The first thing I thought when I found out we were having a little girl this time around was, “ooooh vintage DRESSES!” As fabulous as it is to have a boy, any mama will tell you that the clothing choice is really nothing compared to the options available for the girlies – we buy a lot of the Boy’s clothes from H&M (who have the most amazing range of coloured chinos for the Spring – we went with blue, green and red), because the quality is pretty good, and the price point is incredibly reasonable. But, truth be told, there’s just something about a pretty 1960’s floral romper that tugs at the vintage-lovers heartstrings, which is why the first thing I did was hop on the laptop and start perusing the retro delights of Etsy.
The first thing I noticed was how wonderfully cheap vintage baby clothes are – around the £5 for a top, and slightly more for rompers and dungarees. I rubbed my hands with glee, and then scrolled down the page to check the postage rates – which is when my heart sank.The majority of Etsy sellers are based in the US, which means that us Brits have to battle through the minefield of international postage before we can get our hands on the goodies – which, as I found, usually doubles, or even trebles the price of what you’re buying. Suddenly, a bargain isn’t as much of a bargain anymore, and your vintage dreams are going up in smoke.
I spent a while browsing, and eventually stumbled across a wonderful shop which was well-stocked with immaculate childrens clothes, all reasonably priced, and (imagine me doing an air-punch here) with far lower postage rates to the UK. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll have seen the ‘One Day’ post, where I featured pictures of the romper and blouse that I bought for our little lady-in-waiting – they arrived promptly, beautifully wrapped and freshly laundered. I was so impressed with the service and quality, that I decided it might be nice to do a little feature on the shop and it’s owner, Kim – welcome to Blue Bird Lucy’s, vintage lovers!
1. Where do you live? Tell us a bit about your day to day life.
I call Louisville, Kentucky, home. Most people think it sounds pretty boring if they don’t come from here, but it’s actually a very large and artsy city. We’re home to the Kentucky derby, which I believe is what we’re best known for! I spend my days as a work-at-home Mommy, taking care of my soon to be 3-year-old daughter and running my vintage clothing shop, Blue Bird Lucy’s.
2. How did you start buying and selling vintage childrens clothes? What originally sparked your interest?
My interest in vintage clothing was sparked after the birth of my daughter. I found myself buying and finding more clothing then we could ever really use, so I thought it would be fun to begin sharing our little collection!
3. Where do you find your stock?
Oh my! I find things here, there and everywhere…literally. I’ve been into buying vintage for a while now, so I’ve found some really great vintage-loving friends who always like to help out. My favorite finds are usually the ones I find on trips – I always like a good excuse to travel!
4. Which is your favourite era for childrens clothing?
The 1960’s are by far my favorite era – I’ve yet to find a child’s outfit from the 60’s that I haven’t liked! I mean, who can resist a sweet little a-line dress with bloomers and knee high socks? This may be why my store sometimes lacks in the 60’s clothing department, as they are sometimes just to hard to part with!
5. Is there anything you’ve bought that you just couldn’t bare to part with?
Oh where to start…. My daughters poor bulging closet will tell you that there have been many, many outfits that I just couldn’t part with. Last time I counted she had about 35 vintage dresses wedged into her little closet!
6. Do you have any tips for keeping vintage clothing at its best?
Oxiclean! I really didn’t believe that this stuff would actually work on stains, especially on 50-year-old stains, but I’ve got to tell you that it’s a miracle worker. I recently soaked fifteen stained vintage dresses overnight in Oxiclean and all but one came out completely spotless! Hopefully this stuff isn’t just available in the states? (Note: Oxiclean is available from Lakeland, priced at £3.49.)
7. Do your own children wear much vintage clothing?
All the time – my daughter calls them her princess dresses!
8. What do you do for fun as a family?
We love trips to the zoo, museums, and anything that gets us out and about. We have a 1971 VW Camper Bus that we take camping and fishing when it’s warm enough.
9. Do you wear much vintage yourself?
I wish I did wear more vintage, but sadly I really only have a few pieces. I’m not really much of a dress person and that seems to be what I typically find. I tend to wear more vintage inspired modern clothes I suppose – the new high waisted jeans are my new favorite!
10. Do you also like retro and vintage homewares, or is your passion limited to clothing?
My vintage obsession actually started with collecting vintage goods for my home – Melmac dishes and pretty floral glasses are my current favorite! I live in a home that was hand built by its original owners in the 1940’s. I fell in love with all the old and handmade quirks… things just aren’t made like they use to be.
All images copyright Blue Bird Lucy’s – please obtain permission from the owner before using or reproducing.