Hester Fleming Vintage

Sourcing Vintage Treasures for the Modern Woman

Vintage Jewellery

Vintage Style Seeker: Lily, founder of @wear_jewellery

Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Style SeekerHester Fleming
Lily.jpg

This week, I am so excited to bring you an interview with Lily from the sophisticated, fun and quirky @wear_jewellery instagram account. I met Lily a few years ago, pouring over 20s and 30s jewellery at the monthly Wentworth Park, Antiques and Collectables Fair. We’ve been really good friends ever since. Here are her thoughts on vintage jewellery.

What sparked your interest in Vintage Jewellery?

I’ve always loved jewellery - all jewellery. Re-organising my mother’s jewellery box was a major hobby when I was little. My love of vintage jewellery, in particular, was first sparked by wandering around ‘The Vic’. A large Antiques and Vintage shop, “The Victory’, is an old converted theatre in Blackheath, at the top of Blue Mountains outside Sydney. We have a farm nearby and would often stop at Blackheath to get food. I would always ask to go and look at ‘The Vic’ and escape the fruit and veg run. I felt very grown-up being allowed to look around by myself when I was around 10.
Then, as now, there was such variety. Expensive diamond rings to dream about, blacker than black jet mourning jewellery, cheerful murano glass beads and enamelled butterflies in amongst the homewares, clothes and books. My father bought me my first vintage brooch from The Vic in 1995. A little retro kiwi with a mother of pearl tummy. A Kiwi bird - not a Kiwi fruit! I still treasure it.
The spark of interest blazed to life when I started travelling overseas more during university. On one trip I was travelling alone visiting friends in different cities. I found the delightful Toma, from The Antiques Diva who arranged some jewellery based tours for me. I learnt so much. I’m hooked now...there is no return.

How often will you wear a piece of vintage jewellery?

Usually 2-3 times a week easily. However, now I’m on maternity leave and as my 9 month old enjoys chewing and pulling my jewellery, it’s down to about once a week!

Do you presently have a favourite piece?

Tough question...I am enjoying a silver tone brooch I bought just last weekend. It’s a Sarah Coventry piece called ‘Mr Seagull’ and it’s easy to pop on with a casual look. It’s also robust and childproof.

Do you have a particular vintage market you like to visit regularly?

Price wise, for accessible pieces, I enjoy the Collectables and Antique Market, on monthly at Wentworth Park in Sydney, local rotary markets and Rozelle Market. I always enjoy the two big fairs held in Sydney as well - The Sydney Fair and the Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association Fair.
If I could teleport myself across the world, I would happy visit Les Puces in Paris most weekends.

Is there any particular style of vintage jewellery you’re currently seeking?

I like to be able to wear my purchases often - so actual ‘wearability’ of styles is important to me. I have a real love of green and brown necklaces - green Peking glass, green glass beads, jade, brown and autumn tone bakelite - they are my thing. I’m also keen to do another brooch to necklace conversion - maybe a crescent moon??

It’s difficult to look for ‘the one’ with vintage jewellery the same way you think “I need some new jeans - I’ll go buy some”. When shopping for vintage, you just don’t know what you will find on any given day. I’m always seeking good quality pieces that I love - whatever the style.

Thank you so much Lily, for taking the time to answer my questions about your love of vintage jewellery. I think we should definitely organise a vintage seeking trip to Paris and New York soon! If you’re reading this interview and you’re not following Lily on instagram, you can find her here. I highly recommend you do. Enjoy!

Introducing... The Vintage Clip On Earrings Collection

Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Shopping Tips, Vintage AccessoriesHester Fleming

If you follow me on social media (instagram & facebook), I’ve been sharing a few insights into popular vintage jewellery and accessories choices. Vintage clip on earrings are popular at the moment. I had several customers at my last pop up vintage event, request vintage clips specifically. Here are my new favourite finds for July/August. You can check out my full collection here.

Vintage 1950s. Signed, Jomaz. Earrings $39.00

Vintage 1950s. Signed, Jomaz. Earrings $39.00

Vintage Weiss, 1950s. Austrian Crystal Clip Ons. $75

Vintage Weiss, 1950s. Austrian Crystal Clip Ons. $75

Vintage Weiss, 1950s. Austrian Crystal $75.00

Vintage Weiss, 1950s. Austrian Crystal $75.00

Circa 1960s. Signed DeMario NY. $49.00

Circa 1960s. Signed DeMario NY. $49.00

Vintage Kramer. Circa 1960s. $65.00

Vintage Kramer. Circa 1960s. $65.00

Why I wrote, "How to Buy Vintage Jewellery and Accessories"

Vintage Markets, Vintage Shopping Tips, TravelHester Fleming
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It was my last summer in NYC. Trading conditions at fairs such as the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show and flea markets, such as the Artist and Fleas in Brooklyn, were tough! It was a combination of big competition and not enough foot traffic going through for the smaller trader. I understand that now, but in 2016, I really thought I’d gone wrong somewhere. I was completely torn about what direction to go in, as I didn’t want to just stop and give up.

Along the way, I had at the back of my mind, the idea to write an e-book about vintage jewellery and accessories, to help boost traffic to my website. I had noticed two significant factors that contributed to this way forward. The first was, a lot of people asked me how I bought my collections of vintage jewellery and accessories. The second was, online trade was still positive at that time, and I saw a good opportunity to channel more energy in that direction. Then, to help kick start this project I joined Lucy Shahjahan’s Momentum Circle program that summer.

Every week, for approximately 8 weeks, I met up with Lucy and three other beautiful New Yorkers who all had interesting projects on the go, but were stuck in various ways. Lucy worked rigorously with all four of us, to break through the various blocks, such as internal beliefs, that were slowing down our way forward. She also held us accountable to what we’d planned to achieve during the time between meetings.

Touching base every week and working with Lucy was a commitment that led me to a finished e-book product, which I promoted through my email newsletter subscribers and social media. I sold a few copies, but somehow all that work seemed to go a bit flat. So then, I looked into publishing my ebook on the Amazon platform. As my book was a PDF, every time I converted it to the Amazon format, it looked terrible. It didn’t feel right so I never officially published it on Amazon.

At that stage, my husband, daughter and I had packed up our life in New York and moved to Sydney. It was a really hot summer that year and I remember going through a printed version of my e-book at my desk, wondering what to do next. It still felt like there was more life in it! I did a quick google search for publishing companies who accepted author manuscripts direct. As a result I found Austin Macauley, based in London. I’d spent five years living in London from 2007 to 2011, and I felt comfortable with the prospect of a British publishing company, taking on my book! And… much to my surprise, they did.

It was a long production process, but completely worth it when I look at the number of platforms my book is now available to purchase worldwide. These platforms include; Barnes and Noble, Waterstones, Foyles, The Telegraph, Angus and Robertson, Booktopia, The Book Depository, Amazon etc etc. Thank you again Austin Macauley and to everyone who continues to support my creative endeavours! It’s a dream come true.

I have a limited amount of signed paperbacks available for sale through my website. $16 plus $4 postage and handling. Click here to find out more and purchase your copy.

Why Vintage?

Vintage Accessories, Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Markets, Vintage Shopping TipsHester Fleming

Yesterday, after dropping off my five year old at school, I listened to a Melissa Ambrosini’s podcast interview with Samantha Wills. A wonderful Australian entrepreneur who took her jewellery business from the kitchen table to global domination. I really appreciated her 12 year overnight success story and down to earth philosophy when it comes to developing a strong brand. Long term followers of my passion project and business, Hester Fleming Vintage, will have definitely picked up on the ‘slow burn’ aspect of my approach to building this brand. I’m sure many of you have questioned why have I chosen this approach? Why vintage? And why do I keep doing this?

I started buying vintage jewellery seriously in London 2010, after the global financial market tanked and I was let go from my job in publishing. What I didn’t anticipate when I launched my business at Gray’s Antique Market in Mayfair and a very basic WIX e-commerce site, was the amount of personal growth you go through when embarking on the entrepreneur journey.

Like any business founder, I’ve seriously questioned whether vintage jewellery and accessories is the right product for me to sell. Simply put, the fast fashion movement upsets me. While I am no stranger to shopping at Zara or H&M, the environmental cost (including labour and production) is enormous. Plus, the quality of materials used, isn’t the best.

When you think about it, how many clothes or accessories you own, do you actually wear regularly? And, would you pass them onto an Op shop or friend after being worn a few times? Pieces of jewellery in particular, produced throughout the 20th century are of amazing quality and design, still standing strong today. Building a collection of authentic 20th century vintage pieces you love is a wonderful personal asset, that will retain its value.

The other aspect of vintage I love is the design. The explosion of creative innovation throughout the 20th century is inspired. At present, I’m concentrating on sourcing mid century Modernist pieces, Mod jewellery from the 60s, vintage zodiac designs (tricky to find) and large sculptural pendents from the 70s by iconic costume jewellers such as Trfiari and Napier. Eventually, I’d love to produce an ethical high quality collection of pieces inspired by the 20th century. These pieces will aim to hold the test of time and forever enrich your contemporary style. For now, watch this space. Also, look out for my book, soon to be published, How to Buy Vintage Jewellery and Accessories, including a comprehensive list of places to source great costume jewellery in the style capital of the world, New York. Hopefully, more editions about Sydney/Melbourne, London, Paris and Amsterdam to come! Below are some stunning examples of 60s and 70s jewelry design. If you’re keen to purchase, or you would like to take a closer look, contact me here. Enjoy!

1970s Trifari Pendent $75.00

1970s Trifari Pendent $75.00

1960s Goldtone Necklet $75.00

1960s Goldtone Necklet $75.00

1960s Confetti Lucite Hinged Bangle $75.00

1960s Confetti Lucite Hinged Bangle $75.00









Inspiration: Contemporary seasonal fashion to wear with vintage jewellery.

Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Shopping TipsHester Fleming

When I'm out shopping for smart casual or evening wear, I always have the intention to pair with my collection of vintage jewellery and/or accessories. Sometimes, it's hit and miss. Most of the time though, I can find something that works. I've found over the last two years, the Australian fashion aesthetic, naturally compliments a lot of the jewellery styles produced throughout the 20th century.  Here are a few of my favourite pieces in this season's collection from Witchery, a 'go to' for a lot of my wardrobe staples at the moment! 

Witchery, Milano Belt Back Knit, $129

Pair with this striking mid century 'Matisse' Copper and Enamel Necklace (matching earrings available too) $175.00 

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Witchery, Silk Tie Top, $199

Compliment with this lovely 1950s vintage sterling silver and yellow enamel butterfly pin, $120.  

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Witchery, Tinsley Silk Blouse, $199.95

I'd love to accessorize this beautiful silk blouse with this stunning Art Deco marcasite and cut glass necklace, $240. 

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Button Trench Coat, $399.95

You can never go wrong with the classic trench coat and I'm suggesting from my current collection, this 1950s vintage Austrian crystal pin by NY designer Albert Weiss. $75.00.

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Witchery, Textured Knit, $119.95

Pair with this flashy, unapologetic costume bracelet from the 1930s. $120. 

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If you would like any more information about these pieces of vintage jewellery, please send an enquiry to hello@hesterflemingvintage.com. I completely understand those who would like to try before you buy. You can set up an appointment to view any piece of jewellery you like via email too.  Witchery clothing images are courtesy of Witchery.com.au. This is not a sponsored post. I just really love their idea of fashion.