There’s a lot of small accessory brands out there in our vintage inspired community, but because they’re small companies, often owned and run by one woman doing everything herself, it can be hard to discover them because they don’t have the same advertising budgets as the larger vintage inspired clothing brands/shops we see constantly promoted on our feeds.
In my experience the best way to find new accessory brands is to check the tags and captions of the photos you see in your news feeds or the blogs you follow, so that when you see a fakelite bangle or a reproduction handbag you like the look of you can establish whether it’s a true vintage item or something currently for sale. All of these businesses below are ones I found scrolling through Instagram and spotting them on the arm or in the hair of one of my favourite fellow pinups.So if you’re new to the scene, looking to step up your accessories game, or even if you don’t dress vintage at all but you think retro style accessories will add some spice to your modern outfits, this list should help introduce you to some kick-ass small businesses that produce beautiful products and always appreciate your purchases.
Lola Von Rose – Florida based, this one-woman run business makes the cutest vintage-style acrylic handbags in a range of colours to compliment every outfit. Expanding into lcosmetics, Lola Von Rose now also offers vegan, cruelty free matte liquid lipsticks in 8 different colours in beautiful metal gold vintage inspired packaging that will look perfectly at home on a 50s vanity. (Full review here)
Ellen and James– Ethically handmade in East Bali, Ellen and James offer a variety of woven basket bag shapes made of the Ata or Ati grass, reeds grown in Bali and other islands. Each design is created with local artisans, whose craftsmanship has been passed down through the generations, resulting in a beautiful handbag that showcases both art and history. (Full review here)
Kooki De Lou– UK based, this one-woman show produces a limited edition run of the most gorgeous vintage reproduction lucite handbag I’ve ever seen. Mine lives carefully and lovingly stored inside the black storage box it came in atop my bookcase where I don’t have to worry about something falling or stepping on it. (Full review here)
Splendette – UK based, probably the most well known vintage-inspired jewellery makers in our community, Splendette create lovely, fun pieces that finish off almost any outfit in style. Owner and designer Eva creates new ranges for every season, offering up my favourite carved fakelite bangles in a variety of colours that has forced me to upgrade my bangle storage system time and time again. Smaller maiden and larger duchess size bangles are also available in addition to the standard bangle sizes, as well as necklaces and earrings. Their recent reverse carved flora designs make my heart swoon and I’m thrilled I managed to snatch up 2 out of the 5 different flower designs. Now to work on acquiring the other 3! (Full review here)
Bow and Crossbones – Originally founded in the Midlands, Bow and Crossbones offer a mix of sourced vintage jewellery and their own designed and produced items, from hoop earrings, novelty fakelite brooches, fakelite bangles in a variety of styles and colours, and matching necklace sets.
Luxulite – UK based, owner Katy designs and makes original 40s and 50s inspired jewellery, all with a fun novelty twist. There’s brooches, earrings, bracelets and necklaces that range from fruity to creepy to chic. I’m a big fan of her spray style brooches and have to make sure I don’t check her Etsy shop too often so I don’t go overboard in adding to my collection.
Lucky Lou shoes – Texas based, as their name suggests, Lucky Lou Shoes do, in fact, make shoes, hand crafted souvenir footwear to be precise, in tiki styles of leather and vegan faux leather. They also make some gorgeous lucite style bangles in a variety of colours and styles, such pretty styles that I have to prevent myself from placing an order every time they release a new colourway.
Alternate Normality– UK based, boss babe Holly designs and makes all her products herself. Offering some brooches and jewellery as well as hair flowers, as many small makers do, Holly is my favourite hair flower maker, offering a beautiful range of hair duos and waterfall combs that elevate any outfit to another level with their delicacy and sweetness. Holly also offers a custom request feature, which my friend Carly has used many a time to get the perfect hair flower for a certain look she has in mind.
Daisy Jean Floral Designs– Australia based, DJF is run entirely by pinup Curve Creation. Beginning solely as a hair flowers venture, Missi has expanded into designing and creating her own brooch range with regular themed releases. Now offering a subscription box service as well as a custom brooch design service.
Are you a fan of any of these wonderful companies? Are there any other small businesses making kick-ass vintage-inspired accessories I should know about? Comment leaving your recommendations, especially for women-owned and POC-owned small businesses!