Modern Muse – Super Queenie Retro

 Norwich is such a hub of vintage loving people and sometimes you are aware of other vintage folk but don’t get the opportunity to get to know them – this was the case with Jessie from Super Queenie Retro  – we had chatted briefly at various fairs that she was selling at and I bought a couple of fabulous pieces from her but it was when we got together to create a new and exciting vintage magazine – Vintage Trail Norwich that we really got to know each other!!
Our styles of dressing are very different (more about that in another blog post – coming soon!!??) but Jessie is passionate about her vintage and like me believes that it should be worn as part of your everyday wardrobe. So over coffee and various meetings about our magazine I asked her a few questions about her love of vintage and her business.
Tell me about Super Queenie Retro and how it came about?

Super Queenie Retro is the second vintage business that I have had. The first being RubyRumba – A cool electro retro vintage shop on Bridewell Alley in Norwich back in 2006. This was loads of fun, planning, setting up and running, plus I lived above the shop too. I was a great party time in my life. But sadly, it only lasted 2 years before I had to change plans. I think it was always going to be a struggle as it was set it up on the smallest of budgets without any contingency.

Second time around, with a big gap for growing up a little, moving away from Norwich and having a baby, I still had lots of vintage clothing knocking around and needed a way of earning an income whilst staying at home being a mum. I first tried making things to sell on Etsy under Super Queenie, but I found it impossible to make money from crafts. I then tried selling a few bits of vintage on, and low and behold they sold really well and Super Queenie Retro sort of happened – 3 years later it’s a full-time job so it paid off in the end!

What got you into wearing vintage?

I don’t really remember exactly. I have always loved playing with clothes. From a young age my sister and I had a large dressing up box and t it was made up of blue and silver flapper dresses and 70s scarfs and hats, so maybe that’s where it started from. I love shopping, and shopping in charity shops is cheaper than the high street. Then you have a crazy selection of all sorts pf clothing and it gets you being inventive and creative. I realised I loved vintage when I worked for a beautiful vintage boutique in Birmingham and I could pick dresses to wear as uniform. Heaven.

Why do you love vintage and what is you favourite item you own?

What I love changes all the time. That’s one of the perks of having your own vintage business you get to wear and swap. I do have a few boxes of dresses and various bits that I’m putting aside. Things that are not my size but I just can’t part with. Either just to get out and look at from time to time or to pass down to my daughter. I’d hate it if one day she asked what I did/do and I didn’t have any vintage to show her. I treasure prints, and fabrics.

How would you describe your style and what do you love to wear?

My style is a mix of minimalist vintage or boho vintage. I wear a lot of stripes, if it’s vintage stripes even better. I love 60s and 70’s. A line or loose-fitting shift dresses and pockets on dresses is a must and I always go for a vintage handbag over a modern one.

What advise would you give to someone just starting out wearing vintage?

I must admit I love opening my wardrobe and seeing it stuffed full of colour, expression and fun. But it’s ok not to wear it all the time, it doesn’t have to be a big thing, you don’t have to go around telling everyone ‘Its vintage’. You need to feel comfortable wearing it, but that goes for everything you wear really. Try finding alternatives to modern trends, or start with accessories. Good luck!

Super Queenie Retro can be found popping up at various fairs in and around Norwich – keep a check on her Facebook page to find out where you can find her. Or you can shop on-line at her Etsy shop here.


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