We have some amazing graduates here at Vintage Academy. This month we want to introduce Anita aka Trawler Girl. Anita lives in Luton, Bedfordshire and she runs Trawlergirl Vintage..
Hello Anita, tell us all about your business
Trawlergirl Vintage is a vintage cocktail bar hire company. I am now the proud owner of not one but two iconic examples of retro home entertaining from the 1950s and 1960s. Both bars are available to hire for weddings and events.
The bars can simply be used as an attention grabbing prop or styled up for maximum effect. Think a bespoke Gin Station, a signature cocktail stand for the bride and groom or a shot bar for the evening reception for starters. I also own a stunning range of vintage and retro glasses, kitsch barware and even a 1950s cocktail trolley, all available to hire.
To compliment the hire service I will be selling associated items from an online store of the same name. Items for sale will include breweriana, kitchenalia, glassware and china.
Each piece for sale in our shop has been personally sourced and chosen in recognition of their outstanding services to vintage entertaining. They thoroughly deserve to continue life brightening up the homes and hearts of modern day kitsch, vintage and retro lovers.
Both of these ventures will operate under the banner of ‘Vintage Entertaining with Sparkle’ in keeping with my established celebration inspiration blog Trawlergirl.com
What sparked you interested in starting a vintage business?
For the past 12 months I have been the content creator, editor and publisher of the blog Trawlergirl.com. This is a blog featuring celebration and party inspiration. The focus has been broad, on parties of all genres and styles. Weddings have always been a major feature and passion, particularly those of an upcycled, repurposed and vintage nature.
My interest in this area has now grown into a passion and whilst initially I was keen to open an online shop providing bespoke party and wedding decorations, I became increasingly concerned about the effect that our want and need for such disposable items has on the environment. Vintage items were made to last and the fact that they are still here and going strong is something to celebrate in itself.
How long have you been running your business?
I have been blogging at Trawlergirl.com for the past twelve months but Trawlergirl Vintage is a brand new venture. The shop is nearly ready for launch and the cocktail bars will make their debut at the Vintage and Alternative Wedding Fair in Cambridge on 6 April 2014.
What elements of the business did you feel you need help with?
I would have to say starting out as I wasn’t really sure where to begin, even though I had many ideas. Also identifying my target market would have to be another and finally having a clear strategy to approach my market with.
Why did you decide to try Vintage Academy?
Having met Kate of Your Vintage Life at a workshop back in January 2013 I knew she was one smart cookie and when I heard that Kate and Keeley of Discover Vintage had joined forces to create The Vintage Academy I knew that their knowledge, business acumen and expertise was exactly what I had been waiting for.
I was pretty sure that their one day course would equip me with invaluable advice and the confidence to take my seed of an idea to an almost fully fledged business and I’m very pleased to say I was right! All this in 3 months too.
What are the main 3 top tips that you find most useful?
I would have to say thinking of myself as a brand, being active on social media and the tips on pricing have proved invaluable.
What have you changed about your business since Vintage Academy?
I am in the process of updating the blog with a focus on the business. This involves planning lots of articles related to the products I will be selling and hiring.
I also have a bit of a thing about animating objects so I have decided to personalise the bars by naming them, Bettie and Brigitte. I am looking forward to developing their personalities and writing about their wonderfully entertaining adventures on the blog. First up is their own photo shoot in March 2014, designed to showcase their utter gorgeousness and versatility.
Having made those changes, what benefits have you experienced?
Having the beginnings of a tangible business has really inspired me and given me the confidence to take some risks and push myself creatively. It’s all very liberating!
Would you recommend Vintage Academy to others?
Absolutely! The atmosphere was relaxed and informal. Each subject area was covered thoroughly and there was plenty of opportunity to ask questions and network. It was great to meet others who share a passion for everything vintage.
I left that day feeling inspired and ready for action. The secret Facebook group is perfect for keeping in contact and seeing how my fellow graduates are getting on too. One other thing, and most important. You get cake!
What are your future aspirations for your business?
To develop the Trawlergirl brand so that we are instantly recognisable as one of the UK’s premier providers of ‘vintage entertaining with sparkle’ and earn and mantain a sparkling reputation to match!
Let the hard work commence, this enthusiast is ready.
Have you heard about our new venture VintageBizClub? It is a year long distance learning version of our popular Vintage Academy, broken into 4 terms of 12 weeks that covers all (and more) that your would learn at our one day events.
We have a scholarship to give away. All you have to do to apply for this scholarship is email us as firstname.lastname@example.org telling us about yourself, why you would love to win a place at our club, how you would benefit and how it could change your business!
Please label the email VintageBizClub Scholarship. Remember to share your website address, social pages and anything relevent to help your application. We will choose the worthy winner on Monday 7th April and announce it at #vintagebizhour on Twitter 9-10pm.
So want to join our club? Find our more on the website and if you have any questions, ask away!