One of the best parts about the internet in our lives (and yes people there was a time when it did not exist!) is it allows you to get in touch with people you thought had disappeared forever. I met Kara a long, long time ago on the cusp of her move overseas and I thought at the time, oh well, off she goes. But through the interconnectedness of facebook and the internet I have managed to re-friend her after all these years. (Of course, now that I think of it, this interconnectedness is great when you want to reconnect but if you don’t – like say, if someone is stalking you or some crazy old primary school friend that you wish you could banish from you mind shows up saying ‘let’s be friends’ – then that would not be a good thing. The downside of the internet is that is does stop you from truly disappearing hey? Or I guess you could just change your name…) Kara has always had such great style – a relaxed, vintage style that permeates all aspects of her life. I always thought she would move into something visionary once she had finished with photography and so when we caught up recently and she told me about launching her unique caravan shop, Travelling Wares it all made sense. Her little 1950s caravan named Frankie is open for business at the Powerhouse markets every second Saturday.
I have already spent a small (but necessary) fortune on these gorgeous finds, in fact, many of the pieces I have bought have made their way into our food shoots for the blog! I love vintage bakeware and utensils but am often overwhelmed when I go thrifting and can’t seem to figure out what to buy. With Travelling Wares, Kara has an edited and expertly curated selection of beautiful objects from classic enamelware, to rustic crockery, to vintage cutlery to british flags!
I asked Kara a few questions about her new venture – and also as a bride-to-be – about her take on the wedding styling trends for next year.
So, in a nutshell, what is Travelling Wares?
Travelling Wares is my unique caravan pop up shop providing quality vintage and old wares for the home, sourced from all over the world by me.
What services will you be offering?
Apart from new stock for each and every market, I am about to launch my online shop which is very exciting and also offer a styling and sourcing service for homes and events. On the other days of the week I’m a props stylist working in the publishing realm.
How would you describe your style?
My style is ever evolving. I’m always on the hunt. However a constant thread is a very earthy approach to the colour palette, accented with strong elements of texture. I am drawn towards palettes that celebrate and are inspired from nature which leads me to utilise natural materials and achieve a timeless living space. When it comes to decorating I have a finely curated balance of old and new.
What are your key tips for mixing vintage and modern?
Like with any movement or style it is always best to never go ‘head to toe’ so to speak. I love the opportunities and unexpected combinations that mixing these styles ignites. My general mantra when working with vintage and modern is to ‘lay a practical foundation’. So, in hard working spaces such as the kitchen I have a more utilitarian approach when mixing the two together. For instance the foundation would be the use of traditional and natural materials such as wood for the cabinetry and marble for the countertops which lend themselves to modern interpretations. The space would then have a coat of what I call ‘integrity’ – where you introduce elements that offer the space warmth and tell a story – sourced oversized vintage glass pendant lights, 1930’s french metal stools, an old marble mortar and pestle, the list can go on. Essentially it should be fun and give you much joy!
How did you get involved in trading in vintage wares?
I have always had a passion for old wares and making spaces beautiful as far back as I can remember. It was just a natural progression really, I was that girl who would be changing her bedroom around every couple of days, who grew up to be the girl who would drop random notes and chocolates into strangers letter boxers pleading them to sell their outdoor furniture to me. Essentially I think I truly have an appreciation for the found object and the thrill of the find. Living in London and working in the antiques trade absolutely opened my eyes to the possibilities, I finally found my tribe!
What is the favourite part of your job?
Sourcing. Whether its for a private client or for a cookbook. I love how objects can visually communicate and tell a story unique to each individual
What is the worst part of your job?
The early mornings, whether its for flights or for the early morning markets. I love 5am, just not 3am.
Given that you are getting married next year (yippee!!!), what do you think the trends are for brides in 2012?
I think luxury is on the agenda for 2012. Not necessarily dollars wise, rather luxurious in the details – generous timings for the flow of the day, quality produce, professional vendors, a dash of elegant venue styling and something unexpected, more of an experience rather than a production.