In Retrospect – opening a vintage business

In Retrospect

In Retrospect
In Retrospect is a new vintage homewares and gift shop in Victoria Park, Perth which opened in July 2014. We talk to Claire, the owner of In Retrospect about opening her business.


Claire, was the opening of In Retrospect a long time in the planning?

Opening the shop was a relatively new idea. Early last year I finished up working at the airport and realised I needed a new career and wanted to be my own boss. Having worked in retail and hospitality for years and knowing that customer service is my forte, I decided to combine my love of shopping and all things vintage and thus ‘In Retrospect’ was born.
With the help of my family and friends I was able to get the shop up and running fairly quickly and I’ve been open for over seven months now. I still love hunting for stock and I’m really enjoying watching the shop evolve so I’m so glad I took the leap and opened the store.

In Retrospect
What made you decide to open a store in the business of vintage, retro & antiques?
Claire: I’ve always had an interest in vintage furnishings.
My parent’s love of antiques meant I grew up surrounded by antique and vintage furniture. And we couldn’t go away on a family holiday without visiting every antique store along the way, so I suspect this is where I developed my interest.
I love the fact that each piece has at some point been a treasured part of someone’s life or an item that has stood the test of time. They’re quirky pieces that you won’t find in everyone’s home.

In Retrospect
Do you specialize or favour a particular era ?
Claire:  I don’t have a favourite era as such.
I do have a lot of early and mid-century china tea sets, trio’s and tea ware but I also have antique chairs from the early 1900’s, coloured glass from the 50’s, earrings from the 80’s, fabrics and wallpaper from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and a huge range of other items from kitchenware to decor to furniture from each era and from around the world. I just love colourful and funky things.
My mantra is, ‘I won’t stock anything in my store that I wouldn’t love to have in my own home.

In Retrospect
Does your store sell other items beside vintage & retro?
Claire:  We sell up cycled Australian wood pieces such as lamp bases made from Australian farm fence posts, that are hand crafted in Busselton, Western Australia along with trinket boxes and cheese platters.
Terrariums from Little Greenscapes – various sizes, plants and jars are available. ‘Geese up the Wall’ from Zwei and Co, made in Margaret River in a range of funky colours.

In Retrospect
Do you offer any special services in store?
Claire: We make vintage fabric cushion covers and wall art to order, using authentic vintage and retro inspired fabrics from around the World. We also make wall art from authentic vintage Italian wallpaper. I love helping people with design ideas for a room and have helped out with some furniture makeovers.
One of our customers had a beautiful mid-century lamp that had been passed down to him from his grandmother. The lampshade was in need of some TLC so we re-covered it for him in a vibrant red fabric and then made some vintage fabric cushions to match.
The lamp got a new lease on life and his lounge room now has the retro vibe he was looking for.  More recently we’ve started providing a hire service and can provide all the pieces required for a ‘High Tea’.

In Retrospect
With a long career in hospitality & retail, are there things you didn’t expect as an owner of your own store?
Claire: I definitely underestimated the amount of administration work involved in owning my own store. I much prefer to be out hunting for a bargain than stuck behind a desk doing paperwork.
I also didn’t expect the stress of worrying about how to get people through the door. I’m still learning the art of social media marketing and have been actively working on different avenues of improving sales. Through social media I’ve managed to gain interest in the store from interstate and overseas so am very excited to soon be launching an online store.

In Retrospect
What do you think makes your business stand out from others?
Claire:  I am always on the hunt for vintage and retro items and go to great lengths travelling around the metropolitan area and interstate to find unique stand out pieces for the store.
To make it easier for customers to find décor items to fit a particular colour scheme, I’ve colour coded the store and am always happy to make cushions and wall art to order to match any scheme.
And I pride myself on having the only store of its kind in the local area.

In Retrospect
Who or what influences your decorating style?
Claire: Other than my parent’s love of vintage furniture, I can’t really say what influences my decorating style. I just love colourful and quirky items. If I see something I like, I buy it.
I do get inspiration from old movies, home decor magazines and mid-century magazines I’ve bought online or picked up from vintage stores. And Google images are always a good source of inspiration.

In Retrospect

In Retrospect
Can you tell us some of your favourite Australian Vintage Shops ?
Claire: There are so many great vintage stores, but to name a few;
‘Annie’s Vintage Wonderland’ in Guildford, Perth
‘Maine Home Garden Design, Maylands, Perth WA
‘Vintage Emporium’ in Maylands, Perth WA
‘Retro Spectrum’ in Petersham, Sydney NSW
And I haven’t had the chance to visit there yet, but I love the store name ‘Nanna Had That’ in Newcastle.

In Retrospective

What do you think will be popular vintage items in interiors for the new coming season?
Claire: I believe runway fashions are a good indication of what décor colours will be trending in the coming seasons. This runway season there was a definite flash back to the 70’s with shades of orange, deep green, caramels, purples and burgundy and can you believe it, patchwork and paisley look to be making a come back too.
As well as oversized and mismatched bold coloured furniture and lamps.
A quick and easy way to follow trend and update any room with this seasons colours on a budget is with cushions and wall décor. You can check out our range of vintage and retro-inspired fabrics on our Facebook page.

In Retrospect

In Retrospect

239 Albany Highway, Victoria Park. WA

Wednesday – Thursday 9:30am – 5:30pm
Friday 9:30 – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 11am – 3pm


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