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Tigers Eye on Work, Play & The Future | Life

Bloggers Tigers Eye


Tigers Eye's Lucie Benjamin and Grace Avery talk to Carrie-Anne Phillipson on finding their style, starting their business and the shop's future.


Grace: "I think I’ve always been into experimenting with what I wear. I can remember one day, when I was around 5 years old, I went to school wearing some autehentic Chinese blue silk pyjamas that I’d been bought as a gift from my Grandparents. I guess I’m lucky that my mum let me wear whatever I wanted. In my teenage years I pretty much changed my style every month; I was a goth one week and a skater the next. My style didn’t really sit still 'til I left university and I think I have now settled into my own style that I’m comfortable with. I’m definitely not as ‘out there’ as I used to be but I think that’s just growing up and realizing who you are."


Lucie: "Fashion for me came through a love of music. Aged about 14/15 music started playing a larger role in my life, I would go to gigs with friends and this started to influence how I would dress and what I liked to wear. I was the standard 'emo' and 'scene' kid at the time, listening to Enter Shikari and other hardcore bands meant T-shirts and a fringe were my armour! Throughout school I experimented with hair styles and colours - my mum was not impressed when I got my first lip piercing aged 17 - but as my music tastes varied, my style would too. I created and made my own jewellery brand around the age of 15/16 and sold to friends and this is where I probable started my enteurprenurial journey."



When and how did you start shopping vintage?  


Grace: "I’ve always shopped at charity shops and I think that’s because my mum has always been a bargain hunter and used to take me shopping with her. People at school used to laugh at me and make stupid comments about how cheap I was. Someone once said to me “I bet you only buy the stuff that people died in” - Kids can be so immature! When I was in high school we didn’t have vintage stores in the UK like we do today so charity shops were always where I went for vintage bits."  


Lucie: "I have always loved car boot sales and flea markets for finding bargains and magical vintage clothing - my love for searching through piles of clothes for a gem is still going strong! It was probably only around uni when I found actual vintage shops that sold the kind of clothing I couldn't find on the high street."  


When did you know you wanted to pursue vintage fashion as a full-time thing and for it to be your life and career for the foreseeable future?  


Grace: "I’d always wanted to be in the fashion industry since I was about 14 years old but I never realized I could have a career in vintage fashion 'til I left uni. I think meeting Lucie at university was the best thing to happen as we both had this shared love of vintage and we had similar styles and it happened very organically for us - even when we started I don’t think I ever imagined I’d still be doing it 5 years down the line."  


Lucie: "Throughout uni I would go to car boot sales at the weekend and continue to buy and as I bought I would sell what I didn't wear on eBay. I love to buy these amazing clothes but a girl can only wear so many so it made sense to sell off what I haven't worn to be able to go out and buy more and this cycle continued until myself and Grace decided to do a vintage fair in 2011 and all those clothes I had been buying were suddenly put to use! Since then, it has felt like the only thing I want to do, it makes me so happy to know that I can create a life doing what I love best. From sourcing to sewing, I couldn't picture myself doing anything else or working for anyone else as I have pretty much been my own boss for a long time now! Once you find something you love, you make it a full time thing by working hard all the time but it's ok because I don't want or could think of doing anything else."



Grace: "I’m definitely more laid back but I also tend to be a bit of a perfectionist which drives me mad as I spend so much time worrying about stuff that really doesn’t matter. I don’t get things done 'cause I’m too busy trying to make it perfect but it doesn’t have to be perfect at all. I like to be in control so I always have a rough idea of what is going to happen at the start of each week but apart from that I pretty much just go with the flow. As we work on a collaborative basis we both take charge at different times or for different things and that seems to work best for us."


Lucie: "I am a very relaxed worker but as a self employed woman it is hard to keep pushing yourself forwards and know you have to be your own motivation. I feel that I have learned that you just have to get things done. If you want a bit of time to catch up on Netflix or go out then you have to work like crazy to be able to make time for other things, otherwise there would be no time for anything. My work ethic has changed a lot as once you realise that if you just get something done and not put it off, life and work become much more fulfilling and you can get even more things done including the fun stuff!"  


Any tips for anyone wanting to start their own business in fashion?  


Grace: "Don’t get bogged down in making everything perfect. Nothing is ever perfect and it’s best to get yourself out there, get those products out there and just start selling. Things can be changed and tweaked along the way. Planning is important but it’s more important to just do!"


Lucie: "Work hard, work hard, work hard! That is the best advice I can give, If you want to work for yourself, you have to be ready to put in a full million percent because it is only you that can make your business grow and it is also you that can slow it right down. You need to find what drives you, what you're passionate about enough to then work hard all day every day for the rest of your life to be truly happy every day for the rest of your life."  


And finally, where do you see the future of Tigers Eye?  


Grace: "I can see us becoming THE place for boho babes to get their vintage pieces from. Working with more influencers and creating more exciting content is definitely something we will be working on. We want to make our brand a lifestyle and not just about clothing but about what it means to live life as an ambitious, creative and independent woman in the current times."  


Lucie: "The future of Tigers Eye is exciting, we have lots of fun things coming up and every day is a new idea and a new movement forwards. I can only hope that Tigers Eye keeps building with the work we put in every day and who knows! We will just keep doing what we love for our customers and for anyone that comes to us for inspiration/shopping and good vibes!"  


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