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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Bring the Outdoors In!

By Liz White.

The gorgeous weather is making us all head into the garden and enjoy some time outside but venturing back inside makes the room seem dark and gloomy in comparison to the great outdoors. To keep that outdoor feeling alive hang some well placed mirrors in the room adjacent to the garden to encourage the sunshine in.

This is a great little trick to brighten up any room – a restaurant, hotel foyer, beauty spa, boutique or even in your own home.  Mirrors reflect the light so on a gorgeous summers day make sure you are getting the most from the weather!

Vintage Vibe have a huge selection of mirrors and I feel their white framed mirrors are perfect for the summer season – see my top five below!

french-style-cream-wall-mirror-2368-p[ekm]300x225[ekm]1. French Style Cream Wall Mirror – the reason why I have given my top spot to this mirror is because it is something a little different.  The mirror is large and because of this the inlay design does not detract from the practicality of the design but adds a different dimension to it.
extra-large-classic-white-rectangular-leaner-wall-mirror-wapping-8532-p[ekm]300x344[ekm]2. The Classic White Leaner Mirror – a large, full length mirror that is amazing for reflecting the light into a room but also so handy to check out your outfit!  If you are a business this is the perfect mirror to encourage your guests to linger longer.

large-metal-antique-white-french-style-bird-cage-mirror-272-p[ekm]300x495[ekm] (1)3. Metal Bird Cage Mirror – this is quirky, enticing and fun.  The perfect mirror for a conservatory, summer house or garden room.

extra-large-white-gloss-circular-round-mirror-blanche-7457-p[ekm]300x383[ekm]4. White Gloss Circular Mirror – mirroring the shape of the sun this is a stand out piece of design. The mirror will be a centre piece of the wall and be admired by all.

large-rectangular-ornate-cream-louis-style-carved-wall-mirror-louise-cream-258-p[ekm]300x321[ekm]5. Rectangular Louis Style Ornate Mirror – I love a little decoration.  This is elaborate without being whimsical and if you have a luxury brand – high end hotel, spa or boutique – adding a little grandeur never hurts!

Vintage Vibe are specialists when it comes to mirror delivery having trusted couriers that deliver the mirror to your room of choice and give you the opportunity to check the product over before signing for it.  Encourage the outside in this summer and enjoy the Great British Summer!

The Perfect BBQ Garden…

Summer parties are brilliant in the garden but what have you got to offer your guests for garden furniture? There are some fantastic, artistic, beautiful garden furniture styles for summer and garden furniture is a much used investment.  With BBQ weather waving us a big hello in many parts of the UK, it is time to address your garden’s distress.

The humble garden bench is a great piece of garden furniture and doesn’t have to be boring.  On Vintage Vibe’s website there are some gorgeous designs waiting to be snapped up for your garden:-

butterfly seat 1The Beautiful Butterfly  – a stunning piece of metalwork which looks great in the garden.  Butterflies are a very trendy design and with their link to the natural world this garden bench is a piece of sturdy artwork you can be proud of.

antique-white-metal-ornate-garden-conservatory-bench-10547-p[ekm]300x400[ekm]Scroll Back design – another garden seat to be admired this design has curved arms and a more traditional look that i s right at home on a lawned garden.

circular-green-metal-tree-bench-vintage-classic-design-8172-p[ekm]200x200[ekm]Wrap-around Tree bench – if you have a tree in your garden this really is a must – it looks brilliant and uses up ‘dead space’ underneath the tree.  It’s a fantastic piece of social furniture that is sure to be a talking point with guests (and a great ‘leg up’ for your little tree climbers!)

milk-white-large-metal-bench-with-arched-trellis-feature-10318-p[ekm]150x200[ekm]Grand Trellised Bench – For a grander garden and statement piece of garden furniture look no further than this metal trellised design.  Grow a rambling rose or clematis next to the bench and see how the plant weaves it’s way over the trellis for perfect look for a country garden.

retro-metal-1960-s-style-red-garden-or-conservatory-table-2-chairs-10033-p[ekm]200x124[ekm]Retro Table and Chairs – If you like all things retro then extend the design to your garden!  his 1960’s style metal table and chairs is great.

With prices from £95 you will be buying cost effective, interesting pieces of furniture for your garden and will get a look that is not straight our of the High Street but something a little different.  For the BBQ season your garden can look it’s best so grab the chance while stocks last!

Ship to Shore with a Vintage Vibe!

ship-to-shore-213-c[ekm]133x200[ekm]By Liz White.

Welcome the sun as the great British summertime arrives.  With the longer days and warmer nights comes holiday season and all things nautical suddenly come onto fashion!  The ‘ship the shore‘ look is really popular and you can get a slice of this design pie by simply making a few subtle changes to your decor which make a huge difference.

If you are in the hotelier trade this look is fantastic to get your customers in the holiday mood and if you are beside the sea there is no excuse not to embrace it!  A driftwood theme is a particular style that creates a shabby chic look and can be created with ease.

large-vintage-style-painted-driftwood-chest-of-drawers-back-in-stock-end-of-march-8620-p[ekm]300x254[ekm]large-antique-white-upcycled-vintage-mirror-made-from-old-reclaimed-wood-4502-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]This Vintage Vibe driftwood set of drawers creates the perfect feel to a hotel room and twinned with their reclaimed wood mirror, the style is complete for the fraction of the cost of buying a whole new bedroom set.

The easiest way to give your rooms a nautical feel without disrupting the furniture is to include a porthole mirror.  Round mirrors are fabulous at creating the atmosphere of ‘a life on the ocean waves’ and are also a little different, a talking point for your guests.  Here are 5 of Vintage Vibe’s round mirrors to motivate you into making a nautical statement with your room design.

L-R classic Porthole Mirror £95, copper and aluminium porthole mirror £154, White gloss round mirror £230 silver fish eye convex mirror £230, silver and black metal embossed mirror £295

green-gold-round-deep-frame-porthole-fish-eye-convex-mirror-52cm-9968-p[ekm]300x277[ekm]

large-metal-copper-aluminium-riveted-circular-porthole-mirror-10517-p[ekm]300x305[ekm]

extra-large-white-gloss-circular-round-mirror-blanche-7457-p[ekm]300x383[ekm]

silver-round-deep-frame-porthole-fish-eye-convex-mirror-86cm-9977-p[ekm]300x293[ekm]large-circular-round-black-silver-metal-embossed-mirror-10575-p[ekm]300x311[ekm]

An Alice in Wonderland Home – Celebrating the 150th Anniversary.

alice in wonderland theme styleshot 2By Liz White.

This year celebrates the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.  Published in 1865 Lewis Carroll’s wonderful and whimsical world still has us entranced today.  Alice in Wonderland is the perfect theme for decorating a child’s bedroom or for bringing a fantasy element to your garden so why not celebrate this anniversary in style and welcome Alice in Wonderland into your home.

There are many gorgeous designs out there taken straight from the book or film, but if you want the theme to have a contemporary edge and styled effect then these Vintage Vibe pieces are perfect!

antique-style-playing-cards-book-chest-of-drawers-side-table-cabinet-9876-p[ekm]300x350[ekm]Playing cards chest of drawers – there are a pair and they scream Alice in Wonderland loud and clear without the cartoon element.

decorative-vintage-style-silver-leaf-crown-table-decoration-eliza-246-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]Queen of Hearts Crown is an essential decorative item and for the bed these scatter tapestry-black-crown-cushion-free-postage-6431-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]crown cushions are a must!

large-gold-decorative-key-wall-hanging-free-postage-1482-plarge-silver-key-wall-hanging-decorative-silver-key-plaque-with-crown-detail-free-postage-6407-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]moon-gazing-hare-garden-statue-ornament-10434-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]For the walls along with any quotes or wall stickers you want why not add an element of fun with these gold and silver key wall hangings. Keys have an iconic connection to Alice in Wonderland so let your room design reflect this…oh and don’t forget the last magical touch…Vintage Vibe’s version of the White Rabbit!

To have an Alice in Wonderland tea party is the ultimate celebration of this classic tale and selecting lavish, beautiful tableware is essential.  Imagine your table set in your garden, with fine china and long table cloths reaching to the ground, piled high with gorgeous treats to eat…your friends and family will love your attention to detail so select the best and create a wacky, wonderland tea party with silverware to match!

oceana-gorgeous-silver-plate-shell-condiment-set-table-decoration-ex-display-was-135-now-889-p[ekm]300x369[ekm]The Oceana condiment set – invite a fish for tea!

vintage-style-silver-plate-golfing-toast-rack-or-silver-plate-letter-rack-free-postage-was-65-now-4949-p[ekm]300x300[ekm]Ensure the right look with this beautiful silver plated toast rack and serve up the very finest toast and jam!

wmf-style-ornate-silver-plate-wine-bottle-holder-was-125-now-2844-p[ekm]300x325[ekm]

And for the adults a drop of ‘Drink me Potion’ should be served in style – this  silver plated wine holder should do the trick!

The 150th anniversary is a wonderful occasion – celebrate it by purchasing items that will keep the Lewis Carroll’s magic alive and that you can use again and again!

Banish Bog Standard Business Bogs!

By Liz White.

Businesses can boost their productivity and sales by making one very simple change.  Boost your bogs!  Employees respond to the attention to detail in their office facilities and if you have a business where the public have access to a bathroom (hotels, cafes, restaurants etc) then having top class toilets is simply a must to encourage repeat custom.  Ensuring services are up to scratch goes without saying but adding little details that make people remember your business bathroom is simply gold dust.

On top of ensuring all your facilities are clean and warm, the top priorities I remember when I am visiting businesses public conveniences are as follows:

1. Mirrors – were they clean? full length? Did they allow me to check my make up and ensure I hadn’t accidentally tucked my skirt into the top of my tights?

2. Hooks – as there somewhere for me to hang up my coat and bag for practical purposed?

3. Lighting – was I able to see when I closed the toilet door! Did the lighting make me look like a ghost in the mirror?!?

4. Was I comfortable? Sometimes us ladies go off to the loo in pairs and while you are waiting for your friend its great to have somewhere to sit down…

5. Hand Dryers – was there a modern hand dryer or one that let me drip all over my shoes? Disposable hand towels and a horrid little bin or even worse a manky old towel that had seen better days?

6. Luxury items – was there a candle or incense sticks in there to create a good atmosphere? Hand cream? A clothes brush? All the little things add up to a good impression.

7. A baby changer.  Why oh why do people not include a baby change facility if there is room in their toilet? What annoys me more than anything is when I have to change my baby on a grotty bathroom floor.

Create the best impressions and look after your facilities – and in just a few clicks below you can create an impression that impresses courtesy of Vintage Vibe!

large-stainless-steel-silver-metal-five-hanging-candle-holder-lantern-10597-p[ekm]300x225[ekm]A hanging candle holder – keep away from little fingers but keep the ambiance light.

large-frameless-venetian-full-length-mirror-with-scroll-corner-detail-bella-2971-p[ekm]300x209[ekm]Venetian Mirror – for luxury lippy application

chrome-full-length-silver-aluminium-coat-rail-with-six-metal-hangers-9571-p[ekm]133x200[ekm]Coat Hangers – you may worry about getting lost property but it’s a sure way to have return custom!

large-painted-taupe-console-table-landscape-mirror-set-10374-p[ekm]300x339[ekm]Console Table and Mirror – Perfect for the office.  Give the ladies their very own salon station.  If you stock this with useful items such as nail varnish remover, cotton buds, sanitary items and more you will be hitting the right mark!

large-chrome-silver-sputnik-retro-chandelier-ceiling-light-9647-p[ekm]300x475[ekm]Lighting that fills the room – ensure the lavatories are well lit not over lit!  it’s simple really but the amount of strip lighting that people have in their toilet facilities is crazy – strip lighting gives me migraines they are so bright!

vintage-style-deep-button-back-beige-linen-armchair-4557-p[ekm]300x315[ekm]A comfy chair – us ladies are always waiting for a friend in the loo so if you have the room in your toilet facilities then making a  comfy chair available is a winner.

If your toilet facilities are poor then it doesn’t matter how good your afternoon tea is, or how swish the wine list, I don’t care if your all day breakfast tastes amazing quite simply I will not be coming back!  Lavish some attention to your bathrooms and reap the business rewards!

Time for Business #ticktock

By Liz White.

It’s the countdown to summer and with these fabulous clocks for your business you should have no trouble telling when it is pimms o’clock at the end of a long day!

novelty-vintage-style-cream-distressed-teapot-clock-free-postage-9042-p[ekm]300x300[ekm]For tearooms, cafe’s and diners this cheeky little teapot is perfect for your wall.  This really does tell you it is teatime!

retro-black-time-zones-wall-clock-with-multi-dials-blair-728-p[ekm]300x301[ekm]In the office ensure you have the ultimate time zone clock which not only looks stylish and smart but delivers timings for London, Paris, New York and Sydney.  A highly practical piece. Perfect for international companies or those with international clients.

large-square-gold-distressed-metal-skeleton-wall-clock-herbert-9055-p[ekm]300x305[ekm]In your hotel lobby make a statement with the time with this large square design – time to check in, time to check out, time for that cab to arrive!  Hopefully this would also put an end to that pesky question all receptionists are asked: ‘erm…excuse me…what time is it?’

large-polished-aluminium-mantle-clock-free-postage-4359-p[ekm]300x374[ekm]This traditional mantle clock is perfect for corporate gifts, gastro pubs with a roaring fire or in a reading room. There was a time when no house was without such a clock and that is because this classic timepiece simply never goes out of fashion.

large-black-metal-industrial-style-mantle-clock-with-calendar-9271-p[ekm]300x449[ekm]For something a little less traditional but just as practical, this black metal industrial style mantle clock is for you.  Great for a home office or any bachelor pad this clock is also a calender – the full package!

So many workers rely on their mobile phones, iPads and computers to check the time but having a visual reminder around the office helps people organise their day and you will ensure you never have that age old excuse from your staff when you ask them why they were on their mobile phone “I was just checking the time”. Yes…and I’m a blue monkey!

Dozens of iconic designs are just waiting for you to snap them up at Vintage Vibe and unlike many products we do truly encourage you to leave these on the shelf – that is after all where many of them look their best.  They are vintage, affordable and yours!