the great Southsea Boutique Market

For the last month, I’ve been frantically working towards one goal – having enough stock to sell at the fair I had signed up for a few weeks before. Somehow, as the days went by, I ended up in more and more of a panic, surrounded by half-finished upcycled vintage clothes, tote bags with no handles, and prints with no packaging. Somehow, after some very late nights and even earlier mornings, it all came together, and I had enough vintage clothes for a whole rail, and enough accessories to cover the table. (The upcycled clothes are actually still half-finished, in a basket under my desk…. next time, perhaps?)

I spent almost as long deciding what to wear as I did making the things to sell – I considered going full vintage, with set hair, the works, but in the end opted for vintage blouse and vintage Escada trousers, and my new favourite shoes. They came from the vintage section of eBay, and I love, love, LOVE them – t-bar, low-heel heaven. I had the hat on in some of the photos, but have to admit to taking it off at the sale – I often get self-conscious when wearing really eclectic clothing, and at the ripe old age of twenty-eight, am still finding my confidence with regards to everything sartorial.

 The journey to the sale was interesting to say the least – we stopped at our local shopping precinct to get our float changed from the bank, and quite by chance, they were having a classic motor display day. Out came the camera, click, click, click….

I fell particularly in love with the green one in the second photo – although I actually don’t have the slightest clue what make or model it is. I just saw it, and my brain started chanting, ‘vintage, vintage, vintage’, and I had sudden visions of me sporting a floral dress and a headscarf, zooming down a long country road.

The rest of the morning went rather less smoothly – as we neared the City Centre, the husband changed gears, and our car responded with a loud, ‘THUNK’. “What was that?” I barked at him, and then, when he didn’t answer, hollered, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” as he pulled the car over and came to a standstill. Forty minutes, an AA recovery and a new clutch clip later, we were back on the road – slightly more stressed and slightly more disheveled, but on the move at least.

The sale was in Shalford Church Hall, and was an immensely fun day – loads of amazing sellers, including Rare Designer Must Haves and Becki’s Bits and Bobs, and we had a great spot by a lovely sun-drenched window.

The weeks leading up to the sail, while filled with stock-related panic, had also been packed full of ‘what-if’ thoughts – what if nobody comes? What if nobody buys anything? What if nobody takes my business postcards? There is something really risky about putting your heart and soul onto a table for people to rummage about in and judge – every time a customer appeared, I smiled and said, “hello!” cheerfully, but inside I was actually screaming, “VALIDATE ME! VALIDATE ME!” I needn’t have worried – I made a good amount of sales, had a lovely day, and my best friend and her husband (the Boy’s Godparents) even came down to have tea and cake with us.

The cakes, the cakes – if I wasn’t a seller, I would go back for the cakes alone. Served on vintage plates, and accompanied by extremely good tea, these cakes were something to write home about. I opted for the lemon drizzle, while the husband scoffed a whopping slice of chocolate cake – “wait a minute!” I screeched, as he wolfed it down, “I wanted to take a picture!”

The sales at St Swithuns are monthly, and from 24th July, there will also be a sale once a month at the Guildhall – for more details visit the website.

The day finished in the best possible way – fish and chips and a good DVD!


  1. Michelle
    July 5, 2011 / 7:56 pm

    Your table looked lovely. And love the hat. Great hear too.

  2. Penny Dreadful
    July 5, 2011 / 8:54 pm

    Ah, so glad it went well and you made sales. It can be stressful, can't it. Love your Escada trousers x

  3. Katie and Reuben
    July 6, 2011 / 11:07 am

    Your outfit is lovely and those cakes! Oh my! So glad you made some sales and had a good day! It can be really hard putting yourself out there like that.Katie x

  4. Sarnie83
    July 6, 2011 / 5:08 pm

    Ahh So glad it went well and sorry I couldnt make it down – An hour out in the sun doing Rocker Soccer and I was napping at my mums! Glad to hear you made some good sales – the tabke looked lovely (as did the tea and cakes)! xx

  5. KatGotTheCream
    July 10, 2011 / 5:31 pm

    Your hard work really paid off! The stand looked ace – i would have made a bee-line for it and 'validated' it in a BIG way ha ha! Love your outfit and shoes too!So when are you doing the next one 😉

  6. flower child vintage
    July 10, 2011 / 6:20 pm

    i love love LOVE these photos… your grren hat is so gorgeous!!!

  7. joey
    July 12, 2011 / 8:24 am

    I NEED that yellow campervan and I think it wants me too. Hope all is well x

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