Trader Profile-Lizzie May Vintage
For the final profile in our secondhand and sustainable feature we spoke to sisters Millie and Lottie, whose combined eyes for exquisite vintage details led them to start Lizzie May Vintage, a peripatetic emporium of vintage children’s and womenswear that will make your heart sing!
Tell us a bit about you and your business.
So here we are – not Lizzie and May – but Millie and Lottie, sisters, and best friends, joined at the hip whenever humanly possible. We have four children between us, our first-borns Willow Elizabeth and Primrose May were born just 13 days apart. These cherubs, along with their six cousins are the stars of the show and we wouldn’t be here without them.
Where do you get your inspiration – what motivates you to do what you do?
Lizzie May Vintage was born from a passion for treasure hunting and a firm belief in the slow movement. As children, we were visiting auction rooms before we could walk, and never wanted for anything that couldn’t be found second-hand. Like so many other fledgling businesses, we set up in the depths of #lockdownone. With time on our hands and no charity shops open (gasp-horror!) we set our minds to the dreaded task of archiving the mountains of outgrown children’s clothes in the attic. Upon realising that collectively, we really had some vintage ‘gold’ we decided to embark on an Instagram adventure.
We never dared imagine that our love of thrifting (not limited to clothes by the way) would become part of our living and we could not be more grateful to every one of you for making that possible for us.
Why did you choose to come and trade at the Frome Independent?
Trading at The Frome Independent is the perfect fit for us. Lottie lives in Frome and together we have trodden every cobble. We love the neighbourly ‘banter’ in the Flea Market and meeting our customers old and new is just the best.
What do you like about market trading – why not just sell online or through retail outlets?
Now, more than ever, we all have a responsibility to shop consciously, for the benefit of our environment, and in support of small businesses. Fast-fashion has wreaked havoc, and nowhere more so than in the market of children’s clothing. Our collection of vintage attire has been worn by generations and will continue to serve our children’s children. From rugged OshKosh dungarees to hand-smocked dresses, we only sell what we love.
We hope that in perusing our physical (or virtual) rails, it will evoke that warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia. We love to imagine the stories that our clothes could whisper, and hope that you can add to their tales.
Tell us about your own favourite or best-selling product. How much work goes into creating it, why do you think this is your strongest product?
It was a natural progression for us to introduce women’s clothing, we like to think of it as our spin on the Laura Ashley ‘Mother and Child’ collection. At Christmas time we always like to add some vintage toys to the mix, hand cut wooden puzzles are a weak spot. We are also so excited to have launched our first collaboration with the incredible @by_tamarajones who has re-purposed some vintage American quilts and customised some of our denims. People always ask us where we find our clothes and the answer is that it really is a labour of love. There is no one-stop shop and each item on our rails has been hand-picked by us. We will always prefer to source items physically – you can’t beat holding something in your fingertips.
What is your favourite Frome shop, or stall to visit at The Frome Independent?
Savouring a flat white from Claud the Butler has become a ritual in our set-up and Lottie is frequently dragging me back from the magnetism that is Sarah’s Victoriously Vintage!
And finally, some quick fire questions….
Always such a difficult question! Right now, I’m enjoying the immersion of Chris Yates.
Describe your dream day off.
That’s much easier. The sun would be shining, we would kick off with a car boot sale followed by a day on our favourite beach (top secret I’m afraid). The journey would undoubtedly involve a charity shop stop or two, and something delicious at ‘Feed the Soul cafe in Godmanstone.
What are you listening to right now?
Jake Xerxes Fussell (and Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron!)
What are you cooking/ eating / drinking at the moment?
I would be lost without Anna Jones and tea!
Thank you Millie and Lottie! Lizzie May Vintage are in the Flea on Sunday 4th September – you can also find their collaborator @by_tamarajones as part of the Everyone Needs Pockets Network outside Frome Library, demonstrating how they make, stitch, knit, weave, repair, repurpose and remake. More info here!