Retro-loving Tring woman marks 10-year anniversary of vintage collectible business

Rachel Toy felt uninspired by the high street homeware offerings of the 1990s
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A Tring woman who has been collecting vintage and retro items since the 1990s is celebrating a ten-year milestone running her collectible business.

Rachel Toy started her vintage collection after feeling uninspired by the high street homeware offerings of the 1990s, filling her flat with colourful original items from the 1960s and 1970s instead.

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She said: “I have always loved vintage since visiting car boot sales as a child in the 80s with my mum and auntie. They would be after 1920s and 1930s deco items, the kind of thing that reminded them of my grandparents, while I would be looking for toys and clothes. By in my late teens, I was attracted by the bright colours of 1960s and 1970s kitchenware. Mum would tell me all about the pieces and explain about what was popular at the time. I was hooked and started my collection.”

Rachel in her vintage-inspired home.Rachel in her vintage-inspired home.
Rachel in her vintage-inspired home.

Moving to Tring with her husband in 2007 allowed Rachel to expand her collection. Their Victorian railway cottage was the perfect size for larger pieces of art nouveau furniture and unusual curios.

Some years later she launched her own vintage business as a side hustle, selling through platforms like eBay and eventually her own website, offering vintage kitchenalia, homewares, kitsch ornaments, and toys from the 1950s to 1980s. And, after a period running her own booth in an antiques centre, she transformed their garden summerhouse into a shed shop to run Rachel’s Vintage and Retro from.

She added: “I feel so blessed to be running my own business in an area that I love. I get to shop for and display fun, colourful vintage items every day, giving my customers have the chance to own their own bit of the past. I regularly have interesting chats with visitors to my shed shop, and love hearing about the reasons why they have bought that particular item from me. Sometimes it’s purely to add to their collection, or it could be as a reminder of a loved one they have lost such as a grandparent, treasured friend, or other family member. I love this part of the job, and helping people reconnect with the past.”

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