Monday, 6 February 2012

Interview with Erin from Addy's Vintage

I've admired Erin's lovely Etsy store for a long time and have always been impressed by the range of beautiful things she manages to discover. I thought it would be good to find out more about what inspires her and her curation process.

So here we go:

1. Vintage means different things to different people - what does it mean to you?

This lovely jumper is from The Splendid Suitcase
The first thing I always think of when someone says “vintage” is retro 1960s and 1970s clothing. I think I've been spending too much time in Brick Lane lately! Vintage means something that has stood the test of time. It's been used, loved, shared, and survives to continue being passed down to other generations.

2. Can you name 3 major influences on your vintage collections

My mother! Most of my parent's furniture was given to them or inherited. Their house is a wonderful mix of 1970s sofas, Art Deco vases and glassware, and huge pieces of Edwardian furniture they bought at they auctions they used to drag me to when I was a child.
This Arne HovmandOlsen sofa/daybed is from Barefoot Dwelling

Filigree rings. When I got engaged in 2004 I immediately set on searching for the perfect wedding band. Actually, I stated before I got engaged – shhhh. I knew exactly what I wanted. Because it wasn't sizeable it took me about a year to find the perfect band. I adore every ring in my shop and enjoy the many convos I have with customers who are searching for their own forever ring.

My sister. She isn't into vintage, and, let's be honest, isn't sentimental about things at all! But she has a great eye. Jena has large ideas, and best of all, she knows how to make them happen! I love visiting her, her apartment is different every time. She does it all on a limited budget, and her ability to make her d├ęcor and environment work is truly inspirational.

3. Do you go looking for specific pieces or do you let pieces "find" you?

This lovely Liberty print tie is in Addy's Vintage
Both! With sourcing items I find that when it rains, it pours, and when there is a dry spell, it's very dry. I spend most weekends hunting for pieces for my store and it does get frustrating when I'm unable to find anything suitable. Most of the time though I'm able to set out and let my pieces find me! I do often have requests for particular things so I carry a list with me just in case.

4. Do you follow certain curation themes or rules?

I have to like a piece and be able to picture it in my home. Like most people I have several sides. I have a girly side that loves florals, silver, and delicate pieces. I also have a more modern side that loves a clean, sleek, modern look. I'm always working on my shop to get the balance just right!

This coffee carafe can also be found in Erin's store

5. What inspires you about vintage items? Can you give examples of three pieces in your shop right now?

I love the detail of Art Deco jewellery. I could look at it forever! The delicate miligrain, which was all done by hand, and the intricate piercings are nothing short of amazing to me! :

In a complete contrast, the simple is also inspiring! I know from dabbling in silversmithing that it's often the hardest to make and get right because every flaw shows. These Danish candlesticks are impressive in their simple perfection:

And no collection is complete without some colour! The design of this vase is amazing. It's a simple idea, a repeating pattern, but I imagine that it's a ton of work for the artist. It satisfies my wonder for the intricate designs while staying modern and clean in shape, a perfect contrast. Plus purple is my favourite colour!

 6. Why did you start collecting wedding bands and rings?

Oh yes, the collection of wedding bands! I started in 2004 with the hunt for my own wedding ring. I wanted to find the perfect ring that I could see myself wearing forever. To me rings are deeply sentimental and symbolic. My favourites are the bands which have initials or a message engraved inside. I'm also partial to rings which show wear. They aren't for everyone, but I imagine a woman who proudly wore her ring day in and day out for decades. I have roughly 40 wedding bands in my collection right now, but I'm not counting, I might shock myself!

7. How do you use vintage items in a modern home?
Modern home? What's that? My favorite corner of my home is all 1930s – 1970s vintage and all in use. My mid century teak sideboard sits under the windows that have 1960s green and purple, bold floral print curtains. A loudly ticking Big Ben 1960s alarm clock keeps time on a short stack of German and Soviet Union books with a working 1970s Roberts radio in the background. A lovely 1940s hat from an Etsy seller sits on a handmade hat stand – I regularly wear the hat, it's lovely! The other side of the sideboard has a 1960s stainless steel tray which I use as a holdall for keys, wallet, and my 1930s Longines watch which I wear daily. The walls are decorated with Art Deco mirrors. In the corner is a 1960s shell chair sat next to a set of mid century nesting tables on top of which sits a 1940s desk lamp. I love this little corner and it's where all my photos are taken! All items are in use – the teak sideboard holds my fabrics in one section, my jewellery in another, and all my business documents in the final section – which are also organised in 1970s letter trays, and the office supplies are mostly vintage!

This letter rack is from Epochco

8. Without revealing trade secrets, where do you go looking for your finds?
I can often be found at auctions, boot sales, and thift stores. I've gotten to know some fabulous dealers and antique stores that I regularly haunt. I originally lived in Essex when I moved to the UK and regularly head back that way. 

9. You say you like mid century furniture - tell us more

It was started at an auction a couple of years with my husband. When we first moved into together, being very young and poor, we bought all Ikea furniture. We've been slowly replacing it with mid century teak and rosewood pieces that are mostly found at auction. My partner is able to restore the pieces which is always a benefit. I'm hoping to get better at that myself. Right now our mid century furniture is mostly G-Plan, and Ercol, both British companies. My husband, who does wood turning, has a soft spot for well-made wooden British pieces, and with my love of vintage it just clicked!
You can find this lovely bowl in Erin's husband's Etsy shop Equilibrium designs

10. What can we look forward to seeing in your shop this year?

I'm concentrating more on the jewellery side of things, though I don't want to sell only jewellery! I have several 1940s to 1970s pieces of pottery and housewares that I'm looking forward to listing. My partner and I are planning to start refinishing larger pieces and offering them for sale – so look for mid century furniture in late 2012!

This is a favourite item of Erin's from AMradio

Do go and take a look at Erin's fabulous vintage Etsy shop, there are a huge range of lovely things just waiting for a new home!


  1. Love her shop - and a very nice interview!

  2. Rosie, it's lovely, thank you! I enjoyed your questions and interview immensely.

  3. i love the shop & very nice eye for interesting pieces!


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