Since we opened on 19th of August we’ve made quite a name for ourselves.
“Oh a Christmas Angel!! Oh an Elf! I thought they were dolls!”
Our team has grown and we’ve made more friends and met even more amazing customers. The friendly atmosphere of Leigh really can’t be challenged and we know we made the right move.
We also created what we believe to be the first Vendula apprecation Facebook group.
Whether that was coming in to Leigh and physically helping or listening to us when we were worried.
Perhaps you came to see us on opening day and show your support there. Perhaps you were at the end of the phone when things were getting a bit hairy. Maybe you were one of our dedicated customers who still drove miles to buy from us in person.
You may have come to our events and enjoyed just how crazy things can get here.
Or you could be one of our thousands upon thousands of customers based all around the globe that love and support us in the most special way. To all of you, we are eternally grateful and it is always humbling to remember that what started as a little one man band in Rochford has grown into an orchestra. No, an orchestra isn’t beautiful enough. We’ve created a symphony here at Rockamilly, one that we hope you are all proud to be a part of because we are so proud to have you all on board.
And so with that we say thank you and good luck.
Good luck in all your future ventures and we look forward to seeing you all in what we know is going to be an exciting new year.
Kirsty, Stacie, Zara and Emily aka #TeamRockamilly
Here at Rockamilly we like to get involved with local events, charities etc.
There is a breast unit not far from us called Lady McAdden Breast Screening Unit (although I’ve continuously called it McFadden and then had Westlife stuck in my head afterwards).
Leigh on Sea joined the campaign to turn the town pink to raise awareness and cold hard cash for Lady McAddens. We happily joined in with the bit of fun that was dressing the window in as much pink we could. Perhaps the fact our shop front is pink gave us a slight unfair advantage, however Zara and I got to work and found as many pink items of clothing as we could to decorate the window.
Yes in true Rockamilly style we went big, pink, fluffy and fabulous. We took a step back after placing the final flamingo in the back and we were very happy with what we saw.
And that was that really. We’d rattle our fun raising tin and people generously donated. We were very happy to be included in such a worth while event in our new home.
So last Saturday as I sat replying to comments and messages, plugging our offers and listening to Zara gush over how sparkly the new IC stock was, a group of people descended. Amongst them was the Mayor. We’d won The Lady McAdden Award for Outstanding Window Display!!
Of course receiving that fantastic recognition was wonderful but what we loved most was that an entire town had come together to raise money and awareness for a unit that was in need. That Lady McAddens had their name in shop windows up and down the Broadway and for an entire week it was the only thing you could see.
If you’d like to make a donation to Lady McAdden then all you need to do is click here
We’re very proud here at Rockamilly. We’ve been accepted and we’ve started to make our mark.
It’s been a while, I know. Its been all systems go go go here at Rockamilly. We only went and moved didn’t we?! After spending two and a half years in our Rochford home it was time to grow. We needed to really. Too many shoes you see?
We’d been looking at a little sports shop in Leigh on Sea for a while. There was none of that Umming and Ahhing that can come with finding a second shop. No the moment Kirsty stepped into 3 Broadway she knew she wanted it. Then I popped along and fell equally in love with it. ” Oh we could have (insert a million ideas for this shell of a sports shop)”
But how do you turn an old sports shop into a vintage fashion boutique. Rochford came with character. We’d have to craft it here. No one thought it’d be easy but we certainly weren’t prepared for just how testing this was going to be. Our date was steadily moving further away with every obstacle and hurdle that was dodged and jumped.
Eventually the fateful day came after at least 7 months of waiting! WE HAD THE KEYS! Get in and get this store looking ready for you lovely lot. Kirsty and Team Rockamilly (including her husband, father in law and family and friends) slogged hard to get the store up and running in time to open in August. What an opening that was!
Did you come alone and see us on opening day? IT WAS PACKED! Honestly its a good job we had moved because we would have been bursting at the seams. We have beautiful Pin Up model Scarlet La Rox join us for a little bit of live modelling in our windows, photographers, press, customers old and new and from far and wide. We were over whelmed at just how supportive everyone was. It’s nerve wracking moving the business to a brand new town. Will people find us? Will they like the new lay out? Will the come to see us still? I’m happy to say, yes.
Scarlet caused an absolute storm! ” OH SHE’S REAL!!!!” Yes, yes she is. In between modelling in the window she popped into the store and dished out some fashion advice. We love her. She’s such good fun.
She cut the bunting and Rockamilly Leigh on Sea was officially OPEN!!! It was a fantastic day. We have also expanded our team. Welcome to Zara and Emily. Team Rockamilly is a fun place to be.
And so although we say farewell to Rochford and thank her for all she gave us in the beginning, we say a huge hello and thank you to Leigh on Sea. For being so hospitable, warm and welcoming to a little business that started 2.5 years ago, with a handful of dresses and no shoes. Who can now brag that they have a Tardis of a shop and a following of amazing customers! Here’s to many many happy years at RockamilLeigh 😉
Its just a short one from me today.
Sometimes, just sometimes, I get sad. A few things can make me sad. Romantic comedies with the wrong endings, shoes that aren’t in my size, being told no etc…although what really makes my heart hurt is when I hear ‘Id love to wear these things. I’m too old now though.’
Says who? Honestly ladies you are NEVER too old to feel fabulous. I promise you I’ve never ever looked at a customer and thought they look too old. I always think ‘Gosh. She’s beautiful.’
Older ladies, your generation GAVE us this. You showed us how waspies cinched our waists. How seamed stockings elongated our legs. We have an entire movement in fashion because of you. How dare anyone make you feel you can’t reclaim it once again for yourselves. Women come and tell me of their petticoats soaked in sugar water to make them stiff and stick out. They are amazed when I show them how soft our petticoats are now. How they no longer scratch your legs and that you can sit down and not expose yourself. I promise if you felt on top of the world then, you’ll feel on top of the world now. New prints…new materials. Braver and bolder than anything you found then.
Put that dress on. Remember how you felt at your first dance? How you and your girlfriends danced together? Perhaps you met your husband that night? Perhaps you were celebrating the end of the war? You have every right to wear those dresses again and feel the freedom and elation you felt then.
Please. Never feel that you’re ever too old. If you’re still walking past these windows and saying ‘I love that dress/those shoes/that bag’ then you are far from too old.
Thank you from us to you.
As some of you might be aware, a week ago we had a rather large shoe launch.
For those not in the know, Irregular Choice (makers of fabulous shoes and bringers of joy and hope) like to collaborate with others and bring you the ultimate in shoes. Previous collections have included Star Wars, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. When IC give wind that there’s a new collection on the way, speculation is high and all sorts of theories are put out there. Honestly sometimes I think collectors of IC should work for CSI.
So last Friday we had the largest collection to date. Mickey and Friends. Follow that link to see our in store collection.
Look how utterly fabulous they are?! Unboxing and discovering whats lurking underneath that tissue paper is one of my many favourite parts. Its like Christmas all over again. Especially when you have customers in store who come to see their unveiling. They are the children and we are Father Christmas. Their faces glow and with eyes wide all we can hear for the next few hours is ‘Oh gosh! Oh WOW! Just look at that heel detail! Ooo they are so sparkly!’. Then comes the bit they’ve been waiting for. Trying on!!! Squeaking and hopping about in delight because they fit and they are ‘the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn’.
In typical Rockamilly fashion, and because no one needs to ask me twice, Kirsty and I tried our very best to bring a little Disney magic to the launch. How? I hear you ask.
We used the amazing stock that we already have to piece together some Mickey and Minnie outfits. We look good don’t you think? Yes those are socks over my shoes. We brought smiles to our customers, to the villagers going past and hearing children shouting ‘Mummy, IT’S MICKEY MOUSE!’ makes wearing socks over your shoes totally worth it.
We always launch in store and then go online a little bit later. Its fair that way. We have customers who come from quite a way away just to be at our launches. Cake, drinks and beautiful shoes. I mean what more could a shoe lover want?
And so once the in store hype has finished and everyone has made their purchases and left with the biggest smiles, we settle down to online orders. OH BOY! Check, print, wrap, re-wrap, bag, stick, send. I love to read where our shoes are going. Where will they be oo-ed and ahh-ed over. Who’s day is going to be made when that box is handed over? Who’s being surprised for their birthday, anniversary etc? Are they their absolute dream shoe? We posted to Texas this time. TEXAS! I know what you’re thinking. It wasn’t the cowboy boots.
So after we wrapped a mountain of shoes, we sat back and had a little think. About the day. About the people we’d met. How I’d made a noise i’d never heard before when I saw the GOSH hi-tops light up. How Kirsty had decided which pair she wanted and then how her little heart broke when I wrapped them up and sent them away. About how fortunate we are to be a part of the Irregular Choice family. A group of beautiful, eccentric, barmy men and women who, like us, LOVE shoes and LOVE launch days.
I wouldn’t change them for the world. We were exhausted by closing time, no doubt about it. Mickey had come to our corner of Essex and Hot Diggety Dog he’d made an impression. He still is. In our window display, along with Minnie, Donald and Daisy. I can hear a lady outside admiring them as I type. She’s quite possibly someones Grandma and in all honesty she’d look fabulous in those Glitzy Mickeys that she’s lusting over. They appeal to all age groups.
After all. It was Mickey that kick started everything we know and love about Disney. It’s about time he was immortalised like this.
I apologise for the delay in getting this out to you lovely readers this week, things have been busy here! However, I hope you will join us today where I’ll be taking you to 1948, following on from last weeks blog, which you can read here!
1948 was the year where clothes shrunk and got tighter. And if they didn’t have the money for a whole new wardrobe, you’d wear a belt or alter your clothes! When you think of 1948, most people will connect it with the Olympics. It was the 2nd time the UK hosted the Olympics, the 1st being 1908. It also bought us the silver screen starlets such as Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner & Marilyn Monroe.
From 1947 and Diors ‘New Look’ collection, 1948 saw his collection adapt to everyday, wearable yet beautiful garments, for example the full, dramatic skirt turned into a simple, modified flare skirt. Fabrics were revolutionised and changed, and soft fabrics were replaced with stiff and crisp fabrics, such as jacquard & moire (fabric made from silk, cottons or wool). For winter, stiff velvet, brocades and broadcloth were used. But we can’t forget the famous tweed! Tweed loved 1948. Tweed was used for coats, skirts, dresses and popular for waistcoats.
Navy was the fashion colour of 1948, all the way through the seasons, it played a huge part in fashion. You would find that dark, rich colours were a big part of a ladies wardrobe! Grays, blacks and browns dominated clothing. Unlike nowadays, where a lot of reproduction dresses are a multitude of colours!
Accessories always make an outfit when it comes to vintage styling, as we all know, and quite a few were staple items when it came to completing an outfit! Shoes and gloves were just a few. Shoes in 1948, may surprise you. Pumps were much more popular upon the shoe rack, however, they would of course have to match your outfit! For after tea or evening, they’d prefer to wear ankle strap shoe (as shown above) for that extra bit of class or glam! Shoe fabrics ranged from suede to velvets and satins – mainly all depending on the time of day! Which I guess isn’t hugely different from today. Fur, thin belts (also known as dog leash belt) and hats were also super popular! Everything would of ranged from glamorous to more casual. A glove could be straight, silky and smooth or ruffled, curved and flared!
An everyday, casual outfit for 1948, would be a lovely, softly tailored suit or box jacket suit, knitwear or a casual dress (preferably with a matching jacket!) and a stole. For Spring, you’d be wanting to wear a petticoat for fullness but these weren’t hugely popular in the colder months. Unlike today, where petticoats are made of mixed materials, back then they would of been made according to the seasons! They were mostly made of taffeta or for the spring, summer months a crisp cotton!
Fashion inspiration was very much taken from the Victorian age – which you can tell by the silhouette and styling of clothes. Clothes were often finished with a trimming, such as beading, braids or fringe. Evening fashion in 1948 was hugely made up of low, strapless dresses, boned and snug, and floor length. The gorgeous princess ball gown was inspired by ‘Gone With the Wind’ and a lot of evening dresses came from this.
1948 was another exciting year for women, fashion & iconic figures. Fashion for women was continuously growing and with icons gracing the screens, who wouldn’t be inspired or rushing to wear the latest trends (just like we are today!) Its short and sweet this week but, who continues to inspire you? Do you have a favourite forties icon? Share with us!
Thanks for reading Rockamillies!