Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Creative Mama Series - Simonne

I am honoured to be hosting a score of super talented crafty mamas sharing their wisdom, crafting and snapshots of their beautiful lives. This is ‘The Creative Mama series’. Join me every weekend for a wander in these ladies crafty shoes. Guest posts, stunning photography, inspiration, interviews, poetry and giveaways...all coming up. Magic aside it can be hard work this mama business, put your feet up a minute and join us. Hopefully there is always something here to give your day a lift.Name: Simonne Le Masurier
Mother of Molly (20, at Uni in Wellington) and Kieran (8).
Live with partner Pete and our son Kieran and Pete's daughter Rosie (sometimes).
We live on a beautiful property beside the stream which runs out of Lake Wainamu in the Bethells Valley. Although our house is very rundown (always work in progress), our situation is stunning and l get immense satisfaction from the garden and the birdlife and the stars at night and the sound of the waves in the distance and the proximity of the wild West Coast and the incredibly supportive and fun community we have in the Valley. It is a magical place to raise children both physically and emotionally.
I am the owner of Let's Go Retro, the vintage store in Swanson, West Auckland, NZ. My shop, to me, is a wonderful, peaceful haven filled to the brim with beautiful treasures from our past.
My craft is finding and restoring vintage wares. It is not something l was taught but rather a love l was born with and a wide range of skills and knowledge have come along the way just by being open to learning. If you're passionate about your vocation the gaining of knowledge is a pleasure. I count myself lucky to know that in my business l'll never know everything!
History - As a child l would love to sort through Gran's cupboards hearing the history of the various contents and Grandad's pigeonhole desk with its old stamps and log books and receipts for everything he'd ever bought was a constant source of wonder. Then as a teenager l was first off the block with the inorganic rubbish collections. I still have a tin chest and lined hat box found in a treasure filled pile. It's amazing what you can balance on the rack of your pushbike when there is a strong will involved.
There followed many years, off and on, where l would sell my wares at markets. Finally, the leap into the void of owning a shop was made three years ago when my son started school and l was faced with the prospect of getting a real job. And there began another steep learning curve!

My children have both picked up an appreciation of vintage wares and my eight year old can spot a Crown Lynn swan from a hundred paces! Molly always helps in the shop during Uni breaks and has manned market stalls with me for years. She's also a keen op shopper! I love that they both value what l do and have an appreciation of the quality and style of old things.
It is fabulous for a child to learn the basic economics and green/recycling virtues of buying secondhand.
I've racked my brains to think of any helpful hints regarding juggling family/business demands but perhaps l'm just not the right person to ask. l still go into a panic if Kieran wakes up ill because Pete will have left for work already, his mother doesn't turn her hearing aid on until 9am, my mother lives in Melbourne and you cannot offload a sick child to stay at home friends as you'll just infect their children. I think there's a job opportunity there for someone - providing a quiet, friendly restful haven for sick children.
And then there's the guilt...
It's a nightmare sometimes but somehow it all works out in the end and neither of my children seem to be emotionally damaged in any way. I think l am but they seem OK!
I should also mention that Pete and l work in together well so the childcare duties are not wholly my responsibility. That makes all the difference!

Check out the Lets Go Retro website HERE. Or better yet, for those in Auckland, or visiting, go visit the store in Swanson...for those who love vintage and retro it is pretty close to paradise.

SIMONNE'S a $25 voucher to spend at Lets Go Retro! Wow...too bad i can't enter aye?! Leave a comment to be in to win. All entries go into the magic hat and the winner drawn by the smallest member of the household. Good luck!


  1. oh what a great looking shop, will have to pop in next time I am out that way. Sam

  2. I hope as my kids grow they'll be as into my work!

  3. Can't believe I live out west and have not visited this shop yet. What lovely treasures Simonne.

  4. I love Simonne's shop. I never seem to get a good chance to browse quietly by myself though sadly.