Friday, 3 June 2016

meanwhile... still here

This year has seen us running ourselves ragged as part of meanwhile..., a collective of traders making use of an empty shop just off Scunthorpe High Street.

meanwhile... there's us lot 

...flogging furniture, selling our souls and meeting lots of interesting folk from our fair little town since January 2016. I wrote about the growth of the meanwhile... project back then [here] we were only meant to be here until March 31st...

Traders have come and they have gone, we've had pop-ups within our pop-up, we've fallen out, kissed, made up, redecorated twice, shuffled around loads and celebrated the fact we are still here! 

With some of the shuffling around, and Mr P taking voluntary redundancy from his job, we started doing more upcycling projects. As much as we hate that term, customers were loving what we did with suitcases. I made a few signs and he was selling coffee table suitcases on legs that were flying out faster than they hit the shop floor. 

Bought by a Stone Roses fan, who'll be using the case for when he goes to see them this summer. Not that we are jealous.

1920's case restored and raised into a coffee table, using tapered wooden legs. The inside was lined using a newspaper from the 1950's. 

An old HMV record player, whose innards were completely beyond repair. Thankfully, Mr Pigeon took it into his care, repaired the box and used some dansette legs to make the box usable again.
We had a few DIY sessions where tired objects are revived into becoming more permanent fixtures as shop fittings.  
That chair up there never sold at the multiple carboots we dragged it to. And so to it's new life as a hanging rail and shelf at meanwhile... It gets far more attention up there than it ever has anywhere else.
Broken wooden units have become our new shelves, as we've used their drawers in place of the previous wall tenant that was collected at the end of May. Luckily these drawers act as rails, too, allowing more showcase space for outfit combinations.

Made by Mr P's gnarly oil stained hands, this pallet platform has been so handy.It's solid, so can take a lot of weight and the gaps have had all kinds of bargains hanging from them... such bargains that they're now empty again. And those larger shelves in the back? They were decorated with maps by our very own #VintageGirlGang member, Jill of Alfie Robot Retro.
It's been a real learning curve selling from a bricks and mortar shop. Thinking that you know what the general public want is entirely different to what the public (of Scunthorpe) actually want. 

Tip: vintage clothing isn't what the general public of Scunthorpe want. 
Not many of them, anyway. We did away with lots of clothing after realising this. Especially menswear, which sold diddly squat. That surprised everyone, because there's a huge gap in the market locally for interesting or alternative menswear. Perhaps we weren't going to be the next Apple Inc after all; managing to persuade people to spend their entire salaries on things that they don't want/need... [mental note... try "ivintage"]

Scunthorpe; a small town with not much money and an unwarrented reputation for being a bit rough around the edges. This means we have to carefully consider our traders, prices and what we sell here. Some people doubted our ability to make it work... and it did work and it still is really working! No-one is more surprised about this than me. 

We've been at risk of shutting a few times, but the repeated extension on our time here has been like being skint and then finding a tenner in the back pocket of some old jeans; pure wonder and loveliness.

Our traders have included vintage and retro specialists, artists, crafters and record companies. 
The latest addition to the meanwhile... family is Emma, of Three Button Vintage:

Emma is a tall flame headed beaut of a girl from Doncaster. She usually covers the Wednesdays in the shop and is ace at handling shoplifters! Emma has a love for the 1930's and 1940's and like many of us old hoarders, is selling off lots of her own personal collections of home and fashion from eras spanning 1950's - 1980's.

Just as we welcome Emma for another month, we are about to lose one of my favourite traders; Vintage Edited. Becca is whipping off to the other side of the world for a year of exciting adventures in New Zealand. We'd love to wish her good luck, but we secretly hope she hates it and comes back as soon as possible!

Becca of Vintage Edited has become, what I'd consider to be, a good friend of mine. We've partied, nattered and ran our way into a lovely friendship and I'll be sad to see her off on her way, but can't wait for her to come and vintage with me again when she gets back!

meanwhile... there's you lot!

Some of our repeat customers and avid fans have come in to thank us for staying open, congratulate us for staying open and praying that we stay open longer. 

By repeat customers, we mean the ones who now work with us on a first-name basis or a nick-name basis (bag lady, dressing gown man and motorbike Dave) and they come every week to make sure they're supporting small local businesses. 

Our customers really make this place worth while. Hearing their life stories and memories attached to items in the shop is heartwarming and makes me grab my chest in a sweet moment of "I wish you were my grandparent"


it's been great "playing shop" and it's still great "playing shop" and it'll keep being great "playing shop" until our time here comes to an end. 
A sincere and heartwarming Thank You all for the continued support, it keeps dreams alive and home finances of real life people ticking over. 

This blog post has been fuelled by:
Patrick Wolfe's Magic Position
and peanut butter MnMs

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