Makers Corner: Janice Stevenson

Our Makers Corner today features the lovely Janice Stevenson whose interests lie in sustainable living, retro fashion and culture.See hi to Janice this Saturday 6 July at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre. Until then, read on!Retro Sistaz – InstagramRetro Sistaz – shop

What is your link to Tottenham?

My family and I have been resident in Tottenham for the past 10 years.

What inspired you to become a vintage trader?

I am a vintage trader and my inspiration is firstly a love of history, culture and social issues and the ways in which fashion and styles have been influenced by such phenomena.

What is it like owning your own business or like many, juggling multiple jobs?

I do both. It’s extremely rewarding as it is challenging. The challenging lies in juggling a busy home life, but I am fortunate to have a great family which helps and is willing to plug the holes.

How are your products sustainable?

Both in business and personally, I never buy anything new (except food!). There no need to as wonderful items, clothes, household goods, etc, already exist and are more fabulous than anything manufactured today! All of my products are pre-loved and that makes them both special and friendly to the environment, saving on intensive manufacturing processes, air miles and pollution.

After a long day, what do you do to switch off and relax?

I go for a jog or socialise with friends.

What has been your biggest achievement?

One of my biggest achievements has been to move my products online as this is an expanding area which can save costs for a small business person like me. This has allowed me to sell to the world so I now think in terms of ‘selling to the world’ rather than from a ‘small patch’ in London.

Can you impart a quote or words of wisdom to inspire?

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou:

Makers Corner: Samantha Hine

In our Makers Corner today, we share top tips and sustainability methods by Samantha Hine of The Vintage Letter Lady. Read on!


How are your products sustainable?

All board games and card games I use are incomplete, missing pieces, ripped, torn, the board itself is broken and, so I take all the lovely parts and reuse them to make a piece of art for people’s homes. On some of the board you might see tea stains or pen marks,  but I feel this shows it has been loved and played with and now it has a new life. I love to reuse, remake and remove old things.


After a long day designing, making, and juggling life, what do you do to switch off and relax?

Well my job is being a mummy. I used to work in the fashion industry, but when my twins came along it just wasn’t workable to do both. My little business is my release. Its my bit of me, when I am no longer mummy and can be Sam again.

I do struggle to ensure I spend enough time on my business while looking after the three boys, especially now no one naps! But for two morning a week, they are all in nursery. It’s amazing how much you can get done in 2.5hrs!! Plus I have a very supportive husband.

What is your top seasonal prep tip as a maker?

Try and enjoy it. Time goes so fast and sometimes you don’t get to enjoy the run up to the shows/events because we are so wrapped up in ensuring we have enough stock. Sometimes, everyone needs to stop and look at how much they have achieved.


Can you impart a quote or words of wisdom to inspire?

Ha ha I love a quote! But my favourite is;

“Imagination is the highest kite one can fly” Lauren Bacall.

I actually did a letterpress workshop a few years ago and decided to create this as my piece which is now on our wall in the kitchen so we see it everyday as inspiration.

Find Samantha and her amazing upcycled vintage board games on 4 May at The Beehive Pub (, Stoneleigh Road, N17 9BQ at our May Makers Market.