Saturday, 7 November 2015


It's no secret that Cafe Indie is our favourite local venue. The place does a lot for us and we have helped them out where we can in the past.

It's been a long time since I was able to have any involvement with the place, since having Stanley I wanted to be the best Muma Pigeon I could, so all my efforts went into him for a long while. Once I'd returned to working life, I really found my mojo again and approached Indie with an idea that had been brewing for a long time...

Cafe Indie has a humongous presence on Scunthorpe High Street, with floor to ceiling windows across the whole shop front. Above these windows is a well-known-to-town-folk mosaic, striking in colours and form. These make for a striking  presence in an otherwise "cut and paste" small town high street.

Pinched courtesy of Paul Rhoades Photography
There's an odd little space to the right of this vast frontage, which is framed off, pushed out slightly, elongated in length and prominent in view. It sits behind the well-used children's area once you're inside, but is a pretty little spot that we thought needed some attention.

And so, the birth of BoxWindow.

After conversations with the cafe manager, it was clear that the space could be run by myself as an opportunity to sell stock and to create vibrant window displays that would benefit both Pigeon Vintage and Cafe Indie. With my background in Fine Art and working in various galleries, I was keen to put my visual elements training to good use again.

About 50 glass decanter stoppers hang from the front of the window from fishing wire, framing the window with an ethereal glare. I sourced these on a selling site for £5. As soon as I saw them, I knew that BoxWindow would happen just as I wanted it to. A little vintage, a little quirky, a little fresh, and little Autumn (click here for my post on Autumnal reflections).

I cleaned, painted, stocked and decorated for about two weeks in between being a Mum and working in my new role as Art Technician at a local college (I blog there, too).

The name BoxWindow is self explanatory, as is the simple design that I created.
Enzyme Design tidied it up for me and made me this window vinyl to make us look a bit more professional regards using this as a "venue" for exhibiting and displaying sale stock and artworks.

With each visit, more stock arrived. I wrote on a load of vintage mirrors "Exciting Things To Come", so people knew it was a work-in-progress.

I'd bought these Kan-U-Go cards from trader friend Jill of Alfie Robot Retro, I knew they'd feature somehow, then when all my Autumn feels started to arrive, it all came together. My first theme would be Autumn, reflecting the New Beginnings I always feel around this time.

"Is That You Autumn" was threaded with vintage buttons along the front of the window, allowing a pause for thought and a context of the design process.

Pigeon Vintage's vast stock of vintage fabrics came in handy to inject some much needed colours in the sides and background. These are all for sale.

These lovely girlies were helping me out on the final day of placing items! The cheeky ladies brightened up my day no end!

BoxWindow launched on Wednesday 23rd September 2015, as a fully "shopable" (still looking for a better word) window display.

My first sale was this reel-to-reel tape deck. Fully working with it's original bakelite sockets and switches. It was the first red one we'd ever had in stock and it didn't even last a week.

The first sale was so exciting and I celebrated with my favourite drink from Indie; a chai latte! But then a problem was posed... there was a GAP! My next visit saw me installing a few more items that were easily moved around in case further gaps appeared... which they did! We've sold mirrors, fabrics, vintage comics and have had tonnes of inquiries about the typewriter, which is pretty much the only item not for sale!

So that everyone is aware, Cafe Indie is a not-for-profit company. You can read more about them here. So that I pay my way as a resident in their beautiful building, Cafe Indie get a cut of the profits from each sale and as much publicity as I can provide by way of social media and marketing the fact that I'm present in their space. To make this clear to shoppers and customers in the cafe, I drew up this sign on a broken old suitcase of mine.

The intention with BoxWindow is to have the display themed and changing every few weeks/months, depending on my availability and stock relevance to events in the venue. In a few weeks, I'm hoping that the art students in my workplace will take over the space and curate their own show, to give the vintage shoppers a bit of a break. Keep your pigeon peepers peeled for more info on this.

In the meantime... go take a look at BoxWindow;  let me know your thoughts, shops and support not only a very small local business, but also an incredible not-for-profit company doing all the good things for our humble town of Scunthorpe!

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