Moon Mama Vintage in Fortrose won ‘Most Affordable’ at Vintage Market Awards: Jen Grainge, owner, checking out her stock. Picture: James Mackenzie.
A ROSS-SHIRE virtual vintage shop has won an industry accolade less than two years from kicking off.
Founded by Avoch-based Jennifer Grainge (37) during the first lockdown, Moon Mama Vintage was voted Best Affordable Brand at the Community Awards organised by industry network A Virtual Vintage Market.
Ms Grainge, originally from Inverness, started her business after realising on her own skin that there was a gap in the market for maternity and breast-feeding vintage clothing.
She said: “I have a background in footwear design and, although I haven’t worked specifically in footwear design, I have always been passionate about fashion and a lifelong dream to open a vintage shop that was like more of a dream, I didn’t think I’d really do it.
“When I had Arthur almost four years ago, I felt a bit fed up with the clothes that I was wearing for breast-feeding.
“Although there are mainstream maternity and breastfeeding options, it’s still quite a small part of fashion compared to regular clothes. For me, dressing in a way that felt like my personality was very important. When you become a mum, everything changes, so it’s nice to be able to retain an element of who you were before you became a mum. The clothes I found on the High Street were ones that I wouldn’t have bought before!
“Last spring, I thought that there might be other mums out there who were fed up with their breastfeeding and maternity clothing. I had that experience of looking for vintage clothing of that type for myself, so I thought I’d put it on Instagram and see if there was any interest.
“That was in March 2020, so everyone was at home and on their phones a lot more and it just took off very quickly!”
Jen Grainge dreams to turn her virtual business into a physical shop. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Shortly after, she was contacted by the owners of A Virtual Vintage Market, a platform developed to showcase small retailers all over the UK and to offer them an opportunity to sell at regular virtual events to counterbalance the effects lockdown had on their businesses.
“I had started only six weeks before and I remember finding this message from Georgie saying ‘I just found your shop, it’s such a brilliant concept, would you like to take part in our market?'”
“I was a bit terrified because …….