Dandelions, Surfboards and Pop-up Shops

Upon entering Dandelion Daydreamer Vintage pop-up store I came across two ladies completely absorbed in their prospective Vintage clothing tasks; one tending to the aged threads on her knee, examining for worn areas that may need attention, the other on her laptop, filling orders and replying to queries. A lovely fusion of tradition and modernity  … a perfect snapshot of the life of the Vintage online trader I think. Only perhaps not everyone in this role is as lucky to have their mum on hand to help with the sorting duties – but of course the workload has increased greatly over the last couple of weeks with the opening of the month long venture pop-up store in Swords Plaza so all family help is welcomed… even that of sisters that may like to wear the clothing more than sell it. I think most girls can relate!

Should you have the opportunity to visit the store you too will undoubtedly spend time in the feminine dressing rooms transcending eras as you move from 60s shift dress to 80s sequin dress with a quick spin on your heel (is that just me? Ok, swiftly moving on….). The latter is probably the biggest seller for DDV at the moment alongside its sequin cousins that all hang beautifully twinkling on the one rack. Although owner Sorcha acknowledge 80s wouldn’t be her first love, she can’t ignore demand and ensures the garments stay true to her own Dandelion Daydreamer style by customising them in a way that represents the brand… this means that if you’re looking for those big shoulder pads with your guna you may just need to bring your own.

Actually I really admire a Vintage store that can honour the heritage of their clothing whilst maintaining their established identity through their collection. Although you don’t even need to sift through the wares to connect with the philosophy of the store… it envelops you as soon as you step through the door. French fille meets Dublin artist in a beautiful welcoming boudoir … not an easy feat in a rented space that doesn’t permit painting or alterations. From the bed and teddy in the middle of the floor (former mighty comfy and teddy very open to sharing) to the free standing dresser adorned with ladies daily Vintage essentials, you get the impression you could happily stay put here for a few days immersed in the elegance of the surroundings whilst remaining oblivious to the outside bustle. I repeatedly forgot where I was during my time in the store and really felt rather irritated by the beeping and regular life that brought me crashing back to reality when I ventured back to my car (note to self: stay longer next time).

It comes as no surprise that the original Dandelion Daydreamer was snapped up by Rip Curl to design their surfboards in the southwest of France, a move that led to the first steps into her Vintage career. Prior to any sales however it was Sorcha’s easy feminine style and eye for beauty that gained her many keen followers on her blog who revisited daily for inspiration courtesy of her chic French insights. It was during her time here that she discovered the many Vintage markets in the area to which she would travel weekly with excitement and anticipation… much to the bemusement of her surfer peers who couldn’t fathom her interest in Grannies cast-offs. On accepting she had too many Vintage dresses of her own following such shopping trips, and wanting some extra cash, she decided to sell a few items on Etsy. As is often the experience with first time traders, demand was huge and Sorcha realised that she could turn this into a full time business.

Stocking bags and clothing mostly from 1950s – 1970s DDV enjoyed great success with customers from all over the globe, with particular interest from the US. After 8 months running the store full-time from France, Sorcha felt a pull home. Coming back to a somewhat changed Ireland was initially daunting but now she can appreciate the creativity and ingenuity that is flourishing in the country and is confident that it was the right move. Well she wouldn’t have all those willing family members on hand for assistance over there now would she?! Although buying now involves flights and hotels – considerations she never had in France – she can continue to dip her toe into her French life every couple of months while sourcing elsewhere too with New York being one of her favourite spots.

It’s now two years since DDV began and having continued success online during that time, especially through Facebook in Ireland, it is now nearing the middle of a month long run in their pop-up store in Swords. For existing Vintage and Dandelion fans it’s a wonderful opportunity to see all of the clothes in one space, try them on and get advice directly from Sorcha about the looks. For Sorcha it’s a chance to meet her existing clientele while reaching out to new ones that may be interested in Vintage but not comfortable with buying online as well, as gaining insight to her market and the Irish landscape. For me it was a lovely hour spent with a savvy, stylish entrepreneur in the serene surroundings of her Vintage haven and learning more about the background to one of the most popular Vintage blogs. Oh and a chance to revisit Swords… probably for the first time since the Pavilions opened and theirs was the only Mango that still had my much-sought-after-for-important-night-out cord mini skirt in stock. And who knew the main street was such a busy shopping hub? A revelation.

If you’d like a revelation of your own I suggest you take time this lovely Saturday to head Swords-way and spend some time in Dandelion Daydreamer Vintage … one big dressing room for Vintage lovers.

DDV pop-up store is located in Swords Plaza, Main St, Sword Village, Dublin.