I'm a big fan of retro and vintage china and today I was very lucky to have my Ochil Tree Coasters featured on the blog of vintage china specialists Yay Retro. I found Yay Retro on Facebook one evening while admiring this lovely Poole Pottery Breakfast Set.
It turns out that the vintage dish I've been using to keep all my day to day sewing bits and bobs is from the same range, here it is in all it's glory featuring snippers and seam ripper very prominently.
I was really interested to know more about Yay Retro and how Sue managed to have such a beautiful website and hold down a day job too so Sue was kind enough to give me the low down on how and why she set up her business.
What made you decide to set up Yay Retro?
I have been interested in retro china for years, it began with my Gran's Woods Beryl tea set. When I was in my 20s I wrote her a poem asking her to "keep just 1 cup and saucer for me to pass on to my Grand daughter". My lovely Gran died 3 years ago, and when we went to clear her flat, we found one Beryl cup and saucer in the back of the cupboard. I think at that moment it was confirmed to me how nostalgic and emotive china can be and began wanting pieces in my own home. Through collecting myself, I got more and more interested, until last year for my 50th birthday my husband offered to set me up in business selling vintage china from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s online.
I find taking photos of my items a bit of a chore as I'm still learning how best to do it. Your website and images look so beautiful how do you manage it all.
In the day time we run a website design business and we are both professional photographers too, so we were in a very lucky position to be able to use our skills to set up and run an online shop. I run yay retro! in my spare time, though since I work online all day I can deal with orders and enquiries really quickly as they come in.
this is the set Sue uses at home - I need a set like this!!
Do you have a particular era or style of china that you collect yourself?
I have fallen head over heels in love with Twintone Poole Pottery from the 1950/60s and starting collecting the ice green and seagull, and sky blue and dove grey colourways. We now use this every day in our retro styled kitchen and I am the proud owner of some simply gorgeous and rarer pieces, such as the Poole Early Morning Set which comes with a ceramic tray. When we use this at lunchtime it is magical!
I find it difficult juggling sewing/family/work commitments so I'm always looking for ways to get everything done so do you have any time management tips you could pass on?
I am very lucky that my sons have grown up and left home, so I have all day free to run my two businesses and home. I know how fortunate I am!!
The way I work things is that I get up early to sort yay retro! I then focus on my day job then in the evening I resume sorting yay retro! things. All of our spare time is spent hunting for vintage and retro china, pretty much every weekend, and when we have weekends away visiting our sons in our camper van. We drag them and their families around with us too! You could say we've got the whole family involved, even my Mum looks for stuff for me!
It all sounds ideal doesn't it and has made me very nostalgic for the VW camper we had when we got married - even our minister turned up to our wedding in a camper van! I can just imagine me and hubbie going off on our travels when we eventually get another combi/campervan.
So that's a very different blog post from me, makes a change from I did this, I didn't manage to make that etc but just in case you miss my usual blurb I've made little or no progress on my FAL list as I've had Jamie at home for most of the week with a cough and the sniffles, roll on next week! I did manage to sort out my fabric stash though, it's so nice when all the fabric is in neat colour coordinated piles.
I've been mostly listing coasters onto Etsy and have started trying to set up a blog for The Ochil Tree which means learning about Wordpress so it's not ready quite yet.
Bye for now