E2 Cartel by Lily

You like good vintage jewellery? Then you really need to take a look at E2 Cartel. Gold, gold, the occasional silver item, well chosen accessories and more gold. Lily, the woman behind this treasure trove has the best eye – anyone who appreciates articulated clown charms and Nudie Cohn will 100% have the goods (in my opinion).

As Lily puts so nicely below, there is enough in this world already, so she is set on giving whats already here a new lease of life: Why buy new when, jewellery especially, was made to such a better quality! It isn’t just the best picked jewellery and accessories that can be found at E2 Cartel, but also a tonne of amazing historical and cultural research that Lily does about her finds or favourite pieces. As a lover and studier of history of dress and design this element of E2 Cartel is maybe a favourite; evidence of a true passion and love for what she does, as well as a lesson for anyone that cares to know (which you always should tbh).

If you can tell, I’m a big fan. So please read on ……

  1. tell us about yourself and your brand.

I’m Lily and my shop is E2cartel. E2cartel is a vintage & secondhand jewellery (sometimes shoes & accessories) shop that sits on the fence between naff, trash and fabulous chic classics. I am lucky enough to have found a small but fantastically loyal following since starting the instagram page in 2017. The shop was born out of being absolutely broke and spending the last bit of money i had on 5 pairs of earrings. I posted a photo of the earrings on my instagram and thankfully they all sold to friends and extended followers that day. I went back to the vintage wholesale shop i’d purchased the original 5 pairs from the very next day, and i haven’t stopped selling jewellery since. I only buy secondhand, vintage and/or dead stock items and try and cater to many purse price points. I really do strive to have something for every budget. Not every taste 🙂 My love of secondhand & vintage runs deep into my personal choices too. I really believe there is enough of everything on this planet already, so i’m happy to bring old pieces, new life and a new home via my shop. I collect original & rare Gold Creoles and have done for a number of years, the history of these particular earrings dates back hundreds and hundreds of years and covers the globe. I will share my Creole research on the E2 page soon.I try and use all recycled packaging so the envelopes your jewellery arrives in are likely to look slightly scruffy, i’ve always thought if that bothers anyone they probably shouldn’t be buying from me in the first place 🙂 I’ve always collected jewellery and trinkets and can’t wait to get back to sourcing and selling in person ASAP.

  1. What are your Inspirations?

I studied fashion photography and was taught by the legend Mark Lebon. His freedom in his practice and honesty about the industry was hugely inspiring at uni and i still see him as a bit of a hero now. He introduced us to brilliant people during that course and opened our minds the way a person in his position should. I collect documentary photography books, fashion movements, youth culture, i’m very interested in uniform, class uniform and “class tourism” through dress. Perry Ogden’s book Pony Kids first inspired me to take photos back in 2008, and showed me there was a different way of documenting people in their clothes and environment but in a controlled or staged way, which lead me to fashion photography. Not overly interested in high end fashion but street style and the way people present themselves to the world. I find this really fascinating. 

  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

Both. I couldn’t do what i do without it. Super brilliant tool for reaching customers worldwide. I have made some genuine friend-like connections using it, it has allowed me to have interactions with my customers that i wouldn’t get just by having a website/shop. The negatives as we all know, total waste of time. Can be a downer if you take algorithms personally.

  1.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice?

I just want to continue having a nice time, enjoying what i do, connecting with people who enjoy similar things. Encouraging more slow fashion, secondhand purchases when possible. It makes me really happy when people receive their pieces and are blown away by them. I don’t plan on trying to make crazy money doing this (its pretty much impossible) or growing it to the point where i can’t source the stock myself. I just love things with history, jewellery, clothes, shoes omg i love shoes! I just want to share fun pieces with others who love them too. My advice would be to not compare yourself to others, celebrate people. Price your stock fairly, be brave and just have a nice time.

5.  Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

Dea.clay, the most fabulous artist and ceramists. @dea.clayMr Finbar’s Hand Painted signs, super talented sign writer doing all sorts of gorgeous bits from Bristol to London @mr_finbarNicolette’s Goods, for all your sweet treat needs. Tasty deliciousness right to your door @nicolettesgoodsSue Stokes Antiques, Beautiful shop based in Corsham, Sue also frequents lots of antiques fairs in the south west/London @suestokesantiques

Psychic Outlaw by Rebecca Wright.

As Instagram start-up businesses go, Psychic Outlaw have grown from strength to strength, with an instantly recognisable product. Now with a small team working on this recycling, reimagining and handmade goodness, this business is an absolute success story- owner and creator Rebecca Wright must be so proud of the community she’s formed.

With two main product options available- the quilted collection and bandanna collections- this focus on a classic silhouette alongside vintage and recycled fabrics is a win. With a tailored, one off service you are able to have your dream coat or jacket created just for you: Psychic Outlaw is the epitome of sustainable small batch making and is a new and exciting way of consuming fashion.

I once saw the team address peoples concerns about their use of antique quilts, which is a totally fair concern as many of these vintage quilts are the result of the creators love and hard work; with the concern that these timeless patchworks are being cut up for a, dare I say it, current trend. These concerns were met with absolute understanding, awareness and respect for the vintage, one-off fabrics they are using- with many of the quilts they offer being damaged beyond repair or the customer supplying their own. Psychic Outlaw, in my opinion, provides a service whereby customers are able to reimagine and recycle cherished fabrics, re-creating a family heirloom or much loved vintage quilt and giving it a new lease of life.

The individual service that is available within this growing business should be recognised by large retail giants. With a genuine concern and love for their customers and appreciators, Psychic Outlaw is paving the way for an exciting and personal online retail approach.

See what Rebecca answered to the usual questions…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. I began sewing as a child, making outfits for my dolls with hand stitching & hot glue. I got more into fashion in my mid 20’s & I decided to make it my career. In college I studied Fibres & Textile Design, fashion has always just been a fun hobby/ way of self expression. I was originally using the Psychic Outlaw name as my vintage clothing resale shop and then I started adding in a few of my handmade pieces here and there. When I saw the demand more specifically for my handmade goods, that is when I decided to go full force with my handmade items which was the birth of Psychic Outlaw as we know it today. 
  1. What are your Inspirations?  The textiles themselves inspire me within Psychic Outlaw. I’m a textile freak! I love anything vintage and cool and beautiful. I see something I love, and want to figure out how to wear it. Fashion is so important to me so I always try to combine textiles and fashion. I have a great love of thrifting and adventure hunting – being creative with what you have is my true inspiration.
  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? Social media is an amazing tool if you are a business trying to connect with people. It provides the ability to give great customer service without having a store front. That’s a big reason why our brand does really well – we respond to all DMs and talk to our customers everyday.
  1.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? I think that the way that I’d like to grow is to have more products and more designs. I would love for COVID to go away so we can start attending events within our community. I love to have really good products to go along with our classics and to continue to recycle and build within our community of creatives. My advice would be to never stop creating, finish what you start, and work on your art everyday.

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things? @Lifershop, @shesbobbylynn @squidvishuss, @mercedezrexdesigns @shelbyrahe, @jxnart, and many vintage sellers

Mantel by Sadie Perry

A zip file of insanely satisfying and beautifully considered images were sent by Sadie, owner and creator of Mantel, alongside her answers to the usual questions. These images epitomise the visual language of Mantel and it really is SO SO delicious. colour combinations alongside ‘good’ design, strong shapes and harsher metals coincide with softer florals and pastels. Honestly, the mantels and vintage products that Sadie styles are on another level.

Having known Sadie since secondary school (Hi there fellow grunger!) and watched as she has formed her impeccable taste, it really has been a pleasure to see Mantel come into fruition. As Sadie mentions below, she gravitates towards well designed items and unusual forms, as is evident throughout her stock choices; from Art Nouveau to handmade, craft vessels- it is clear there is a running theme of objects that will be noticed and draw the eye….in a “don’t look at me” way, ya’know?

Sadie offers interior styling alongside her vintage finds and to be honest, if you have a mantel you should probably get her on board. Here is what she has to say about Mantel, her inspirations and future plans…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. 

Hello, I’m Sadie and I am the founder of Mantel, an online (at the moment!) shop selling vintage homeware objects. Before this I had a jewellery brand but I have always been a big collector (aka hoarder) of decorative objects and ornaments so it felt like a natural step for me to share some of the things I find and make it into a business. I would say the common thread with the things I buy for myself and the shop would be well designed pieces and unusual forms that have a strong presence in a room, with a slight element of humour or character like unexpected proportions or really clearly visibly handmade ceramics.

2. What are your Inspirations? 

• I studied History of Art, Design and Film at university, specialising in film for my dissertation and became obsessed with set design, particularly those centred around the home interiors of the characters. I look to film as a huge inspiration when styling my own room or choosing objects for the shop – some of my favourite directors for aesthetic inspiration are Eric Rohmer, Roman Polanski, Claude Chabrol, Luis Bunuel and more recently Luca Guadagnino.

• Home visits – in my spare time, aside from car boots, I love going to house tours. My two absolute favourites are Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex and Casa Barragan in Mexico City. I’d love to go to Carlo Mollino’s home in Turin once we can safely travel again!

• Mexico is my favourite place in the world – I’ve been there several times and I never get bored of it. I studied silver jewellery making there a few years back, and fell in love with the colours and all the amazing craft they make there, and have got some of my most treasured objects from there. And the people are so lovely!

• Art Deco – I love Jean Michel Frank interior design, Jean Royere and Josef Hoffmann designed objects, as well as all the carpets from that era.

• Paintings – I get really obsessed with colour combinations – some of my current favourite painters are Mamma Andersson and Norbert Schwontonski. 

• My family and friends are a constant source of inspiration for me. I am so lucky to be surrounded by people who are all so talented in what they do and also supportive, down to earth and funny – my mum has an amazing eye for interiors, my dad is really musically creative, my sister works in mental health and my best friends have all got really varied jobs from science to PR to hairdressing to artist studio assistant. I wouldn’t be able to get through life without them!

3. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

I think from a business point of view it’s a big help, it’s been the best place for me to find other amazing brands and like minded people and also be found by them! In terms of personal I’m not so sure – it can be so easy to go down a rabbit hole of comparing yourself when you are having a bad day or worrying. But I think when you set yourself boundaries and keep it positive it’s a good thing and allows you to share inspiration and collaborate with others.

4.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

I would love to be sourcing and selling objects full time. It would be my absolute dream to spend my days travelling around the world to markets, car boots and house clearances and sharing some of the things I find there. It would be amazing to have a physical space too where I could style the objects and meet the people who support me by buying from the shop. Hopefully one day! In terms of advice, I think just going for what you are passionate about and trying it, however unconfident you feel, is the best way to go. I spent so many years worrying that I wasn’t good enough or needed to be perfect before I did anything. But I think we have a tendency to be our own worst critics so you have to just ignore those nagging worries and do it! And always be nice to people, you never know what anyone’s going through.

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

I think @anoushapayne ceramics are amazing, @karlfritschrings jewellery, @ikoikospace textiles and home objects, my friend @mimikerpel’s woven vases and @quindry_antiques selection of antiques. I’d also love to go and stay at independently run @villamagnan in Biarritz – the decor is incredible and I love that area of France.

The Rusty Pin by Alice Ridgway

The Rusty Pin, a place for the tiny ephemeral snap shots of a time and culture that we call pins to be appreciated and given a second life. I myself have, since the age of 13, adorned many items of clothing with these tiny cultural signifiers…. “ERrr Yes I listen to Slipknot”; “Yes I made this pin myself, fuck ‘the man’!” and I 100% have a box full to the brim of mine and my husbands retired but much loved pin badges upstairs. So, when I came across this little slice of pin badge heaven I was a very happy grown up grunger.

Alice has gathered a collection of pin badges that will make anyone that has been a part of some from of sub-culture/counterculture or political movement nostalgic and super excited to see what she has to offer. From obscure rarities and mini fluro posters, anti-Murdoch protest badges, antique metal snoopy pins to (my much loved) nu-metal bundles. The Rusty Pin is a love letter to these miniature slices of history and I hope you enjoy what Alice has to say about them and her pin badge rescue mission.

1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. 

Hello! I’m Alice and I’ve been running The Rusty Pin for around 3 years now which is about the same time I started working at the V&A in the museum collections and archives. Whilst I’ve always loved history and collecting, I definitely developed more of an obsession with material culture after being surrounded by museum objects.
I think I ended up collecting pin badges because they are cute and fun and always lurking at the bottom of an old tin at car boots. I also love that they are ephemeral, produced cheaply and not made to last, so every time I find one it feels like a little rescue mission.
The Rusty Pin collects and sells pin badges which span music, film, pop culture, adverts and politics. Matt at Teejerker was a big help when it came to getting up and running with his approach of curating a niche selection of vintage finds which you couldn’t really buy anywhere else. Selling is a hobby that basically allows me to buy more pins, and recently I’ve been adding postcards, scrapbooks, posters and key-rings to the mix.
I really enjoy the process of finding an old forgotten pin badge, taking a nice little photo and doing some research on its history so it ends up with a new lease of life with a new owner. 

2. What are your Inspirations?

When it comes to inspo, I will never fail to be amazed by collections of mass-produced consumer culture and I have a few favourite places. 
First up is Museum De Dinge in Berlin, it literally translates as ‘Museum of Things’ and contains cabinets packed full of mass produced 20th and 21st century objects from Nazi memorabilia to plastic hamburgers. The objects are arranged by colour and theme which makes it even more of a delight to wander around.
Museum of Brands in Notting Hill is also great when I feel like a nostalgia hit from well designed old packaging and obsessing over the evolution of Cadbury’s chocolate bars.
Last of all is one I see everyday at work and never gets boring – Eduardo Paolozzi’s Krazy Kat Arkive of 20th Century Popular Culture. Its loosely based on the theme ‘The Image of the Hero in Industrial Society’ but contains everything Paolozzi collected for artistic inspiration. It ranges from board games, robots, scrapbooks, tear sheets, wind up toys and figurines.

3. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

Social media is undoubtedly a great help for me as its where I drum up most of my business. It has been an adjustment though, I don’t have a personal Instagram as I’m quite a private person and I do resent the black hole of lost time and space I can slip into on that app. Nothing really compares to Instagram in terms of reach and impact but I’m hoping this will shift. Particularly after Covid I’m craving IRL experience over online so I’ll be at a few car boot sales and markets in the near future selling old bits and bobs and am hoping others will be doing the same.

 4. Where would you like your business to be in a few years? 

In a few years I’d like to be selling a broader range of ephemeral culture but still keeping a niche and considered selection of goods. I’ve not made any zines in a while so I’ll definitley work on a few more of those. I’m also working on some DIY badge making workshops which focus on the history of activism and protest. 

5.  Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things? 

Creatives I’m loving at the moment are @pawson.novelties for the humour, kitsch and massive output of all kinds of art. I also love @eighteen86 for the multidisciplinary approach, vintage clothing, unofficial merch, zines, photography and everything inbetween focused on Arsenal football club.