Rachel Toy of Rachel’s Vintage Retro.

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1 What is your area of focus?

The 1980s. It tends to be fairly small items as I work out of a shed in my garden and don’t have the storage space or a large van. I find pieces that define these decades well, things that people will instantly recognise and have a nostalgia for.

Kitsch works well for me too, big eye pictures, cheesy holiday souvenirs, plastic tat, weird flock ornaments and tacky pub memorabilia and bar items. I love it all!

2 Something you would love to get your hands on – a ‘holy grail’ in your area? As a fan of kitsch as well as good design, I would love to get a full Del-Boy style bar complete with plastic pineapple ice bucket, and the lion cookie jar he used for his cigars. These tend to go for quite a bit these days, so finding them at a bargain price would be my holy grail.

3 What is one thing you couldn’t do without?

My notebook(s). I use them to write down all custom orders as soon as they come in, wish list items for customers, new places for sourcing items, ideas for blog posts and new stock.


Rachel Toy’s eclectic display wall.

4 Do you have a collection in your home? If so, how do you display it?

Yes, I have vintage collections all over my home, as I don’t really possess anything new (apart from tech).

I tend to display them in groups – items of similar colours, a collection of similar things such as tins, ceramic dogs etc and like to arrange them in height order to make the display visually pleasing. I also love my gallery wall in our bedroom with a mixture of kitsch Lynch framed prints, vintage floral pictures and flying ducks.

5 What is your favourite appearance of an antique in a film, play or book?

The Remains of the Day is one of my all-time favourite films with Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins. The discussion about the Chinese man ornament/sculpture, always makes me smile – it’s not so much about the object in this scene but Miss Kenton’s attempts to us it to get Mr Stevens to take her seriously.

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