“When you hear the word vintage, to some people it conjures up an image of old smelling clothes and looking old fashioned but I think its about being able to find a vintage garment and making it your own, being creative and mixing it with today’s trends.” Liz Prosser
In a 20 minute chat Liz Prosser, the owner of Emily Rose Vintage in Old Cwmbran, shared some stories which made me smile. She’s got a great sense of humour even though it was just eight days since she left her job to follow her dream of opening a shop and starting a fashion label.
It was a tough decision as a mum-of-three with a self-employed husband. But you can tell from her passion for vintage and being an entrepreneur that is was the right decision.
“I have taken a big jump to completely do this. The vintage was a hobby. Then this shop came up and I live just up the road. I saw work being done to it and thought ‘what’s going on in there?’. I came down and met Nic who runs the Creative Cakes By Nicola shop. I said I really fancy this as vintage shop.
“She showed me this room and we decided to do it as a joint venture and marry the cake and the clothes all as one package. It really does work.”
“I’ve always been a little bit individual with clothing. I got to the stage where I would pick up a dress. It wouldn’t be my size but I’d have it anyway and work on it.
“I met my husband and he was like ‘enough is enough, we can’t have all this stuff in the house’. So I started selling at fairs and it went on from there.”
She opened the shop last September and juggled the two roles.
“I had fantastic job with Newport City Council. I would work there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and be in the shop Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I would then be sewing at stupid o’clock at night.
“I felt I needed to be the face of Emily Rose Vintage when people walked in.
“It was either heart or head. I just hit the crossroads and thought lets reassess where I am what I want to do. I handed in my notice and went for it. It was a difficult decision. The group I worked with there were fab. There were lots of tears and thinking ‘have I done the right thing?’”
When she talks about vintage clothing and what it means to her you can tell she has done ‘the right thing’.
“There is a big vintage media wave at the moment. To me I just love the idea of picking up an item and thinking someone may have worn this to their first dance or met their first love in it. I love the sentiment and nostalgia behind it.”
“I love the 40s and the ‘make do and mend’. There was a culture of austerity behind it. I’m so keen to bring old school values back. Everyone should learn how to sew, cook and go back to basics. Nowadays it’s all to easy to buy processed food.
“It’s about finding one key piece and maybe putting it with something from the high street. It’s not mass produced. I know I can go out on an occasion and no-one will be wearing the same.”
This is a quirky shop. Aside from the clothes she offers space to local craft designers who share a similar passion for locally produced and unique gifts.
A few items she pointed out were made by a talented 17 year-old who must be thrilled at seeing her products on the shelf of shop.
“The other section is the artisan ship. I’m all for unique items from local artists. They can put their work in here and I rotate it about every three months. They can find if there is a niche in the market. You can come here without the stress of parking in the town centre and buy a lovely gift for someone and a greeting card, a personal shopping experience.
“My customers come back as I get to know them. If they want to come for a cup of tea and away from the hustle and bustle they can do that.”
A new fashion label is on the cards as she follows vintage patterns to create her own bepoke items.
“I’m now launching a vintage inspired clothes range. We take old patterns and make dresses. I’ve got items modeled on the Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress.
“I’m trying to brand Emily Rose Vintage. I make one of each so it’s exclusive. We take our inspiration from old films and vintage dress patterns.
“The good thing about this shop is if a client comes in and says ‘I like this but can I have it in that style dress?’. I can offer a made to measure service. That’s where I’m a bit different to shopping on a website.”
You can keep an eye on the shop by liking its Facebook page.
Once a month the shop holds a 1940s hair and make-up tutorial. She also offers a mobile vintage tea party service.
Pop in and visit Liz at Emily Rose Vintage at 3 Ventnor Road, Old Cwmbran, NP44 3JY.
The shop is in the back of Creative Cakes By Nicola on Ventnor Road in Old Cwmbran. If you stand by clock tower you can’t miss it.
The opening hours are:
Tuesday – 12pm-3pm
Wednesday 9.30am- 7pm