Ahead of the Golden Days Vintage Markets Christmas Special edition this weekend, we’re holding the spotlight over traders showcasing the best in unique gift items only found amongst Perth’s independent maker scene.
Here we speak with Kylie of Retrorocket, lover of niche books, records, homewares and much more!
Rosie: How did Retrorocket begin?
Kylie: Retrorocket was initially conceived through The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) in 2010. I had an idea for a secondhand book and retro shop and made a decision to start online and build up my experience from there hence the business name signifying retro wares and science fiction.
I initially sold politics and other science fiction books, however this gradually evolved over time, and now I also sell role-playing books and crime (among other types). Crime novels like Agatha Christie’s are dear to my heart.
Kylie: Retrorocket collects for different niches. We stock RPG (role-playing game) books, punk and alternative records and we also specialise in 1970s (and some 1960s) homeware and barware. We’re now moving into retro toys and tools and we also do special requests – I have a lot of regular customers that I source things for if I can.
Rosie: Where did your interest in collecting retro items develop?
Kylie: I grew up in a household where my family collected some really special things. One of my grandmothers travelled a lot and was a curator at a museum – and she taught me a few things about collecting. I developed a love for 1950s midcentury modern from my other grandmother and my love for art-glass, kitsch and Australian furniture from my parents. I grew up with all that stuff and I carried it through into the business.
Rosie: Where do you source some of your things?
Kylie: I get asked that a lot! I source things in various ways – but I always want it to be fair.
I’m a collector, I’ve collected for many years and some of Retrorocket’s collection is ex-my collection, including art-glass from Norwegian glass works when my parents travelled there in the 1970s.
People come in and sell me their wares and we negotiate a price we’re both happy with. We also sometimes get donations – it’s lovely that people think of us.
Rosie: Tell us a bit about how you got involved with markets.
Kylie: I started at the Balga Markets and then moved onto a stall at the Wanneroo Markets. My partner then convinced me to get my own shop but I have continued selling at markets. I absolutely love the culture of the markets – the people are wonderful! I first was involved with Golden Days at Angove Street Festival last year and it was fantastic. I still regularly run a stall at the Golden Days Vintage Markets, as I love how lively yet personal it is.
As a shop owner, the markets are a great learning opportunity and excellent promotion. I find that people are at times more forthright with you at the markets compared to in a shop, which allows you to quickly learn what does and doesn’t work. I also have developed a lot of experience with shop displays from markets and they allow me to expand my networks and customer reach.
More details on Golden Days Vintage Markets can be found at the event page.