FORMER Voice contestant Katie Benbow has been sewing the seeds of success for the vintage scene in Rhyl.
Katie, of Dyserth, has opened a new store, Vintage Hearts, selling vintage clothing and accessories, along with up-cycled clothing she has made herself.
Katie, 21, said: “I wanted to put Rhyl on the map for vintage fashion and furniture so I arranged a photo shoot with an up and coming photographer, Alexander Bather, and set up a competition on Facebook asking for women from the North Wales area to model for the shoot.
“I wanted normal, every day women to model for the photos to put something different out there and show how beautiful you can look. I had models ranging from sizes six to 18 and the oldest model was 56.”
Katie got other vintage shops in the area involved in the project, such as Pin-Up Hairdressers, who provided hair and make-up for the models, and Forget-me-Nots furniture store and the Pot and Kettle, who both provided locations for the photoshoot.
“None of the women have ever modelled before and they were so impressed when they saw the end results. The photos will be going in a well known London magazine but I can’t reveal any more than that - it will be a surprise.”
Katie, who has always made her own clothes, took a Prince’s Trust course which helped her to open her business after she was faced with a lack of employment opportunity.
She said: “I often end up buying my own clothes in places like Liverpool and Manchester as there is nowhere around here that caters for vintage styles.
“The course really helped me. I wanted to bring something refreshing and different to the area, especially as most shops are shutting down, and I’ve had a lot of success so far.
“School children have been coming in and buying unique jumpers and blazers off the £5 rail, which is good for those who might only have a little bit of pocket money.”
Katie is already reaping the rewards of her efforts with interest in her shop from Venue Cyrmu’s Cariad Ink Tattoo Festival and Colwyn Bay’s 1940s festival.