Digger: Please tell us something of your background and the
background to Retrodec Helen.
Helen: I studied in Interior Design in Glasgow and graduated
at 19 with a 1st Class BSc Hons in Interior Design, with
distinction, and won the university award for Interior Design.
I started my career in Glasgow and then went on to work for
some of Londonís top design companies designing for some quite
prestigious clients. Eventually I relocated to Ross-on-Wye in
beautiful Herefordshire and started my own interior design
business in 2004. But I always favoured traditional designs
over minimalist, which suited working in Herefordshire with
its many picturesque towns, old buildings, barn conversions
etc. I always loved Vintage and Retro and felt I was living in
the wrong era. Whilst pregnant with my second child I decided
to change the business to do what I truly loved. All things
vintage and retro!
Digger: What is it about Retro and Vintage that you are so
Helen: I just love old stuff! - Especially David from Retro
Sellers ha ha!
Can you tell us more about the products and services
you are offering there?
Helen: There are 2 sides to what I do. One is sourcing
fabulous vintage finds, furniture, home wares etc. I am
particularly interested in 1950s design, furniture, humour
etc. I also run a website
aimed at vintage revivalists, Rockabillys and general retro
lovers, selling all sorts of things from jewellery, toys,
gifts, home wares, clothing, and retro skincare and more.
Digger: Itís an eclectic mix of Pinup, Rockabilly, Kitsch and
so on. What are the most popular items and styles?
Helen: The most popular
items are the large range of Day of the Dead sugar skulls
Ė many of which are unique to Retrodec.
Digger: The Internet must be key to you and the business with
your website, presence on Twitter, Facebook and so on and with
Ďrunningí a young family. Do you still manage to attend
vintage and retro fairs and get a chance to meet people?
Helen: The internet is a key part of the business as we sell
mostly through our online store and Ebay
We also connect with many of our customers, British and
International, through Facebook,
where we regularly have competitions and giveaways and like to
share retro humour. We run a regular Fan of the Week feature
where people send in photos of themselves with their
purchases. This part of the business is brilliant for fitting
in with a young family, as most people tend to be on Facebook
when the kiddies are in bed! We attend vintage events when
possible but I donít get to participate in fairs as often as I
would like to as my youngest is only 18 months old. However,
part of my plan for the future is to get a retro camper van,
do it up and spend the summers with the children going around
the country to the various vintage fairs, revivals, events
Digger: Why do you think that generally all kinds of retro,
vintage and nostalgia is so increasingly popular with so many
people these days?
Helen: There is a massive vintage revival happening at the
moment. Where a fascination and love of vintage and retro has
filtered through to high street stores and mainstream fashion,
interior design and even music.
Digger: Who are your 'typical' customers, where are they
coming from and what customer feedback/comments do you get?
Helen: We have a huge and
varied range of customers from all over the world, and we ship
hundreds of giant sugar skulls to Australia. Our customers
range from vintage enthusiasts, Rockabilly fans, retro lovers,
nostalgic older people, tattoo fans, and all sorts!
Digger: What would you say is special about the Retrodec
Helen: I think that we offer a very personal customer
experience at Retrodec and stay friends with many of our
customers who often contact us on Facebook with pictures of
things they think we might like, or to share retro jokes. We
do get some strange requests but always try to do our best to
help out a customer, and often we sell custom orders. We also
deal with individual artists and craftspeople from all over
the world to bring unique and exciting products that you wonít
find anywhere else in the UK.
Digger: And what are the best and most enjoyable aspects for
you of running Retrodec?
Helen: The most enjoyable
aspect of the business is definitely meeting hundreds of new
and fascinating people, from our relationships with suppliers,
craftspeople and artists to all our amazing and fabulous
Digger: What are your plans for Retrodec in the future Helen?
Helen: Well, apart from the camper van Ė I am currently
designing and sourcing new products. We have some quite big
plans for Retrodec but itís quite hush-hush right now ;) Check
out our new Blog for updates:
and say hello on
Retrodec - The Future Is Vintage
Pinup, Vintage, Lifestyle,
Rockabilly, Interiors, Retro, Toys, Gifts, Jewellery,
The Home of Retrodec, Vintage, Retro and Rockabilly
Lifestyle, Interiors, Gifts, Collectibles, Toys, Jewellery
and Retro Beauty at