Lola & SiDney 7th Birthday
Posted on June 13 2022
It has been 7 years since we opened the doors at Lola & SiDney. Join us for an update on our story, so far.
Re-Cap "We named a shop after our house rabbits"
If you haven't read our previous birthday blog post, here is a little recap on how it all started.
In May 2015, we took a walk to a pet shop in Wimbledon to get some treats for our 2 house rabbits and on the way back, saw a 'for rent' sign in an empty shop window. Phil had been interested in all things vintage and quirky for awhile and the idea of having our own shop suddenly seemed a reality.
Once home, we opened the bag of treats for SiDney and Mildred (we had lost Lola earlier in February 2015) and once both buns were treaty-content, we called the number advertised on the empty shop.
We visited the shop the next day and said yes immediately and signed the lease and got the keys the very same week.
After completing the shop fit-out in 2 weeks of getting the keys, we were ready to open the doors!
In September 2018, we re-located our London shop to Rye in East Sussex.
Lola & SiDney in Tooting, London opened in June 2015 and re-located to Rye in September 2018.
"COVID changed everything"
Having operated successfully as a vintage shop, both in London and Rye, what was about to happen in March 2020 would flip the business upside down.
"You must stay at home". Those famous words meant the doors would be temporarily shut at Lola & SiDney. This also meant our suppliers, based in France, were unable to visit us, which meant we were unable to buy vintage stock.
We spent the COVID lockdown exploring the idea of buying into non-vintage items and also to set up our online website.
Lockdown also saw us take time to relax, something that rarely happens!
Unable to buy vintage during COVID, the sub-brand "Miss Mildred" was born, which would focus on new finds that are bold, fun and fabulous.. just like Mildred herself!
Did you know? The colour pink in the Miss Mildred logo is pantoned to Mildred's pink eyes.
"Getting ready to re-open (and close again)"
The time spent in lockdown allowed us to change the inside of the shop to accommodate the new items with purpose built displays.
Re-opening was challenging due to COVID restrictions. Thankfully, the majority of people were supportive.
The neon area.
Creating new areas for new products.
Twas the night before Christmas, well, 21st December and the start of another lockdown! 'A Most Unusual Christmas' window display, which was also featured on Sky News.
One part of our namesake, SiDney, sadly passed away in November 2020 to join his first wife Lola. Mildred (SiD's second wife) went into mourning (yep, rabbits can grieve) so the hunt was on to find her a new husband to keep her company.
Lola & SiDney, together again.
Jacques, a Belgian Hare joined us in January 2021. Technically a rabbit, his breed gives him the appearance of a hare with long ears and legs plus a distinctive curve.
Jacques with Mildred, both looking very regal!
For our 6th birthday, we were invited by our card payment provider, SumUp, to open a pop-up shop on London's famous Oxford Street. A few weeks later, we won “Best Vintage Homeware Supplier 2021” by a panel of judges at the “Great British Entrepreneur Awards”.
Lola & SiDney pop-up at Oxford Street in London.
A look in store.
"Back to the show-stopping windows!"
In Tooting, we were known for our eye-catching windows, used to capture the busy passing traffic. In Rye, the traffic is less cars and more footfall, which meant the windows did have a little 'calm' period. But you can't hold back 'Phil the creative' and the full-on, impactful windows are back for Rye residents and visitors to enjoy or not!
A birds eye view inside!
Jubilee window display
A bright, eye-catching window showcasing some of our products and kissing bunnies!
"Own brand and exclusives"
During a change from Vintage to New, we have also developed exclusive products with our suppliers and even produced our own range of sweets and candles. New for 2022, we worked with Merryfield Pottery to produce an exclusive Birthday Cake trinket pot. You can see all our own branded and exclusive products here.
Happy Birthday trinket dish, made exclusively for Lola & SiDney by Merryfield Pottery.
So many great changes have happened to Lola & SiDney, it is hard to predict what will be next, but we will constantly keep changing and sourcing the best products, be it new or vintage items. Thank you to you for supporting us and following our story. Could we see a permanent shop-in-shop or even a second shop in the future?