LIVING THE VINTAGE LIFESTYLE
Lydia Jones, founder of Viva Soul London, talks about her inspiration and love for all things vintage.
What set you on the path of your chosen career?
I’ve always been an old soul when it comes to my taste in music, fashion, arts and design. Wearing vintage from as young as my teens allowed me to create a style for myself that I wasn’t seeing anywhere else. However, the bargain world of vintage seems to be fast depleting. With prices going up, people are being discouraged to wear vintage for everyday use.
I started Viva Soul London a year ago with the desire to give those interested in fashion and design the opportunity to own a small piece of history, without paying a fortune for it. By trade I’m a graphic designer, so within the Viva Soul London profile I am creating my own original artwork and craft pieces, inspired by bygone times.
What can a client expect from visiting your shop?
A customer once described Viva Soul London as providing a “vintage lifestyle”. Stepping into the pop-up, you’ll be presented with pieces for the home as well as your wardrobe. Vintage items are unique, sustainable and often better made than the modern alternatives. Whether you’re looking for a gift for yourself or for someone else, you’ll find a team at Viva Soul London who know and love their products, and will strive to find the perfect pieces for you.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
All over! I source my stock from anywhere and everywhere, and am constantly learning and being inspired as I go. I’m also inspired by those around me; family members provide stories from the past, and friends’ enthusiasm is always a huge encouragement. I am part of a lovely group of fellow vintage traders who choose to support each other rather than be competitive. I set up a Facebook group for us where we share tips, advice and have a good giggle about what life is like as a seller of vintage!
What is the most enjoyable part of what you do?
The moment a customer steps out of the changing room is indescribable. To watch a piece come to life and be loved by a new owner is the best part for me. I also get a real buzz when customers send me photos of themselves wearing or using the pieces they’ve found with us.
What challenges are you most looking forward to?
I love the challenge of finding pieces for people. Often customers come in with specific requests, and the joy of vintage is that you can’t simply pick a ready-made, mass-produced item off the shelf. This can sometimes take time but makes it even more special when a match is made.
As with all small businesses, there is always the challenge of getting people in through the doors. Through local promotion and creating a friendly environment, I hope to overcome this! We will also be hosting a ‘Christmas Bash’ on the evening of 7th December, and we’re looking forward to welcoming both new and returning customers.
Where do you see the business in the future and what are your plans?
In the New Year, I will be looking to do more pop-ups, with the aim of having my own permanent shop one day. In the meantime, I will carry on selling through my website, through Not On The High Street and at vintage events.
Viva Soul London – Vintage Pop-Up
JP Art Gallery, 18 Battersea Rise
London SW11 1EE
20th October – 21st December 2017
Open seven days a week