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2014 Winners interview – The Vintage Suitcase Breakthrough Business

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The Vintage Suitcase holds vintage events in Derbyshire & Staffordshire. Priding themselves on bringing a hand picked eclectic mix of traders offering clothing, furniture & homewares & vintage inspired handmade items.

"The Vintage Suitcase began out of rambling conversations at what is now known as Suitcase HQ after I had my third child in December 2012. Having been a part of the vintage scene locally as trader, I still wanted to keep connected with the vintage community & a house move saw me looking more towards the market towns of Derbyshire where I knew these kind of events could be a success." Gemma Miller

What do you have planned for your business/yourself in the next year?

The plan for 2015 is to build on our already existing events at Buxton & Matlock, & then to make our Uttoxeter Racecourse events even bigger & better! More live music, more dancing & a few surprises thrown into the mix!

What are your favourite vintage events?

My favourite vintage event is the one we hold at The Dome in Buxton. It's such a hugely impressive building & it's a joy to watch everyone's face as they see the inside for the first time or realise that their voice can be heard at opposite sides of the dome!

Why did you decide to enter the NVAs?

I knew it would be great publicity for my business, & having attended the awards as a guest the previous year, I just knew I wanted to be a part of it all.

How did you feel when you won?

Genuinely shocked but it was such a good feeling to have such a fabulous endorsement, not only from my peers but from the Vintage Academy who had the difficult choice of picking the winners.I'd not planned on staying late that night but we had such an amazing evening. I think I finally got home at about 4am! Ooops!

What was the most positive thing about entering the NVAs?

All the support that we had across our social media sites, especially twitter. I co-host an hour on twitter called 'Vintage Family Hour' with my good friend Kathryn from 'KittyLou Vintage' & it coincided with the awards so I attempted to live tweet from there. When our nomination was read out & I went quiet for a few minutes there was a whole host of tweets asking what happened & the response I got when I said we had won was amazing! My phone was buzzing constantly for days afterwards!

What would you say to other people who are thinking about entering in 2015?

I know everyone says this but you really don't have anything to lose at all! Just go for it!

What business tip/quote would you give to anyone starting out in the vintage industry?

Harness the power of social media! It's free & it's a great way to promote your business & to network with like minded people.

How has being a NVA Winner affected your business/yourself?

It definitely boosted the profile of my business, it surprised me just how many people knew who we were. Plus it's a nice confidence boost too, the competition in our category was fierce as everyone was deserving of winning.

Anything Else?

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us & all of the support we had in the run up to the awards. Also, a huge thank you should also go to our traders who truly go to great lengths to bring the best in vintage to all of our lovely customers, without whom we wouldn't have any fairs in the first place! We'll see you all in 2015!

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