Amanda and Helen are behind Bohemia Vintage, a new vintage clothing and lifestyle emporium in Bury St Edmunds – which opens tomorrow. Here, former teacher Amanda explains why they have both embraced a more sustainable lifestyle
I was an Art teacher for 33 years, but I have always collected, made, and sold interesting and original things at the same time. I started as a student by printing 50 T-shirts, with my original designs, and I remember they all sold out quickly and the joy that I got from seeing people wearing them.
The last things I screen printed and covered were vintage deck chairs with Parisian scenes. My life has been busy so far and the new shop venture will ensure it stays that way.
Helen, meanwhile, has been a collector of vintage clothing since she was in her teens. She remembers having a market stall aged 17 when a buyer from London turned up and bought every item of clothing on her stall. Under the trading name of Esmerelda Wicked vintage, she has built up a loyal local following over the years. People are always asking her if she has a shop. Now she can finally say yes. She has lived and worked in Bury for all her life and she is delighted to be opening a shop in the heart of her beautiful hometown. At the start of the pandemic things looked bleak for everyone but Helen was lucky enough to have an online business to turn to.
As for me, having just stopped teaching, the pandemic merged with my more relaxed lifestyle, and I really enjoyed reading and gardening in the sunshine. However, the pandemic has given people the chance to re-evaluate their lives, appreciating their surroundings and other people more. The remarkable thing was the way that nature thrived in the face of humanity’s shutdown.
Society has a lot to learn from this and we have a collective responsibility to make some real changes, including how we shop and live, to better protect our planet.
Helen and I met through shared interests and feel that our individual offerings complement each other perfectly, leading to the creation of our brand-new venture – Bohemia.
Pretty much everything in the shop will have had a past life, even a lot of the labels which are made from old greeting cards.
There are a lot of recovered, repainted, redesigned, or just repurposed items for sale, so you never know what you may find on any given day.
Our hopes for the shop are that it becomes a ‘go to’ place for all age groups and that it genuinely helps people to reduce their carbon footprint.
Bohemia Vintage opens tomorrow (Saturday October 23) and is located at No. 1 Baxter Court, 22 Upper Baxter Street, Bury St Edmunds. Opening Hours are Wednesday to Friday, 10am to 4pm; Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sundays 11am to 3pm. It will also be open on a Tuesday, until Christmas. Find Bohemia Vintage (@bohemiabury) on Instagram