SPOTLIGHT - SAMMY LEA'S RETRO EMPORIUM
We have been lucky enough to chat with Sammy from Sammy Lea's Retro Emporium about the super cool and quirky jackets that she makes for wedding days! We are definitely thinking about getting some jackets made for ourselves, are we cool enough?!
We asked Sammy some questions about her business and her life :
Describe your business in 5 words
Bespoke, quirky, fun, cool, stylish
What is your business all about?
I make fully customised hand painted jackets for a very diverse client base, from non traditional brides, to bikers and even the occasional music video or celebrity! I think what sets us apart is that we work with our customer to make something that is very personal to them; for example meaningful phrases, matching wedding flowers or themes, or even something subtle to commemorate those who are no longer with us.
How did you choose your name?
In part it's my name - Sammy Lea, as I feel that I am actually my own ideal customer (a sort of arty colourful hobbit with a love of anything unusual!), and Retro Emporium really comes from my passion for anything from a different era - I'm a huge fan of 50's nostalgia and traditional tattoo art, and a complete magpie for collecting the macabre and unusual!
Where are you based and which areas do you cover?
I'm actually based on the North Devon coastline, surrounded by the sea and countryside in a lovely little village that hasn't really changed must in the last century, which really appeals to me, as the community spirit is still very strong. However, my jackets travel worldwide; I sell via my Etsy shop, which has been a brilliant storefront to the world. Many of my jackets go to Vegas, for Rock n Roll style weddings, or even right around the globe to Australia!
How long have you been doing this?
I started back in 2015, making alternative wedding signage, and quickly progressed to customising jackets due to customer demand. We appeared in our first big wedding blog about 5 months after starting the business as a full time venture, and that acted as a huge springboard for sales, and exposure for our products.
What made you decide to start up your own business?
Getting married really bought home to me how little there was on the market for people like me, who were never going to fit the traditional wedding format. Both my husband and I really struggled to find things we actually felt comfortable in, and decor for the big day that we felt expressed who we actually were. As soon as we returned from honeymoon I made my first wooden wedding sign, based around sugar skulls and traditional tattoo art, for us to hang in our house. After putting up a picture on Facebook of the finished item I was suddenly inundated with orders; firstly from friends, and then from other brides! I haven't really looked back since, and soon a fun hobby became a full time job!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I'm a huge fan of language, and tend to use phrases and words that have long been forgotten, which probably makes me appear a bit of an oddball - (I've been described as David Mitchell as a female! Thanks husband!) When I'm not working I'll generally be either on a massive country walk, in a kayak, or out seeing live music at one of the many local festivals in the South West. I'm an avid collector of traditional tattoos, and a lover of crazy hair colours, and it probably goes without saying that I'm also a crazy cat lady!
Sammy is definitely our kind of girl and we can't wait to see more of her jackets around the South West!
Here is the link to her Etsy shop : https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SammyLeasRetro
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