Stall Focus #5 – The Forgotten Library

18 Apr

We’re very pleased to have The  Forgotten Library back! Having undergone a name-change, they’ll be appearing once again at June’s event, due to take place in Derby’s Silk Mill Museum.

We caught up with head librarian Charlotte to discover what it’s all about.

1. Hello Charlotte. Could you sum-up The Forgotten Library in one sentence?
Unique gifts created from vintage books and papers.

2. Couldn’t have put it better myself. So what exactly will you be selling on the day?
I hope to bring along something from all the ranges made at The Forgotten Library.  Individual journals with pulp fiction and classic penguin book covers.  Fun folders with vintage magazine covers.  Magnets and keyrings featuring book illustrations and retro advertisements.  Cards with unique train travel tickets from the 1930s-1970s, cigarette cards and advertisements from a Victorian Times newspaper.   Assorted gifts from letters to bookends decorated with decoupage.  Book clocks and more.  There will also be some rejuvenated lavender filled vintage pomanders so you can treat your new clothes from the swop to a fragrant and pretty new home in the wardrobe.

3. Charlotte, you had me at “classic penguin book covers”. Have you anything special up your sleeve planned for Swop n Shop?
I’m currently working on turning books into pen pots and holders and making headbands from vintage materials and buckles so if I can create the stock in time I hope to have some new lines introduced then.  I will also be having a multibuy offer and sale basket to satisfy the bargain hunter.

4. So how did The Forgotten Library begin?
I’ve always loved creative pursuits but not always had as much time as I’d like to enjoy these due to work commitments.  With the current economic climate I have faced redundancy due to workplace closure on 3 occasions in just a few years and so when my hours were cut after the last threat I decided to spend the extra time putting some of the ideas I’d often come up with into practice.

When I worked at an Oxfam bookshop we often bemoaned the fact the damaged books had to go in the recycling bin because they just weren’t saleable and over the years I’d had many thoughts about how they could be upcycled.  2011 was the year I started to turn my daydreams into something real.

5. Finally, what attracted you to take part in Swop n Shop?
I took part in the first event and was thrilled to find out it was happening again with a more central and fascinating sounding venue.  The wide range of fabulous craft stalls were wonderful to explore and swapping clothes is fun and a fabulous fundraising idea.  I look forward to June 9th.


As you might have grasped, we, like Charlotte, are also very excited about June 9th.

You can learn more about The Forgotten Library on their website, their blog, their Facebook page and their Etsy shop.

And, of course, you can pay a visit to their stall come June 9th!


Stall Focus #4 – Threadful

15 Apr

As part of our in-depth exploration of what makes our beloved stallholders tick, we caught up with Emily from Threadful.

1. Hi Emily. Could you sum-up your stall in one sentence?
Threadful is a one-stop shop for unique accessories, gifts and exclusive items that have all been individually handcrafted with the utmost care and attention to detail with the added option of personalisation.

2.   Nice. So what exactly will you be selling on the day?
On the day I’ll be bringing with me a huge choice of bags – for all kinds of occassions, laptop cases, iPad, Kindle and phone cases – for all makes and models, fun and expressive speech bubble cushions and iconic themed pillows. All of which are available in a wide range of fabric choices and colours.

3.   We’re a massive fan, as you know, of fabrics and colours.
There’ll be something for everybody on my stall! Whether you’re looking for something for yourself, or to treat a friend or family member you’ll be sure to find something! There’s a fantastic choice of fabrics in a wide range of colours and patterns to suit everyone’s taste. I also offer customisable items, for example, if there’s something specific you’d like to say, express it on one of my speech bubble cushions! If you’ve got a device that’s too large or too small for one of my pre-made case, that’s not a problem! I can tailor make any of my cases or bags. Also if you see a case you like but not in the fabric you want, again, not an issue, just place an order and I’ll make it!

4.   So how did Threadful begin?
I started Threadful just after I finished University. Whilst I was looking for a job I came across Etsy and spent hours looking at all the pretty things on there and thought of all the things that I could make. One day after not hearing back from yet another job application, I thought, you know what, let’s create my own job, and so Threadful was born!

I got designing my website – not as easy as I thought it was going to be, I’m very indecisive and kept changing my mind! Luckily for me my boyfriend knows a lot about creating websites and coded the whole thing and got it online for me, whilst I started patterning the first items, set up my trusty machine, got some fabrics and started sewing. I started off with a few laptop cases and people started buying them, I was absolutely amazed, so I made some more!

I then ventured into iPad, Kindle and phone cases and had more and more sales! Since that fateful day last June, I’ve never looked back! I now work full time but I manage to pack my evenings creating items and making custom orders, I’m very busy but I’d never stop now! It’s amazing to see my little business growing and I’m so thankful for every sale I make.


5.   We’re very pleased for you, Emily. So, finally, what attracted you to take part in Swop n Shop?
I love the idea of likeminded crafty people all coming together to help such a worthy cause and I had to be part of it. It’s wonderful to see so many people supporting events like these. I took part in last year’s event and obviously wanted to come back to this new bigger and better venue. It’s great to see all the local shops and craftspeople together and to share our gifts with the local community to raise funds for a great charity like the Red Cross.


Threadful are all over the internet. Beyond their website, you can catch them on Facebook, Twitter and even Google Plus.

Or, if you want to see how it all began, check out their Etsy!

What’s Been On The Swop n Shop Juke Box?

13 Apr

Did we tell you about the Living Room? It’s to be a small space in the corner of June’s Swop n Shop at Derby’s Silk Mill Museum. We’re going to be using authentic items of 60s and 70s furniture from the Silk Mill’s collection in order to create a space where you can relax between hectic bouts of swopping and shopping.

Best of all, though, is the stack of vinyl and record player. You can play whatever you want from the Silk Mill’s record collection; thus allowing exactly the sort of sounds which might once have prevailed in times past soak once more into the fabric of this faded furniture.

Unfortunately, we haven’t yet had a chance to browse through the Silk Mill’s record collection. We’ve got it on good authority, though, that to do so would be like rifling through a magpie’s nest. These aren’t records that have been saved and salvaged. Rather, they’ve been acquired. This makes for a real mixed bag of nuts which ranges, we understand, from The Moody Blues to the hits of The Beatles as “re-imagined” by The Panpipe Orchestra of Lower Solihull.

We hope as much, anyway.

In any case, you can sink into a vintage chair and take the weight off your feet whilst you listen to the sort of thing which, at the very least, you wouldn’t ever hear on Radio One.

Or Radio Two, for that matter. I wouldn’t rule out Radio Three, though.

This unexpected musical boon has inspired us to establish The Swop n Shop Juke Box. We’re going to share with you the sort of sounds which have been radiating from our speakers throughout the week.

This week we’ve been quite addicted to My Psychoanalyst – homegrown talent, straight from Derby!

Photo taken from

They join a grand lineage of bands whose names begin with “My” – My Morning Jacket, My Bloody Valentine, My Vitriol and My Chemical Romance. My Psychoanalyst, though, sound like nobody except My Psychoanalyst. Their sound is very much their own – a rare thing to hear these days, and an even rarer thing to hear from a guitar band. We like them because they prove that there’s still life in the old guitar/bass/drums/vocals set-up. Lots and lots of life.

We hear golden shades of Teenage Fanclub in such wonderfully named songs as Next Time You See Me I’ll Be Covered In Hair. The song of which we simply cannot get enough, though, is Meme. It’s the sort of song which, when you first hear it, makes you wonder where it’s been all your life. To us it sounds like Biffy Clyro at their most playful covered by Fleet Foxes at their most starry-eyed.

Give it a go. You can download one of their albums for free from their Bandcamp.

Do you know of – or, even better – do you play in any local bands who you think deserve our time? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

Stall Focus #3 – BelleBangles

3 Apr

Fans of sparkly, shiny ethical loveliness rejoice! We’re pleased to announce that the none-more-glittery BelleBangles will be making a very welcome return to Swop n Shop at the Silk Mill this June.

We caught up with Ms. Teresa Parr of BelleBangles, in order to ask her what it’s all about.

Hi Teresa. So what’s it all about?
BelleBangles specialises in one of a kind hand made pieces of jewellery using fair trade beads from Ghana and Uganda and also beaded leather wraps for women and men using semi precious stones and beautiful Czech glass crystal beads.

Sounds gorgeous! So what will you be selling on the day?
On the day I will be selling my fair trade jewellery. The beads have been carefully sourced and are produced from recycled glass and then handpainted by the Somanya-Krobo tribe in Ghana, West Africa. By purchasing the beads it helps to develop sustainable employment opportunities there (currently in the field of jewelry-making and other bead work) for disadvantaged youth whose job prospects are very limited by their lack of family support and/or limited levels of education.

I will also be bringing along my beaded leather wraps designed for men and women. I use top quality Greek leather cord and semi precious beads, Swarovski pearls and Czech glass crystal. The wraps are all finished with an individual button. Every item on the stall is Ooak (one of a kind) so you can be assured of an individual piece.

Exciting! So will you be doing anything extra special for Swop n Shop?
I am continually designing and making items which I hope the customer loves! There will be plenty of colour on the stall – the fair trade beads are stunning and the Czech glass beads are very sparkly! I will also be bringing along, especially for Swop n Shop and it’s vintage theme, beaded leather wraps using vintage beads from the 1940’s – 80’s.

Lovely. So how did BelleBangles all begin?
I began making jewellery a couple of years ago out of my love for fair trade beads and buttons, which are on the beaded leather wraps. I am a button magpie and have boxes full of them!

I wanted to create items that were different to the growing number of jewellery craft stalls and hopefully I have achieved this.

We’re sure you have, Teresa. Finally, what attracted you to take part in Swop n Shop?
I took part in last year’s Swop n Shop so of course I said ‘yes’ when asked back to this new and exciting venue. It’s great to promote local crafts people and also help raise money for the Red Cross. Fingers crossed for it being a great success.


Fingers  crossed indeed!

You can find BelleBangles on Etsy and on Twitter @bellebangles.

Our slots are quickly filling up, so should you want to set up stall yourself at Swop n Shop, do get in touch.

Our Trip To The Silk Mill Museum

14 Mar

Last week we paid a visit Derby’s Silk Mill Museum – the venue of the next Swop n Shop.

Community project director Hannah Fox was very kind to show us around. She gave us a fascinating insight into the exciting developments currently taking place in the museum and the grand plans they have for the future.

We were stunned by the versatility and potential of the space.

The old Industrial Museum within the Silk Mill was mothballed in April 2011 and is currently going through a redevelopment phase.

Derby is an epicentre of engineering, technological and creative excellence, with one in eight people being employed in high-tech functions. This is four times the national average.

The Silk Mill is set to become the sort of interactive discovery centre in which Derby’s unique industrial heritage is recognised and celebrated alongside its bustling present and bright future

Until then, though, we are genuinely proud and more than a little humbled to be given the opportunity to showcase the buzz of creativity once more in this awesome environment.

At the moment, the ground floor of the Silk Mill is playing host to “Hijacked III” – an excellent exhibition of contemporary photography from the UK and Australia. Set to haunting ambient music which lilts wonderfully through the air, this free exhibit demonstrates perfectly the potential the Silk Mill has for acting as a hub for all that is creative and forward-thinking in Derby.

Also, the Derby music and art collective Holy Smokes use the Silk Mill Industrial Museum as a venue for their monthly evenings of intrigue, innovation and edification. The next event takes place on March 30th and features music from Ben Butler & Mousepad  and Grey Hairs, as well as spoken word performances from Éireann Lorsung and Nathan Good.

We wouldn’t miss it for the world, and neither should you.

To read more about the exciting developments occurring at the Silk Mill, click here to read FD2D’s excellent, insightful and optimistic article.

Stall Focus #2 – Vieve

29 Feb

Swop n Shoppers rejoice! We have another stallholder.

The brainchild of one Genevieve Preece, they’re called Vieve and they rock. We couldn’t be happier to have them on board.

We caught up with Genevieve in order to learn who they are and what they do:

Hello Genevieve. Could you sum-up Vieve in one sentence?
Vieve is an eclectic mix of customised vintage and handmade fashion clothing and accessory pieces.

What will you be selling on the day?
Vieve will have beautiful, unique pieces of customised vintage and handmade clothing, hand dyed and printed silk scarves, vintage inspired jewellery and accessories.

What can we expect from your stall? Will there be any special new products or promotions on the day?
Vieve strives for an individual boutique style, presentation is key whilst love and attention is given to each individual item to ensure Vieve’s customers can find something perfectly special for them. Vieve will have a suitably summery feel and as a special treat we will be offering a complimentary present for those who spend over £30 in one purchase.

How exciting! So how did Vieve come about?
I have always had a strong passion for the creative world, at University I studied Fashion and Textile Design, and I am now really enjoying finding unusual vintage items and turning them into something special and making beautiful handmade pieces with a quirky feel. I love to embroider fabrics, and use print and dye effects to create something fabulous. My great passion is seeing others enjoy my pieces and look gorgeous wearing them.

What attracted you to take part in Swop n Shop?
The Swop n Shop is a great opportunity to support a worthwhile charity and also take part in a wonderful event in Derby. I look forward to spreading the Vieve name and meeting customers, new and old.


And we look forward to meeting you, Genevieve!

Catch up with Vieve on Facebook, Twitter and, coming soon, a very swanky website.

Stall Focus #1 – Shu & Me

27 Feb

Excellent news,  Swop n Shoppers! We’ve got our first stallholder.

Shu & Me specialise in vintage and trend inspired jewellery put together by hand using recycled pieces of unwanted, broken or inherited costume and antique jewellery. They take the outmoded and make it “beautiful and wearable”. It’s a marvellous venture based on a very real love for the gorgeous and the unique. We’re genuinely proud to have them on board.

We caught up with the mastermind behind Shu & Me – Lucy Bannister – to tell us what it’s all about.

Hi Lucy. Could you sum-up your stall in one sentence?
A stall with the concept that- “One girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure.” Being that I’m a total Magpie and lover of all things Vintage.My stall will be filled with sparkly vintage bling!

What will you be selling on the day?
I hand make, unique necklaces and bracelets that have been put together using recycled pieces of unwanted, broken or inherited costume/antique jewellery that have gone on to be revived to make something beautiful and wearable. Every item is different and exclusive to the person wearing it. Each necklace and bracelet tells a different story.

What can we expect from your stall? Will there be any special new products or promotions for the day?
All my pieces of jewellery are 100% one-offs so who knows what I will have created by the time the event comes around! I find this is all part of the thrill and excitement in doing what I do, never knowing what I might pick up next to create something new from- so expect some surprises! Other than that I will be bringing my existing collection of vintage inspired necklaces and bracelets designed currently priced between £10-£30 each one unique to the person who buys them and made with 100% care, love and consideration into the smallest of details.

How did Shu & Me come about?
I started working with jewellery from an early age as a Saturday girl at a friend of the families business in derby, it was working there that my passion for the crafting of jewellery began I suppose. I completed my degree in ‘Fashion Studies’ and knew it was the fashion world I wanted to become part of but wasn’t sure which area. Eventually I decided to mix my love for design, with my love for jewellery and create trend/vintage inspired jewels- I love the idea of taking something unwanted and making it beautiful again in a new form.

What attracted you to take part in Swop n Shop?
I think any event of this kind is great. The Red Cross is obviously a super cause to back and it’s nice that fashion and charity can work so well together, allowing to promote local business but also raise lots of money to help the millions of people that rely upon the Red Cross around the world. With Shu&Me being my new venture I see this event as the perfect way to show case my stuff. Can’t wait to be part of it!


Lucy? We can’t wait either.

You can find Shu & Me on both Facebook and Blogspot. Why not pay them a visit?