Pamela Dowell is a vintage enthusiast and she recently launched VinTEAge party, a crockery company hiring out all you need for a traditional tea party.
The idea for the business formed several years ago after requests from friends to borrow from her vast collection of tea pots and cups but her job in children and adolescent mental health with the NHS made it difficult to find the time.
Pamela, who lives in Falkirk with husband Andrew, son Harrison, six, and baby daughter Robyn, five months, is delighted at the interest already.
She said: “I’ve loved all things vintage for a long time but I’ve always had a soft spot for vintage tea sets. I love how detailed they are and thinking about all the special occasions and good times they have been used for .
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“My collection started with a few pieces I found but has grown arms and legs and I now have over 100 teacups and saucers and dozens of teapots, plates and cake stands. Friends have inherited tea sets from relatives and passed them along to me and I have to pop in to every charity shop I pass to see if they have any unusual cups or pots. “
Pamela’s collection is mostly from the 1920-50s with one set dating back to the 1890s and some have sentimental value, belonging to family members.
Taking advantage of maternity leave after Robyn was born last December, Pamela launched her hire company in between feeds and school runs.
The response to VinTEAge Party has been great since it’s launch, with the tea sets popular for baby showers, hen parties and garden parties.
Pamela added: “Hiring in the sets not only looks so much better than plastic but it is better for the environment. People are becoming more aware of one time use items and some of the hires have said they choose us because they’re trying to be eco-friendly.
“Personally, I just love the aesthetic and back story of these sets, wondering who owned them before. Lots of times the owners would have kept these sets in storage, only bringing them out for very special occasions so it’s great they are getting another use .
“Working in mental health, I appreciate how important just having a tea and a chat can be and I’m glad these sets are getting to be part of a new generation of tea and chats.”
Pamela is also launching a picnic basket rental this summer which will come complete with tasty treats and, of course, beautiful crockery.
You can find more information or book for your event here.