Tuesday 19 March 2013

Betty Blue Hat

In the past I have admired the stalls of Betty Blue Hat, packed full of vintage treasures. And recently, I discovered a whole shop floor full of the very best of Betty Blue Hat. Not only can you find tea sets, vintage crochet blankets, cushions made from vibrant vintage prints and a variety of lampshades, but Jess of Betty Blue Hat has also added her own designs and added surface patterns to some pieces of furniture. They look individual, each like a piece of art. I really like this idea of adding something a little more to a piece, which really makes it a one-off treasure to be proud of.

Betty Blue Hat is online for some of the bigger pieces but to pick yourself up a lovely lamp or some of the brightly printed kitchenware visit Betty Blue Hat in Ipswich, upstairs in Loveone.

I spoke to the owner Jess to find out how her passion for vintage started.
When did your love for all things vintage start?
I suppose I have always liked quirky things since I was a young child. I'd find odd little items at jumble sales and display them in my bedroom (a very mixed bag, not all of it very good). But my real interest started about 20 years ago when I was at art college – a lot of my work was inspired by surface patterns of the 1950s, and my written work was often about post-war furniture design and the Festival of Britain. In the final year of my degree I concentrated on ceramics; it was so easy to be inspired by the beauty of mid-century design, lots of which is now being revisited in so many modern pieces.

What is your favourite piece in your own home?
It's hard to pick just one, but I'd say some of my ceramic pieces are my favourites. I have a set of eight different 1950s cups and saucers, which were given to me by my mum (after much begging!). For me, these epitomise designs from the 1950s – it was so new, nothing like it had been seen before. It must have been a breath of fresh air to have items like these gracing your table in the post-war years.

What is your favourite era and why?
I'd say the mid-1950s and early 1960s. Designer furniture had such clean lines; gone were the heavy woods and varnishes, and in their place was a lighter, streamlined, more elegant style. But on the flip side I also love the bold and colourful homeware and fabric design. I love Italian ceramics, the bright colours and wild shapes. It was fun and less controlled. The same with the fabrics, and all the kitsch bits in between... enough said!

How did Betty Blue Hat start?
I started Betty Blue Hat two years ago when my love of all things vintage had started to get out of hand! Our house was beginning to look like a museum and something had to be done so I decided to take a stall at a local vintage market to see whether anyone else liked my collections enough to give them a new home. It went well on that first day so I decided it would be the start of something bigger. I took on a workshop so I had more space to work – this also allowed me to start creating my own designs to apply to furniture and therefore expand what I could offer. After about six months it became obvious that I needed to find a more permanent way of selling. I already had stock in Cathy's shop, with the odd piece of furniture, when I had the call to say the shop was expanding and gaining a first floor. I jumped at the chance to stock a whole room full of vintage homeware, and the rest is history. I've been in residence at Loveone for 18 months now and I'm pleased to say the shop is going from strength to strength... I'm looking forward to the upcoming months and spreading the vintage word to Ipswich and beyond!

I am particularly loving the turquoise drawers and even the walls in the shop!

Love Lemon x


  1. What a fab post!
    I *love* the mirror at the top on the first and second photo. I *need* it.

    1. Thanks Lauren! I do love pretty much everything in this shop. That mirror is gorgeous! I think you need it too xxx