If you're a venue that wants to join in
‘I’ve always loved vintage decor and clothing!’ Zoe’s huge grin is contagious as she talks through her venture into the world of vintage with me on sunlit autumn afternoon.
With a background in Digital Marketing, Zoe has a keen eye for fine detail, but it wasn’t until she was pregnant with her second daughter Meg, that she began to think about how she could turn her passion into a business.
‘I wanted to take on a new project, then I came across Bristol Vintage. It was a perfect fit and I dived straight in!’
This was two years ago, and within this time Zoe has re-branded and re-launched Bristol Vintage to great effect, supplying Bristol, The South West and The Cotswold’s with gorgeous vintage crockery and props for weddings, christenings, corporate events, photo shoots, wakes, and vintage themed events.
‘It was a huge leap. I bought the company in October 2016 and it took two whole months to unpack everything! By Christmas I had managed to sort through all the boxes and make sense of what I had actually bought into.’
Zoe’s haul turned out to be a veritable vintage treasure trove, with stunningly ornate crockery sets and quirky bygone items. Two vintage bikes lovingly named Mabel and Albert have become mainstays of the collection, along with a working gramophone, typewriters, stepladders and suitcases – just to name a few!
The props were formally housed in a lockup but now Zoe keeps all the items in her Victorian end of terrace family home in Southville, Bristol, with her two daughters Daisy 6, and Meg, now 4. The dining room was converted into the ‘office’ with floor to ceiling storage units. ‘Keeping these vintage items in the house with two young kids doesn’t come without it’s challenges!’ says Zoe, ‘at first they were as enthralled with the items as much as me, but now they have become used to living with mountains of tissue and bubble wrap!’
All the pieces are authentic and range from the 1900s to 1950s, and Zoe is always on the look out at local auctions for new additions to her collection.
The vintage wedding trend means that most of Zoe’s business is with wedding couples and venues. Mabel and Albert, the two vintage bikes look beautiful entwined with flowers as part of a reception display. The working typewriter is also really popular as an alternative to a guest book. It looks great and is fun too!
‘The vintage theme isn’t going anywhere.’ continues Zoe. ‘Mixing modern with vintage has become really popular. One of my favourite vintage looks is mixing old and new crockery. Lots of catering companies I work with combine a modern white mains plate with a vintage side plate, and it just works so well!’
‘I think couples like to use their imagination and not be tied to the traditional use for crockery. Using little vintage touches can make all the difference to help set the scene and I love working with couples to help achieve this.’
There are so many amazing wedding venues here in the South West, and one that Zoe loves working with is Arnos Vale. ‘I supplied crockery for a Beauty and The Beast themed wedding shoot for Whimsical Weddings and the result was just stunning. It combined vintage with a boho feel that was really romantic.’
So what’s the next step for Bristol Vintage? And how many more boxes of crockery can one house hold? ‘I always have an eye out for a vintage gem’ laughs Zoe, ‘But maybe I should put a stop to any more for now!’
‘I just love helping people put together a unique collection of vintage props for their wedding, and I am going to keep on collaborating with suppliers and couples to explore vintage styling.’