Well Vintage Academy has now been here for six months, and it’s been a great one so far. We launched last August but were in discussions for a while before that. With our second event held today in central London, we thought we would look back, before we start to look forward to the next six months.
So why and where did it all begin?
For a long time both of us have been asked for our advice, even receiving emails from strangers asking for our thoughts on their business. We quickly realised that there were a lot of new and sometimes old, businesses that needed advice, or reassurance and were looking to us for it. So together we decided to launch Vintage Academy.
Last August we went live after some great branding development from Kate at BamBam design. We had a real vision for what we wanted this to look like; inspired by American year books from the 1950s and 1960s, we wanted a shield like a prefect’s badge but also something that wouldn’t look out of place on pennants. Think rosettes, think vintage football, think red, white and blue.
Then we needed a tag line. Sitting outside a pub in Weymouth, while on holiday, Kate started to brainstorm into her phone some ideas. With great modern technology she fired them off to Keeley and “Making Vintage Your Business” was born.
Our first event was in November. We went down on the train armed with pennants to hang, games to set up, branded cakes that kept falling over, goodie bags stuffed with, well goodies and a whole load of nerves.
When we went live we weren’t sure if we wanted a room full of people sitting listening to us or an intimate soiree. We chose the latter, feeling that we wanted to create an environment where people felt safe to share and ask questions. So we set it up like a dinner party, complete with branded straws for the glasses and table honeycomb decorations (red, white and blue of course)
It went better than we could have hoped. The best thing was by the time we got home, twitter was buzzing with our graduates inspired and writing their business plans. And this was because of us….wow!
So what did we do next? Sit back and get ready for Christmas? Nah…we launched #vintagebizhour over on Twitterland. We wanted to create a business community, a space where people can network with Vintage Academy hosting the party. This has gone from strength to strength with people even turning up over Christmas (much to Kate’s surprise as she was busy drinking wine and enjoying the festivities)
January came and our first business column was published in Vintage Life magazine. This has been great exposure for us and taken us worldwide, with people from Australia and America asking us to go out there. According to them “you are in great hands with these ladies at The Vintage Academy”
So today we will be hosting our second event but will ensure we have enough time to continue chatting about our plans for the rest of the year. People are flying in from Europe for the day which is pretty mind blowing.
And we are sponsoring a new award at this years National Vintage Awards. It’s the Best Breakthrough award and we are offering a prize of free one to one coaching with us.
So what have we learnt? That it’s great to follow your instincts and dreams as new business ideas can take off and grow. That people all over the world need advice and motivation sometimes. And also, that 2 people running their own separate vintage businesses can come together to create something new (remember, we are the only business advice event for vintage businesses in the UK) and something more importantly that is has been appreciated.
And if you don’t believe us, listen to our graduates (who continue to chat and ask advice via our private facebook group page):
“The Vintage Academy promotes a relaxed, informal and fun learning environment with a sharp focus on interaction and idea sharing. The workshop was absolutely perfect for me, being a ‘newbie’ to the vintage arena. Worth every penny.” Anita, Trawlergirl Vintage
“I came away from the course feeling more confident about what I had to do and what I had to achieve to get there”. Pamela, Catherine’s Vintage Closet
“I would definitely recommend Vintage Academy to others, The day itself was full of information and was a great place to get peer feedback on ideas and answers to questions I had had for a while. Even now months later, I still have the great support network from the day through a dedicated Facebook group.” Harriet, What’s the Tale Nightingale