I recently hooked up with Kelly Fairweather who has just opened her very own ladies shop, "Fairweather Vintage", to shoot some photographs of her and the shop, and talk to her about this new venture...
SB- Firstly congratulations, the shop looks fantastic and you have some great pieces in here. How has your first week open been for you?
KF- I am so pleased with the first week. I have had customers of all ages and walks of life. Many people seem genuinely excited to have a vintage shop in Ipswich.
I already have a nice fanbase on Facebook and Twitter. The support seems to be growing day by day. A very positive start.
SB- What first made you decide to open your own vintage clothing shop in Ipswich?
KF-My interest in sewing began at the age of 10 with a Singer sewing machine set in a wooden table that previously belonged to my grandmother (I used to be obsessed with customising jeans and making skirts from trousers). I sewed casually throughout my school years and then went on to do a Textiles A-level at Colchester Sixth Form. From there I studied at London College of Fashion for a year before moving back to Ipswich, as the mainstream fashion industry did not appeal to me. It was during my time back in Ipswich that I fully applied myself to the art of sewing and dressmaking and learned my trade inside out while working in a clothes alteration shop.
I also worked in retail alongside school and college and collecting vintage clothes was a hobby of mine for years. Learning to sew meant that all of my loves could be culminated into my dream shop and Fairweather Vintage was born.
SB- Did you find opening the shop a very difficult task?
KF- It was difficult, but also enjoyable, a great challenge and well worth it.
The biggest obstacle was time… we basically didn’t have much, and put everything together in a couple of months. Lack of time was semi-overcome by lack of sleep!
I can liken the whole situation to a girls dream wedding - they think about every detail in their head for many years and when it comes to planning for the big day, they know exactly what they want. I had a very clear vision of my ‘big day’ and just went for it with lots of help from my talented graphic designer boyfriend, James (love and thanks to James for super support and brilliant branding skills x).
SB- Tell us what makes Fairweather Vintage unique and different to other ladies shops?
KF- Our main unique selling point is, without a doubt, the added in-house tailoring service. I can customise or tailor a garment to a customers personal specifications – a salute to the shops of days gone by, where a tailor was always on hand.
Fairweather Vintage is packed full of interesting and beautiful things to make you smile. Each item is handpicked and of great vintage quality. The shop is small and friendly, holding traditional values with a modern twist.
SB- What are you plans for the future of Fairweather Vintage?
KF- My hope is that people will love Fairweather Vintage as much as I do and continue to come back again and again to see what new gems we have in-store.
The website is currently under construction so that will be the next thing to look out for.
I also hope that Fairweather Vintage, along with other independent local business can continue to grow and succeed in Ipswich.