Next up in my Lou Lou Chats series is Lynnette Peck Bateman. Lynnette manages to combine a busy career as a fashion and beauty journalist together with running her own rather fabulous vintage fashion website, Lovely's Vintage Emporium.
Describe Lovely’s Vintage Emporium in three words.
Trends-led fashion website.
Please tell us more about yourself.
I have worked as a fashion and beauty journalist/stylist for magazines and newspapers for 19 years (Cosmopolitan; Vogue Australia, Celebrity Homes, The Daily Telegraph, Eve, Now etc), plus I do personal shopping for clients and consult for beauty brands and PR companies.
|1960s Jaeger wool plaid cape - £75.00|
Why did you set up Lovely’s Vintage Emporium?
Because I am obsessed by both vintage fashion and shopping online, and I really felt there was a gap in the market for a website that offered a more modern, trends-led, magazine-like approach to vintage. It was also an excuse to buy lots more vintage clothes and jewellery without my husband complaining!
What do you think differentiates Lovely’s Vintage Emporium from other vintage online stores?
I could not find a website that was selling vintage that correlated with catwalk fashion trends and I am still the only one that does. If polka dots and red dresses are in fashion then you will find them on Lovely’s Vintage Emporium. I am in a position to know trends ahead of time as I attend London Fashion Week and get invited to fashion PR events. My website is easy to navigate, does not have an old-fashioned look and is relevant and modern to young girls and women today. Plus the vintage sourced is immaculate, dry cleaned and has been individually sourced by me. In effect my customers are buying a vintage piece curated by an experienced fashion stylist so they can trust what they are purchasing.
|1970s black dress with lace polka dot bodice - £85.00|
Where do you source your pieces?
If I told you that everyone would be doing it!
What has been the highlight for you since starting up the business?
Probably when I opened the December 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan and turned to the fashion pages - they had featured one of my vintage hats on a model over two pages. Plus when the TV show This Morning on ITV1 used a pair of my earrings in a fashion shoot.
Looking back, is there anything that you would have done differently?
I would have given myself longer to set up the website and launch the business. I was so eager that I set myself a deadline that was too tight. I managed it but was still writing different sections of the website right up until the minute we launched at 6.30pm on March 31st 2011. It was an amazing feeling though.
How do you combine your different careers?
By working all the time! I am answering this sat on a train. I like the variety though. One minute I am on a beauty photo shoot for a magazine and the next I am uploading images and writing captions for my website.
What motivates you?
I have turned a huge hobby/obsession into a career. I would always suggest that you do a job that comes from a place of love.
What advice would you give to people who are looking to start their own fashion business?
Work out exactly who your market is and only buy pieces that you love and know your customers will too. Do not over buy stock (I have far too much!). Keep an eye on your finances very carefully. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
|1980s Chanel handbag (Never Used) - £799.00|
What’s in the pipeline for Lovely’s Vintage Emporium in 2012?
I will be expanding the vintage homewares and vintage beauty section of the website. We may start sourcing vintage menswear as I have had a lot of enquiries from men asking me to help them too.We currently only have cufflinks . We will also be stocking vintage wedding dresses. I have four in my stock at the moment that need photographing but there will be many more to come. The designer vintage will grow too as we have seen very good sales on the more luxury vintage items .
Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you, i.e. treat others as you would wish to be treated