My Vintage: Behind the Counter in Hassocks


By Deirdre Huston

Whenever I walk along the High Street my eyes are drawn to the eclectic items in the vibrant window displays at My Vintage, and no wonder! There is always something new to see and many of the objects hint at stories of other places or lives. Many of the items are pre-loved and have been given a new lease of life while others are new but individually customised or created by hand. This month I dropped into My Vintage to meet Elaine Bennett and find out more about how the shop has evolved.

Elaine is the shop manager and took on the business seven years ago. “I’ve always loved giving things a new lease of life and have a passion for transforming high quality old items into something unique.” As a child she loved collecting things, rummaging around for treasures at car boot sales and revamping old furniture, and this passion continued into adulthood. She has a background in fashion: earlier in her career she focused on her shop in Bond Street, Brighton, selling a selection of designer women’s wear but she made the choice to give this up when she had children. The family moved to Ditchling for a short while, and then about twelve years ago, in pursuit of more space and a bigger garden, Elaine, husband Pete and their three children moved to Hassocks.

As well as offering her own goods and services, Elaine leases space in the shop to carefully selected stallholders. “It’s always been important to me to get the right people in the shop. I like things to be high end, good quality and unusual.”

[Excerpt from full article in September 2019 Hassocks Life magazine]