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I heart Anne’s vintage china since it was used in a Rock The Frock Shoot I was involved in earlier this year. Since then her china has featured in one of my recent styled shoots – pretty and elegant – her pieces are perfect for weddings and events. I caught up with her to find out more.

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Tell me about Violet and May Vintage and what you do?

Violet and May Vintage has evolved from a yearning to sell vintage china and homewares years before it was fashionable to do so.  Eventually I left my job teaching because I was unwell and it seemed a great opportunity to get involved in something I’d always wanted to do.  I came up with the idea of hiring out vintage china and glass for events, as well as some props to make the occasion authentically vintage.  After running the idea past some (honest) friends and my husband I decided to take the plunge, Violet and |May Vintage was born and I started buying lovely pieces for the business.  I now hire out china for vintage events including weddings and have china loaned out for shop displays and photo shoots in various locations in Kent and Sussex.

What areas do you cover?

I cover Kent Surrey and Sussex as well as parts of south London and being located on the border of all three counties means that I am easily accessible for all these areas. 

How long have you been collecting Vintage China?

I’ve collected vintage china since I was in my teens.  Both my grandmothers (Violet and May) had wonderful china and glass and I was fortunate to inherit pieces from them, also my mother sold antiques and  she would occasionally present me with a box of lovely pieces she had sourced from boot markets. I’m also in my element trawling round antique markets – Ardingly is a great favourite.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is flexibility and just working with things I love, plus the fact  the business is all mine and I only answer to myself, which is great.  I also sell at an antique shop and I love going there, but meeting clients and helping them make an occasion extra special is wonderful – I love the creative element, so being able to help clients arrange china and glass or supply tea pots full of flowers is an added bonus.  It’s also lovely to hear that people really liked the china and feel that it’s made an event special.

What advice would you give when hiring vintage china for a wedding
or event?

Be organised!  Many people organise an event, or part of it, themselves and don’t appreciate that even the little things take time.  Because vintage china and glass is more liable to crack or chip than conventional china you might hire, allow time and have people ‘in charge’ of unpacking, setting out and finally packing it up again.  Secondly, if you pay to hire vintage china make sure that you set it out so that the china can be appreciated by you and your guests – for example, cups and saucers look good on top of tea plates that match or compliment them – a pile of cups and saucers and piles of plates just doesn’t show them off properly, so think about space.  Like wise, set a table with other vintage objects – vintage glass vases or tea pots for flowers, pretty tablecloths, jam and cream dishes and cake stands or serving plates to set food out on, just makes it all look wonderful, as do lovely vintage glass jugs for water or Pimms. For a lunch or dinner add in serving platters and vegetable dishes.  Photos (perhaps old photos of the bride and groom or birthday ‘person’) in vintage look frames and bunting for a party or wedding also add to the theme.  And then there’s the vintage music……and the vintage wedding dress…..or ask your party guests to arrive dressed in 30’s or 40’s outfits.  I’ll stop there.

How do I get in contact with you?

Violet and May Vintage can be contacted through our website www.violetandmayvintage.co.uk , by email at enquiries@violetandmayvintage.co.uk or by phone 07981 250 758.  We are also on Facebook.

All images are taken from my recent styled shoot, using china from Violet & May Vintage. Photography: Nataliya – Akira Photography.