Tammy Facey explores a quirky shop in Digbeth.
Items heralding from a previous age have a certain charm, no? The character and story surrounding vintage pieces is one that needs to be told, surely. Green Eyes vintage boutique owner Ashley certainly thinks so. Green Eyes is firmly ensconced in the home of vintage in Birmingham: Digbeth.
Digbeth is known for its vintage shops, units and warehouses, and specialises in all things quirky that has the ‘indie’ kids excited. It tends to attract the young and bored, desperately trying to be ‘different’ because with their dip dyed hair, and piercings they blend into the crowd. They purr over the numerous acid wash denim shorts, bomber jackets and moth-scented garments labelled “Fruit of the Loom”. Yawn over, bits of rag that claim to hail from the 80’s this shop isn’t. For real vintage attire, head to Green Eyes – a mix of clothes, shoes and bags from different eras and contemporary garments that need a new body to adorn.
Green Eyes is brimming with designer pieces: Gina shoes, Burberry bags, Jeffrey Campbells, Christian Dior heels and the obligatory unheard of items that are truly individual.
Matching the luxury and original pieces is the owner Ashley who is an enthusiastic breath of fresh air. She has infectious energy, but is not a salesperson. Having spent years in recruitment Ashley was tired of her routine and began selling items on ebay and realised she could turn it into a business; voila Green Eyes was born. Now, in terms of her shoppers, instead of pushing a sale Ashley prefers it when a customer comes in, has a look around, and – thanks to the new coffee machine – has a coffee and a cupcake; which are as delicious and decadent as they are pretty. It is a relaxing but also exciting atmosphere: a treasure trove of all things vintage.
Open since April Green Eyes is the Aladdin’s cave for original pieces. It has vintage treasures like pearls, brooches, rings, earrings and necklaces. a previous life that beg to be yours. As your eyes take in the jewels, clothes and shoes, sip a coffee, or enjoy a proffered cupcake at your leisure. It is all about the experience of being in a vintage boutique, and as Ashley calls it “the showroom.”
Having good stock is important. Green Eyes isn’t your average vintage store, however. As Ashley says the general consensus on ebay is “If it’s not 99p I don’t want it”. Ashley appreciates that a much loved, but dated, designer hand bag may mean little to its owner now, but as their tagline goes; ‘one’s clutter is another’s envy’. So bring your goods in and once it’s priced up and sold you receive 50% back! Deal!
Replete with vintage fittings Green Eyes boasts a 1950s desk, 1960s clothes rails, two art deco dressers, and the pièce de résistance; a 1912 solid brass national cash register, made in Ohio for the UK. It is a stunning piece that compliments the store and anchors Ashley’s dream as a reality.
Find Green Eyes at
179 High Street Digbeth Great Britain
Tammy is a recent Salford University English Literature graduate. She has previously written for the student newspaper. Having moved back to Birmingham she enjoys article writing and reviewing places in Birmingham.