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Meet The 2013 Winners: Your Vintage Life, Best Online Shop – Homeware

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We are Kate and Adam Beavis and together we run Your Vintage LIfe. We are an online retailer selling vintage and retro fashion, furniture and homewares, based in Bedfordshire. We launched the website in 2010 but have been selling on and off since 2000. As well as the shop, we write a daily blog called Our Vintage Life, are the editors of Vintage Bedford and MK and Kate co-runs Vintage Academy. Kate's book "Style your modern vintage home" was published in 2013 and is now in the top 50 Interior Design books on Amazon.

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

We have a lot planned for next with a new venture up our sleeves. Our focus for the website is to concentrate more on mid century furniture, move into bigger business premises and sell, sell, sell!

What are your favourite vintage events?

We love the Vintage Home Show and Furniture Flea in particular where we sell our furniture and retro homewares to like minded customers. We also sell at our local vintage festival, Twinwood each year which is must in our summer calendar.

Why did you decide to enter the NVAs?

We thought it was a great opportunity to get our name out there but didn't really think we would win. We have worked so hard to build up the shop, the blog and the brand so thought it would be a great chance (if we won) to get some recognition for it.

How did you feel when you won?

A little giddy! Kate tried to make a speech but was, for one, speechless!

Has anything changed since you won; has it helped your business to grow?

It has been great to be able to describe ourselves as "award winning"! Seriously, it has given us more press attention and kudos with the publishers!

What was the most positive thing about entering the NVAs?

More social media followers, higher footfall to the shop..but most of all a great opportunity to meet new people and catch up with other business owners at the event itself.

Were there any downsides?

There were none really (...except Kate's speech!)

What would you say to other people who are thinking about entering in 2014?

Go for it! There's nothing to lose and you get loads of exposure even if you don't get shortlisted.

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

Create a website, even if you only sell at fairs. Branding is key and without a site to direct your customers to, you can get lost in the crowd. Choose a DIY site which can be as cheap as £3 a month!

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