Thursday, 20 December 2012

What a year its been...............

..........and the best is yet to come!

This will be my last blog post of the year and as the year is coming to a close, I thought I'd reflect back at all the changes that have happened to me and the reasons why I started this vintage journey.

Village-Vintage - July
I have always loved vintage but due to one reason or another just never took it any further than collecting for myself and the occasional selling on eBay and at the boot sale.  That all changed this year when I found myself in a situation beyond my control and I had to make a decision.

I had worked at the same place for the past 10 years in one role or another until I became Sales Manager 4 years ago.  I have to admit that I probably should have left years ago but with the climate the way it was, I was lucky to have a job and it was ok.  I worked with some nice people, it was easy because I'd been doing it for so long etc etc. There had been lots of ups and downs but it was managable.  That all changed in January 2012 when a new General Manager came on board.  From then on it was hell and I knew my days were numbered even though I had no proof and I was starting to sound incredibly paranoid.  You know though don't you when something isn't right and when I had to start training people in ALL my jobs and giving away my responsibilities to other members of staff, I definitely knew.  Still I clung on though as after 10 years I was virtually institutionalised and had had my confidence knocked so much that I didn't feel anywhere else would want me.  Basically I wasn't good enough for this job, how on earth was I going to be hired anywhere else?

The Country Brocante - Oct
It then all came to a head when I had a meeting with the General Manager  in August and was basically told how nothing I did was right.  I was unhelpful, moody, negative, hadn't done much in the past few months, the list went on.  Now remember I had worked there for 10 years with an unblemished record so basically I had had a complete personality change in the space of a few months.  As soon as I received the letter of our meeting by email I knew I was on borrowed time.  I received the email on the Friday but on the Monday I received another email from the 'Executive Assistant' who stated "I wonder how long she'll put up with this?? Not long me thinks..........." in relation to the email I had received from the General Manager.  I left the next day.............and that is what started me on this journey.

In September I found out that I wasn't going to be able to take it any further so I had to suck it up and move on with my life.

Ditchling Vintage Fair - Oct
This hasn't been easy BUT I am so grateful that I
had my vintage to fall back on.  Without it, I think my situation could have been a lot worse and I would have struggled to gain any confidence or perspective.  Don't get me wrong, I have had some very down days when I haven't wanted to get out of bed and days when I have doubted everything about myself but the vintage and everyone associated with it has helped pull me back in one way or another.

I finally feel as though I have found my sense of belonging.  I feel that this is what I was obviously destined to do and even though I had to go through a rough time to get here, I'm so glad I did.  I have met some wonderful people who won't know just how much they have helped me.  They have though, by accepting me for me and not judging.  I am doing something I love and vintage makes me very happy, buying, selling, all of it.  It really has changed my life and without wanting to sound too dramatic, I finally feel like the person I was and am.  I'm not the person who cries in the morning because they don't want to go to work, I'm not the person who can't bear to be with anyone apart from Mark on my days off because I have to preserve my energy to go into work the next day and get through the day.  I'm not the person who doesn't trust anyone because I think they're going to stab me in the back and finally I'm not the stressed, unhappy person I was.

Village Vintage - Nov
I have gained confidence, a sense of self, met some really wonderful people who I feel I can call friends,  I'm relaxed, I'm happy, I'm fulfilled and all because I left a very negative situation and swapped it for a much more positive one.  I hadn't actually realised how bad things had become until I walked away from the situation and realised that I wasn't actually a person that liked being on their own all the time, that I wasn't a miserable old cow and that YES I do actually have some good qualities and I am able to achieve things!

So what are my plans for next year?  Well, I'm going to have a long hard think over the Christmas break and either commit fully to this or keep it as a hobby.  I think I already know the answer but I just need to make sure I know where I'm heading.  I'm also going to be unleashing more of my creative side by trying my hand at different crafty things.  I loved decorating the mug so Mark and I are both going to be doing that and I have a Felt Fox kit that I'm going to have a go at.   I'm also going to start baking once a month.  I LOVE cakes but never make them so I thought why not next year try my hand at a different recipe every month.  I used to love baking with my mum when I was a little girl so why not give it a try now.

Vintage and Handmade Fair -  Dec
I will be selling at some different fairs too such as the The Vintage Bazaar at Devizes and Hartley Wintney, Pop Up Vintage at Hassocks, The Floral Fringe Fair at Knepp castle as well as all the old favs such as The Country Brocante and Village-Vintage.  I am also thinking about opening an online Etsy shop as a different avenue to sell.

I really can't wait to see what next year brings and on a final note there is one person that I would like to thank in true Oscar speech style and that is my wonderful, patient husband who really has been so supportive and without whom I would never have had the confidence to attend my first ever vintage fair back in July at Village-Vintage.  He completely and unconditionally supported me and my decision to leave my job because he could see what it was doing to me and he allowed me to follow my dreams.  He is a very special man who doesn't even mind sometimes being the butt of my jokes on this blog!

Actually on one final, final note, thank you to everyone who has read my blog and for all your comments, I love writing it and I am looking forward to sharing more of my journey with you in 2013.



  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences Fi. As you know, a similar thing happened to me some years ago. I really hope that your "Vintage Life" continues to take off this year. We look forward to having you at our Vintage Bazaar events in 2013. Have a wonderful Christmas. Liz x

    1. Thank you Lizzie, the more I've spoken to people, the more I've realised that there are lot of people who have been through a similar thing, its good to know we're not alone in our experiences.

      Really looking forward to joining you at your Vintage Bazaar fairs next year, I'm already putting my spring collection together :).

      Have a wonderful Christmas Lizzie and I'll look forward to seeing you in 2013! xxx

  2. PS Have you seen this blog?
    it is fab. x

    1. Thanks for the tip Lizzie. Just spent a good 20 minutes having a look, beautiful and fab photos, simply gorgeous.x

  3. Love your honesty Fi. Just wanted to pop by as I have fallen in love with your blog and love hearing what you are up to. It was great meeting you this year and I wish you all the very best for the future, I really do hope we will be 'neighbours' again at a fair in the not to distant future. Have a lovely, lovely Christmas. Sara Jane at Home Front Vintage xx

    1. Hi Sara Jane
      Thanks for your comment, it put a big smile on my face!
      I'm so pleased we got to meet this year too and I will have my fingers crossed for you on the 12th Jan. I know you will be brilliant, believe in yourself and your wonderful creations.

      Hope to see you at a fair very soon, have a great Christmas and I'm sure we'll see each other in 2013.