Rachel Baker

Currently based in Cardiff, Rachel works at a university by day and by night runs online vintage china store Nancy’s Vintage China with her mum and also writes a vintage-inspired blog.

Long before vintage and upcycling became fashionable, Rachel could be found rummaging through boxes in charity shops, markets and fairs searching for 1980s Barbie dolls and kitsch ornaments. Her passion for vintage is still going strong although these days you’re more likely to find her hunting for vintage china than Barbie dolls!

When she’s not buying, photographing or writing about vintage china, she likes to dabble in a bit of cycling, Pilates, sewing, tea drinking and chatting (although not all at the same time!).

A few questions about nice things...

Who do you most admire?

People who have the courage and determination to make the most of life, even in the face of adversity, and who inspire and support others along the way.  One of my relatives epitomised this. Ieuan was technically a distant cousin, yet his supportive nature and enthusiasm for life meant that he played a big part in my (and my parents’) life when I was a kid.  Although we were generations apart, he was always encouraging and interested in what I did.  This was all despite him having a debilitating disease which ended his life relatively early.

What are your favourite possessions?

My sewing machine (which still greets me with a familiar whirr despite my neglecting it for months at a time), my vintage Paragon fortune-telling teacup (although I have never used it to tell my fortune!), and a silver ring given to me by my boyfriend on my 21st birthday.

Tell us about your perfect day or weekend...

It would start with me being woken up by the sunshine streaming through my window. Feeling refreshed after a sound sleep and full of anticipation for the day ahead, I’d set off on a bike ride through the countryside with the warmth of the sun on my face.  The fun of stumbling across a town to explore, vibrant but a little shabby around the edges with plenty of opportunities for seeking out new treasures.  Back on the bike to meet up with family and friends for a natter and delicious home cooked food, rounded off by a perfect view of the sun sinking into the sea enjoyed from my favourite spot overlooking Rhossili Bay.

What makes you happiest?

Talking and laughing with family and friends, feeling the wind through my hair on a bike ride, finding an unloved piece of vintage china that I can restore back to its original glory to be appreciated by a new owner.

What would you like to do in the future?

So many things! As well as continuing to develop Nancy’s Vintage China and enjoy the experiences it brings, I’d like to have a go at running another business, maybe something related to photography and crafting. I’d like to live in a house (not too far from the sea) with enough space to have a big studio for sewing, photography and renovating old things, and for my boyfriend to be able to work on his many bikes!