Hester Fleming Vintage

Sourcing Vintage Treasures for the Modern Woman

Vintage Markets

Vintage Style Seeker

Vintage Shopping Tips, Vintage Markets, Vintage JewelleryHester Fleming

Since launching my book, How to Buy Vintage Jewellery and Accessories, I’ve had a surge of new interest here, which has been great. With my eldest at school and my youngest in a good napping routine, I now have a bit more time to pour into this blog.

Every Tuesday, I’m aiming to publish an interview with a fellow vintage enthusiast. Doesn’t matter what type of vintage, could be music, could be furniture, could be fashion. Anything older than twenty years is good! This week, given I haven’t had time to look for someone to interview, I thought I’d introduce myself again and talk about my background.

Where did I grew up and who are my family?

I grew up in Melbourne, Australia. I have two younger siblings. A sister who’s a Chef and a brother who’s an Architect. My mum is a retired antique jewellery dealer and my dad, a retired scientist. I have an Arts Degree from Monash University and my professional working background is in Marketing. After university, I started off buying media at an advertising agency and then I moved into client side marketing and in-house creative account management.

What took me to London?

Melbourne was a good place to grow up and start my career, but at 25, I felt like there had to be more. So I packed up and bought a one way ticket to London. Once I arrived in February 2007, I finally felt like my life had lift off. I was completely taken with the energetic, cosmopolitan nature of London. Everyone was so young (or so it seemed). I made friends quickly. I found a job quickly. Finding somewhere permanent to live however, took a while. I lived in a great share house in Balham, South London, but the dreadful issue of mould eventually pushed me in the direction of moving in with my now husband!

What aspects of London did I enjoy the most?

I loved the ability to visit Europe on a whim. It seemed amazing to be so close to some of the greatest cities of the world, Paris, Rome etc etc.. I also really enjoyed Saturdays in London. Catching up with friends, browsing all the glorious food available at Borough Market, shopping in Covent Garden or exploring the antique shops in Camden Passage, Islington.

What lead me to starting my own vintage jewellery and accessories business?

Back in 2010, Vintage seemed to be turning into a buzz word of its own. I could see with the high turn over of new collection jewellery and accessories, it was a very competitive marketplace. So, given my family background in the antiques trade and understanding a little about how the trade works, I knew there was an opportunity to source vintage pieces. Mostly from the big antique flea events that happened around the UK. At that stage, I had a few years of working in b2b digital and print publishing, so I also had a few skills under my belt, to help build my own webshop.

To reach more customers, I also rented a showcase at Grays Antique Market Mews in Mayfair. However, with the global financial crisis in full swing, keeping that showcase was too expensive. So, I traded solely online, until I moved to New York and participated in a few of the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Shows and the Brooklyn Artist and Flea market in Williamsburg.

Today, I”m based in Sydney, Australia. I trade online and at vintage pop up events. You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram. You can also learn about how to source beautiful pieces of vintage jewellery and accessories, from my newly published book, How to Buy Vintage Jewellery and Accessories, available here.

Where would I like my vintage business to go?

I see such a great opportunity to keep showing everyone how well crafted pieces of the 20th century can fit so well into our lifestyle today. We also have a responsibility to help limit landfill. We’ve produced so much stuff over the years, it’s time to take stock! I’d also like to write more books about sourcing vintage in London, Paris, Melbourne and Sydney. Watch this space.

A Vintage Seekers Survival Guide

Vintage Markets, Vintage Shopping TipsHester Fleming
Vinage Seeking Blog Post.jpg

On the first Sunday of each calendar month, approximately 100 dealers from all over Australia, set up at the Sydney Antique and Collectables Fair, Wentworth Park Function Centre, Glebe. General admission is $6. Doors open at 9am and close at 3pm. Here are my top tips to make the most of this event, and others that you may attend.

1. Make sure you bring cash. Some dealers have an eftpos machine or a square reader, however, they don't always work.  You can withdraw cash from the event organiser but there is a fee on top of this withdrawal. My suggestion is to plan to visit an ATM before you arrive, to avoid any ounce of disappointment. 

2. Bring some nibbles and a bottle of water.  While there's a cafe on site which serves plenty of coffee and tea, a few nuts or a museli bar is a sure way too keep your mind sharp when you're working your way through the enormous range of collectables.

3. Wear comfortable shoes. There's lots to see and practically no where to sit, other than the cafe on site, which is always busy. 

3. Arrive early. It's a well known fact, trade starts as soon as the doors open.  For the best pieces of the day, it's first in, best dressed.

4. Be prepared to seriously rummage. Some dealers have mountains of estate lots on tables, waiting to be picked through. It's not glamorous, but there are definitely diamonds in the rough to be found. Be patient. 

5. Look at the piece of interest thoroughly. Think about the weight, the condition and whether all the stones are there, or if you see any cracks. Consider whether any repair work needs to be done and if you have the extra resources available to fix the piece properly.   

6. Ask the dealer politely for the best price they can offer.  Nine times out of ten, dealers won't be outrageous with their pricing. Often their first price is their best price. However, if you're buying a few pieces from a collection, then you can expect a reasonable discount. 

7. Regularly attend the Sydney Antiques and Collectables Fair. There's nothing better than developing a relationship with the dealers who trade at these shows. Let them know what you're interested in and ask a few questions about their collection. A touch of loyalty goes a long way.   

Good Luck. 


Upcoming Vintage Market Dates to Note!

Vintage Markets, Vintage Shopping TipsHester Fleming
Round She Goes.jpg

Thank you to everyone who came to visit me at the Round She Goes, May event. It was a fantastic day and a tremendous success!! At this stage I won't be popping up at any more 2018 markets. I'll be focusing on my book launch, sourcing more beautiful pieces and product development. I should be popping up again mid 2019.  However, for now, here's a list of my favourite markets coming up! Winter vintage shopping in Australia is fantastic. Pieces have been sourced by traders from all over the world and I always find this a great time of year to buy. I highly recommend you go to at least one.

Sydney
Save the date: 29th July
Rock n Roll & Alternative Market
Manning House, Camperdown
Click here for more details.

Save the dateSaturday 18th of August
Round She Goes
Marrickville Town Hall.
Click here for more details.

Melbourne:
Save the date: Sunday 12th August
Round She Goes
Coburg Town Hall, Coburg.
Click here for more details.

Canberra:
Save the date: Sunday 7th October
360 Fashion Market
Kingston Foreshore, Canberra
Click here for more details

New Collection Pieces

Vintage JewelleryHester Fleming

I always feel a rush of excitement when it comes to vintage buying opportunities. There's something special about seeking vintage. Each piece has a story to it and I only ever buy when I'm inspired.  I have a few good sources in Australia now. The Rozelle Collectors Market is a great place for the completely unexpected. The monthly Sydney Antiques and Collectables fair is a treasure trove, and a few closed Facebook trading groups are very useful. Here a few highlights from the last couple weeks.

A french deco necklace

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A deco silver and enamel ring (please contact me if you're interested in this piece)

Deco Enamel Ring.jpg
60s mod flower pin.jpg

A gorgeous, sparkly 1950s costume bracelet. In immaculate condition! 

A lovely pair of Lisner clip on earrings. They look big but are fantastic on (i'm wearing them here).  Fact: Lisner is a highly collectable, New York costume jewellery label. 

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If there's a special piece of vintage you're seeking, let me know, I'd love to help you find it.  Click here to send an enquiry. 

360 Fashion Market, Canberra

Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Markets, Vintage Shopping TipsHester Fleming

I'm so excited to be participating at the 360 Fashion Market in Canberra, on Sunday 25th of February. Held at the Fitters Workshop, Kingston, there should be loads of affordable designer wear, vintage finds and local couture to get you excited. I'll be at stall number 9, with a big collection of vintage jewellery and accessories. Looking forward to meeting the vintage enthusiasts of Canberra.  Pictured below is a Vintage Ciro Bracelet, 1940s. $75. 

Ciro Bracelet.jpg

Vintage Seekers Survival Guide: The Sydney Antique and Collectables Fair

Vintage Jewellery, Vintage AccessoriesHester FlemingComment
Deco Ring.jpg

On the first Sunday of each calendar month, approximately 100 dealers from all over Australia, set up at the Sydney Antique and Collectables Fair, Wentworth Park Function Centre, Glebe. General admission is $6. Doors open at 9am and close at 3pm. Here are my top tips to make the most of this event, and others that you may attend.

1. Make sure you bring cash. Some dealers have an eftpos machine or a square reader, however, they don't always work.  You can withdraw cash from the event organiser but there is a fee on top of this withdrawal. My suggestion is to plan to visit an ATM before you arrive, to avoid any ounce of disappointment. 

2. Bring some nibbles and a bottle of water.  While there's a cafe on site which serves plenty of coffee and tea, a few nuts or a museli bar is a sure way too keep your mind sharp when you're working your way through the enormous range of collectables.

3. Wear comfortable shoes. There's lots to see and practically no where to sit, other than the cafe on site, which is always busy. 

3. Arrive early. It's a well known fact, trade starts as soon as the doors open.  For the best pieces of the day, it's first in, best dressed.

4. Be prepared to seriously rummage. Some dealers have mountains of estate lots on tables, waiting to be picked through. It's not glamorous, but there are definitely diamonds in the rough to be found. Be patient. 

5. Look at the piece of interest thoroughly. Think about the weight, the condition and whether all the stones are there, or if you see any cracks. Consider whether any repair work needs to be done and if you have the extra resources available to fix the piece properly.   

6. Ask the dealer politely for the best price they can offer.  Nine times out of ten, dealers won't be outrageous with their pricing. Often their first price is their best price. However, if you're buying a few pieces from a collection, then you can expect a reasonable discount. 

7. Regularly attend the Sydney Antiques and Collectables Fair. There's nothing better than developing a relationship with the dealers who trade at these shows. Let them know what you're interested in and ask a few questions about their collection. A touch of loyalty goes a long way too..  

Good Luck.