‘Cane Mirror’, ‘Berkley Mirror’ and the ‘Shirley Mirror’ (for links to these mirrors see below) – all affordable quality. Bella & Beau, the trendy London children’s hairdressers co-owned by Liberty X’s Jessica Taylor, also liked the vintage look buying a blackened silver table, Louis chairs and a Venetian full length mirror for their salon, (for links to these items see below) so what can you find that will keep your customers coming back for more and entice new customers in?

Paola Hinton, owner of Five Senses Spa and Salon in Illinois (one of the top 200 salons in North America) said on salontoday.com: “Major renovations are great indicators of growth and commitment, and can provide success when done correctly. Larger projects show commitment to the guests, staff and the community” so reinventing the look of your salon shows customers you are investing in them.

If you are not planning a new salon or refurbishment, add new personal touches to your décor with your customers in mind – beautiful lighting or maybe Louis style salon chairs that drip stylishness and comfort for customers.  Start redesigning your salon to wow your clientele all over again.

If you are thinking “Can I afford it?” the answer is “Yes!” customers don’t like parting with their money in exchange for a shabby environment.  Keep everything fresh and remember everyone relates to a business that has a hope, a dream and an idea!

Taylor Taylor Cane Mirror http://www.vintagevibe.co.uk/decorative-large-gold-rectangle-metal–mirror—cane-4124-p.asp

Taylor Taylor Berkley mirror http://www.vintagevibe.co.uk/large-silver-rectangular-ornate-mirror—berkley-301-p.asp

Taylor Taylor Shirley Mirror http://www.vintagevibe.co.uk/extra-large-antique-style-rectangular-ornate-bronzed-silver-crested-mirror—shirley-300-p.asp

Bella & Beau Blackened silver table http://www.vintagevibe.co.uk/blackened-silver-writing-desk-or-dressing-table–stool—billie-due-mid-oct-161-p.asp

Bella & Beau Louis chairs  http://www.vintagevibe.co.uk/six-mixed-colours–fabric-louis-style-salon-reception-chairs-661-p.asp

Bella & Beau Venetian full length mirror http://www.vintagevibe.co.uk/full-length-beveled-glass-framed-leaner-mirror—lottie-9238-p.asp

For more inspiration see www.vintagevibe.co.uk   *Taken from www.hji.co.uk

Why We LOVE Lok n Store!

I would like to share with you what is a big part of the success of Vintagevibe.co.uk. Wendy and I started Vintagevibe as a part time business running along side our full time jobs. Only 7 years ago Wendy had her shop in Tunbridge Wells selling the same items as we now sell online. She could see that her business had to also move online to keep up with the shopping trends but Wendy at the time could barely send an email!
Starting an internet business was to say the least a challenge and where we started. Wendy and I are cousins and I am very much from a computer / accounts / admin back ground so our skill sets compliment each other. Wendy chose products she thought would sell well online and I started an ebay shop. We got our first website build by friends who held our hands through cyberspace http://www.meteorweb.co.uk
For the first few months Wendy would dispatch from the shop (which was tiny) but it soon became apparent this was not going to work as her customers were tripping over boxes when entering the shop and the City Link van parking on double yellow lines on the main road caused traffic chaos. We stumbled on to Lok n Store http://www.loknstore.co.uk/self-storage/tonbridge/ and started with a lockup storage room followed by 2 then 3.
Within under a year we needed a better solution and moved to their open storage consisting of a large warehouse on the ground floor. We rented a few bays and we didn’t feel at all concerned about any theft of stock as there is CCTV and when we are not there the open storage was locked.
Every visitor has to sign in so it would be hard to get past reception and make off with our goods. We are now enjoying year 7 and Loknstore have been very supportive. They have enjoyed seeing us grow and have now made us our own area at the back of the open storage warehouse where we can store our goods and dispatch each day

The benefits are enormous
We LOVE Lok n Store !

A) We only need to give a weeks notice so no tie in to a lease which can be a massive liability.
B) No extra costs such as rates, water, electricity, these costs are all included in the rental price.
C)The reception with friendly helpful staff is open 8.30 am -6 pm weekdays and also open Saturday and Sundays so if we have a delivery we do not have to be there. There are trolleys / pallets trucks and a fork lift so however large our delivery we can transport it to our area easily .
D) If we have a lot of stock in we can rent an extra bay and likewise if our stock runs down we only pay for the space we are using. A massive bonus as we grew rapidly and could not have afforded or predicted we needed so much space within a few years.
E) Tea and Coffee making facilities and we can book a nice warm meeting room if needed.

Every small growing internet business or indeed any business that needs storage could benefit from this amazing service.
A big thank you Lok n store without you we believe Vintagevibe.co.uk would not be the business it is now .

Lisa and Wendy and The Vintagevibe Team

Benjamin is famous!

Look out in December for our gorgeous Benjamin clock featured in Build It Home Improvement Magazine.

This extra large skeleton clock has an elegant black iron frame and silver Roman numerals. The Benjamin clock, with it’s hand made metal frame, would make a lovely Christmas gift.

If you are looking for a new clock for your home please visit our clock department. We have a gorgeous selection of clocks including vintage clocks, retro clocks, large clocks, skeleton clocks and more!

If you add a Benjamin clock to your order, or any of our other beautiful clocks, you will receive a free mouse door stop (The order must come to over £100).