2014 Winners Interview: Gwyneth Brock Of Vintage Afternoon Teas
Vintage Afternoon Teas grew out of a love of afternoon tea and vintage, simple really! We're evolving all the time, from tea parties in secret locations, to wedding and hen parties and our collaboration on Crafternoon Tea Parties, but we're still trying to exceed expectations with every single event we do.
What do you have planned for your business/yourself in the next year?
Our summers are always busy with catering and vintage china hire for weddings and hen parties, and we have those in the diary already, along with several regular fairs/events that we cater for. We're kicking off 2015 with an 80th birthday tea party in January and then who knows what might come up, I'm always surprised at how late some bookings come in, especially for special occasions!
What are your favourite vintage events?
The shame of working weekends is not to be able to go to many fairs, but I do love Vintage Village market in Stockport, and the vintage fairs at Victoria Baths in Manchester.
Why did you decide to enter the NVAs?
We'd had some regional recognition (Vintage Manchester Awards) and it spurred us on to think that we had so much support from customers and friends. It's really for my team that I wanted to enter the NVAs, they all work really hard at our events and it's nice for them to feel part of something recognised and successful.
How did you feel when you won?
To be honest I'd got so nervous, it was just a huge relief to hear our name called out and I was absolutely stunned! Still don't remember much about what I said, complete rubbish I'm sure, but I did remember to thank Jane and my mum Carys who'd come with me and are two very important members of Team Vintage Teas!
What was the most positive thing about entering the NVAs?
It feels really good to be part of a national community of Vintage enterprises. We share so much in common, we're all working incredibly hard at what we do, it's back-breaking at times working in events/catering.
What would you say to other people who are thinking about entering in 2015?
I'd say give it a go, it's worthwhile to be on the shortlist let alone be a winner. I would say that it's also really nerve-wracking and hard work getting customers, however supportive, to actually go online and vote for you, don't underestimate the time it'll take and don't be too proud to beg!
What business tip/quote would you give to anyone starting out in the vintage industry?
Make friends with other like-minded businesses, there are some really nice people out there. I'm always willing to recommend other suppliers for our events if they're good at what they do and reliable.
I think our team of staff (all casual staff other than me) and our regular customers were as excited as me about the award, so there was a great big, feelgood factor associated with winning. When the excitement had worn off we were just pleased to be able to say "award-winning" on our website and communications. It reassures future customers that they're going to get something good. We've also had some press interest, we were in the Manchester papers with the awards nomination itself, and I've since been interviewed for Living Edge magazine, Lancashire Life and The Daily Mail (all profile pieces about me and the business).
For further information on this award winning business please visit www.vintageafternoonteas.co.uk