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Interview with Tash - The Urban Vintage Affair
May 06, 2018 0 comments
The Urban Vintage Affair is dead set on changing our approach to antiques. Their quirkiness extends to naming their products (The Stripper Sean, The Punk Ashley) imbibing them with personality and framing antiques as a gift-able, rather than just something to 'collect.' We asked her a bit more about how she came to be involved in the world of antiques, and how she has steadily built her brand.
How did you first become involved in the world of vintage and antiques?
Since childhood always wanted to go to 2nd hand stores and jumble sales, wanting to touch and possess the unusual old items. My nan front room was (and still is) full of random brass and porcelain ornaments and she never threw anything away, even if broken. I was the only one in the family that was interested with the things in her front room. My nan would also give me some of her pieces to take home, to annoy my mums much more contemporary style. So I’m used to being around old vintage clutter. I need to point out that today, my Nan’s tastes is very different to mine.
What was your biggest challenge in setting up the business and how did you overcome it?
Time management, especially when working full time, the commitments required in researching and starting up a brand can be exhausting. Your evenings and weekends are no longer for relaxing and socialising, friends and family are but on the back burner for several months until you reach that manageable place of doing just one or two hours a day brand of brand management and marketing. I am very good at multi tasking, so it was good for me to combined, research buying trip with mini holidays, ensuring there was always a spa hotel within the plan.
What do you think makes vintage homeware so special/unique?
I have a special connection and wanting when it comes to antique products including furniture. As a general rule today, anything pre 1920's is considered antique while 1930 to 1980's considered vintage, so my passion falls into the antique era. What I find so fascinating in any products made during this time, is the attention to detail in the hand making of each piece. These would have been done by skilled craftsman and design houses. Patterns and designs always telling a story, finest quality materials all created using forms of natural materials including wood, precious and semi precious stones, metals, paper, stoneware. These are the details that no longer present in mass produced homeware. Today you can only find in antiques or modern handmade goods.
Do you have a favourite era for interiors?
My favourite era will definitely be Victorian and Georgian with the introduction of wonderfully crafted, useless products, of specialised tableware including ice cream knife or a spoon warmer. I especially love Georgian colonial architecture with double front doors. A large dark green double front door is something I have always longed for - not just the door the house must be included too.
What interiors trend is timeless and will never go out of fashion?
Vintage leather suitcases which double up as a fashion accessory, there are most definitely here to stay. Whatever there condition they have, stunning details and forever useful in hiding away the clutter at home in a super stylish way. I personally have over 20 of them at home in front room hallway and bedroom.
What interiors trend should NEVER be allowed to come back!
Can't stand any furniture made form Formica, that ugly plastic needs to stay in the past and not come back......ever !
Do you do any upcycling?
If so, what sort of projects have you been working on? I regularly have a stall at London Flea and vintage markets selling homeware, accessories and clothing. Plus I have a seasonal clear out or give to charity. As far as upcycling is concerned I have my Antique website The Urban Vintage Affair. I do not work on any refurbishing of products, not a bag fan but completely understand why people love it. I promote using products in their original form. I wouldn’t want to paint or customise any product with the risk of devaluing it. One should always check labels and values on the internet before cutting, painting or dismantling any old piece.
How do you think people can be more sustainable in the way they consume interiors?
Always pay a little bit more for good quality. it will last longer and save you money in the long run. I lived in my house for over a year before i bought the bed i wanted ( it was hand built using 100 year old reclaimed wood) before that I had two mattresses instead. I’m currently using two clothing rails and working on getting a large antique triple wardrobe. I think people should also support independent and local brands and makers, these brands will appreciate the loyalty much, much more than any multiple or corporate company would and also reduces carbon footprints.
What is the style motto you live your life by?
Do it now and worry about the issues later. Leave room in your life for spontaneity.
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