A Little Bit Vintage was founded in 2015, whilst owner Caroline Shires was on maternity leave. She had recently relocated back to her hometown of Southport after many years working in Leeds as a graphic designer in the retail sector. As she knew she would no longer be returning to that company after maternity leave, she took the opportunity and brave leap into starting her own business so she could spend more time with her family.
Caroline initially started by simply hiring out vintage wedding items (hence the business name), such as traditional post boxes, wishing wells, and sweet stands, to name but a few. She then decided it made sense to incorporate her design skills and so soon began offering wedding stationery – from save the dates to table plans, wedding programmes to beer mats. All of which were custom designed to suit the couple’s colours and theme. Prices were set reasonably low and the quality of her items very high, providing exceptional customer service which has seen her brand loyalty grow considerably over the years.
However, as winter approached, it was clear that wedding season was a little quieter and so Caroline saw an opportunity with the upcoming festive season. And so, letters to Santa, magic keys, and tree decorations quickly became a part of her offerings. It followed that Caroline realised she could design a range of products for a variety of different circumstances, and she had a lot of fun playing around with different ideas. From designs for weddings, hen parties, baby showers, birthdays, as well as other special occasions.
Unfortunately, everything changed for the events industry in 2020, with weddings and other events put on hold for the foreseeable future. After a few weeks of waiting and wondering, Caroline realised that she could either look for another job and give up on her small business dream that she had worked so hard for, or find a way to pivot. And that’s exactly what she did.
She started by designing would-be wedding cards for couples that had sadly postponed their big day, selling them via her Etsy shop. After they proved a massive hit, Caroline realised that greetings card could be her new niche. She designed cards for Father’s Day, pregnancy announcements, Christmas 2020, and lockdown birthdays. And the sales figures? A Little Bit Vintage went from just 28 Etsy sales in 2019, to a staggering 8000 sales in 2020!
And that’s not all. Custom requests have been flying in, which has also resulted in a stream of new products being added to the shop. From animal action cards to tooth fairy receipts, and scratch cards to wish bracelets. The opportunities are endless, and Caroline finds herself to be constantly designing and evolving to meet her customer’s needs.
For small businesses, there is still so much hope, as A Little Bit Vintage proves in the bucket load. It just takes a little bit of courage, creativity, and adaptability, to not only survive, but to truly thrive.
To find out more about A Little Bit Vintage’s current offerings, visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/alittlebitvintageevents