With all the frantic rushing around getting ready for Christmas, I find it calming to mentally package up the current year before starting with the new. What began as a routine admin task to tidy up my blog, ended up being the perfect way to reflect on 2018…
A couple of orange creams rattling around in the Quality Street tin signalled that Christmas 2017 was definitely over. I opened the doors to my storage space and became lost in a melting pot of vintage paraphernalia. It was a bit overwhelming if I’m honest and my mind felt as confused as the stock I was selling. January quickly rolled into February and I was excited to tag along with my husband’s work trip to Melbourne. With Craig at work and my friends and family multiple time zones away I searched for activities to do in this vibrant city. Little did I know that picking up a free guidebook in a hotel reception would change the direction of my business and give me the focus that my mind was craving. I noticed a small listing for the Sustainable Living Festival and went along to a discussion panel about the issues of fashion and textile waste called ‘Wardrobe Crisis’. This was the catalyst that sparked my enthusiasm for sustainable fashion and changed my business to purely selling vintage fabric. Here is a summary of my year via my blog…
February: Whilst in Melbourne, I booked onto an upcycling shirt workshop, part of the Sustainable Living Festival. I wanted to learn some new re-fashioning techniques. It gave me the opportunity to meet people who live in this very cool city and pick up sight seeing tips. ‘Men’s shirts are an amazing source of fabric’ says our teacher for the evening, Gaye Naismith.
April: I was thrilled to have my first article published in the award winning Pebble Magazine. Click the photo to read my review of the ‘Wardrobe Crisis’ panel from the Sustainable Living Festival. Plus handy tips on ‘5 quick ways to help reduce fast fashion and textile waste’. From buying vintage and second hand to repairing your clothes.
Co-inciding with Fashion Revolution week, April brought the launch of the ‘Fashioned from Nature’ exhibition at the V&A in London. I attended a lecture given by it’s curator Edwina Ehrman and wrote a summary of her insights on my blog. I heartily recommend visiting the exhibition before it closes on 27 January.
During the summer I launched two sewing clubs in East London; The Bow Sewing Bee and Fast Fashion Therapy, a collaboration with Sustainable Textiles graduate Eleanor Tull. It has been amazing meeting so many people. Sharing sewing skills and of course the best places to shop, eat and drink in East London! Thanks to Mae+Harvey, Snap Store and The Create Place for providing an affordable space to sew.
September was a depart from vintage fabrics as I embraced my inner history geek. I volunteered for the Woman’s Hall Suffragette project at the Tower Hamlets Local History and Archives. It was also the launch of Kate Thompson’s book, The Stepney Doorstep Society. I helped Kate research her book and met amazing women who had lived through incredible times.
October was the launch of Olive Road London as you know it now. I created a pop up vintage fabric shop at the Knitting & Stitching Show with help from my friend Clare at Frou Frou Days. It was exhausting in an exciting way and reassuring to receive such a positive response from everyone who visited. Thanks if you came to say hello and bought vintage fabric and buttons.
December arrives with a wave of nostalgia. Unwrapping the Christmas decorations, remembering the story of each one as it is hung on the tree. I wrote about the Christmas of my childhood and my Nana Mary’s front room looking more like Santa’s grotto than a log cabin in Lapland. Click to read a short story about the place dear to my heart that I named my vintage fabric shop after.
Thank you for all of your support this past year. I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas, a fun and relaxing break and are looking forward to the year ahead. Enjoy new years eve! I’ll be back in touch early next year with some beautiful vintage fabrics for sale. Above is a sneaky peak of the first release of the year: Winter Florals
Happy New Year! Sarah x