{Guest Post} When Opportunity Knocks

Monday, May 16, 2016

Well hello there! Over the next couple of weeks I have invited some people I know to contribute guest posts to the blog. I’m desperately in need of a little breathing room, and sometimes I think it’s nice to get another perspective on life instead of me prattling on all the time!

I never accept unsolicited guest posts, and I’m deeply picky about who I let post, but I’m super excited to have the wonderful Wake Up Little Susie as todays guest blogger. Susie runs a business that specialises in vintage nightwear and lingerie and recently left her full-time job to pursue it, spending her days surrounded by pretty things. Living the dream!

Todays post is a great lesson on why no opportunity is ever wasted and the power of social media!

I always say that you never know how one thing is going to lead to another.

You can hand out 500 flyers for a vintage fair & 99% of them might end up binned but you never know if that one person will pick up one & come along with 10 friends & spend loads of money or be an important blogger; or at a slow fair I’ve Facebooked & Tweeted photos of my stall to pass the time only to get a message from the other side of the country to say ‘Hey! If you’ve still got that table-cloth/tea-set/skirt I’ll have it!’ and suddenly the day becomes worthwhile. You just never know who’s watching & nothing is a waste of time…

In this instance, the starting point was a wedding fair at a local venue (Gressenhall Museum in Norfolk) where I had previously taken part in Rock ‘n’ Roll events, but a wedding fair is a whole different kettle of fish. I have always specialised in vintage nightwear in my business but had been focusing more & more on this aspect, starting to incorporate lingerie too. In my ongoing quest for new ways of marketing, I’d hit upon the idea of vintage/alternative wedding events – what stylish person wouldn’t want a 1940s peignoir set to get ready in on their big day, something special for a wedding evening or a whole trousseau of unique & glamorous items?

So, much time was spent preparing for my first dedicated vintage nightwear stall, new price tags with pretty ribbons, new mannequin, and a fair amount of nerves went into it too as wedding fairs are totally different to the sales that I usually take part in. On the day I was really pleased with how my pretties looked displayed together, the bit I had looked forward to, but I was kinda disappointed that it didn’t seem to be catching anyone’s attention & it was a day of no sales (sad face). However, it looked lovely so I took a whole load of photos many of which got posted on a Facebook Group for vintage loving ladies to a positive reaction of how fabulous it all was.

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Then lo! a message from a lovely lady, Nicole Wilson, who wanted to buy that peach nightie in the photo!

Suddenly the event was more than worthwhile & I cheerfully packed the fab 1970s peach nightdress (it was a nice one too) in tissue paper & mailed it off somewhere up North. Had that been the end of the tale it would have been a happy one but no! Next thing I know, it turns out that not only is Nicole a pin-up model under the name of Coco Von Vintage, but also a budding blogger & she did a great little write-up about my business & that peach nightdress!

Once a customer gets hold of one of my vintage frillies they usually fall in love & Coco was no exception, immediately offering to model for me at any time: while we were considering the logistics of that (we are a long train ride away from each other!) Nicole suggested that maybe I mail some pieces to her for her & pin-up buddy Amy Bliss to do a photo shoot with. Creative control of the shoot was entirely in the hands of the models & photographer John Bellingham, plus I had to trust that my ever so slightly delicate Baby Dolls wouldn’t get damaged, but I was promised some great images of my outfits for use afterwards (always keen to get them!). Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so off went some of my best little nighties for me to await the results.

Shortly afterwards (after Nicole had decided to buy one of the Baby Dolls that I had sent for the shoot! As I said, people fall easily in love with them) I received a cute image (all pastel colours & prettiness!) but with a request not to share it as they were so pleased with the shoot, they were going to try to get them published.

vintage nightwear

Well, that’s fine with me! Any publicity is gratefully received, and Nicole even did a little interview with me to accompany the photos.

The weeks passed by & I was thinking about chasing up what had happened when all of a sudden, there it was on Facebook, Nicole had shared a double spread from ‘Vintage Life’ magazine featuring my vintage nightwear! Some lovely photos of Coco Von Vintage & Amy Bliss by photographer John Bellingham accompanied by a history of nightwear from Nicole herself, with some quotes from me thrown in too!

Coco & Amy 4

From a photo of a quiet event shared on Social Media came a friendship, two sales, a blog about my business and my vintage nightwear featured in a national magazine (heck, I picked my copy up in W H Smiths!) and that’s the kind of thing I love about what I do!

And who knows where that magazine article may lead for the next adventure down the line…

You can see some of Susies pretties and read her blog at Wake Up Little Susie.

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