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Published August 4th 2015
Madame V is related to Juste Parce Que & QVM Brocante Marche
UPDATE: Madame Vintage has since moved to new premises and is sharing a space with another vintage store; Chasse au Tresor at 293 Victoria Street, West Melbourne. It's open every day, except Monday from 10-5 or by appointment.
Madame Vintage sits like the grand old dame of yesteryear filled with a treasure trove of precious vintage items for you to discover. Fear not if you can't find exactly what you're after, Madame V is constantly sourcing vintage treasures and will happily work with you to find your perfect piece.
Victoria, the Madame herself, passionate about all things vintage
Madame Vintage is synonymous with its complex owner Victoria. A woman passionate about all things vintage, she is the driving force among the many arms that make up an interconnected pathway to vintage heaven. To explain this and for you to get a grasp of the passion that rides high and long behind each chosen piece, I'll have to start at the beginning and tell you about the woman that gave birth to Madam Vintage in October 2014.
Victoria's romance with vintage started at a very young age. Learning French at school she fell in love with all things French and had a fascination with Royalty, their decadent lives and the chateaus in France, Italy and Germany. Hailing from England and having moved to Australia when she was 11 years old, her reality was at odds with her passion. After school she went on to work with The Bank of NSW (Westpac), studied finance at Melbourne University and ended up at an architects registration board as a registrar there. Returning to live in England for 2 years in the 80s, she came back a mother of 2 who needed more flexible working hours. Joining forces with her sister, they went into business in 1989 and started 'Time for Tea'. By this time Victoria had 2 more children.
Lots of beautiful treasures of yesteryear to look at inside
Time for Tea was at Maling road in Canterbury and sold tea from all over the world. They were the precursor to today's Tea Two shops. In an upmarket area that welcomed an initiative like Time for Tea, a time when only new things were valued and vintage was not, the sisters took it to a level they never aspired to.
Two years into the business, for personal reasons, Victoria's sister's focus had to change due to circumstances beyond her control, and the business was sold. The integrity of the business that Victoria and her sister had forged went on to greater success with its new owners who opened up 2 more stores in Forest Chase.
The building that houses Madame Vintage has been in Victoria's sightline for a long time. In the 1800s it was part of a group of shops but the war changed things around and it was rented out as storage space. It was refurbished in 1991 and became part of the evolution of QVM (Queen Victoria Markets). Victoria took the opportunity to rent the space and called her store Victoria's Tea & Treasure.
At the time she sold all things Victoriana like linen and lace and decoupage, and that worked because next door to her was an Americana shop. It wasn't even a year when Victoria sold her shop to the store owner next door who was only happy to take it off her hands. Victoria was having twins. Born premature and with 6 children on her hands, something had to give.
Itching to get back to her passion, when the twins started pre-school, Victoria decided to go into secondhand goods and took a space at Lancefield while working as her husband's bookkeeper at the same time. Part of a three level massive hotel that was turned into a country antique centre, the owner from Castlemaine lived on the top floor.
Victoria was there for 2 years till 1996 then spent the next 12 years starting up cerebral palsy support network groups as none were in existence for one of her twins. She then helped set up a respite program that was given birth to in her lounge room. She became the spokesperson and promotor of this initiative and went to conferences and gave talks to other groups about how to set up such a program. You'll find her name acknowledged in the Cerebral Palsy booklet.
To raise money, she headed Melbourne's longest cake which was an annual initiative of the Cerebral Palsy Support Network as its major fundraiser and public awareness event. It was supported by Crown for 3 years which was long enough for Victoria as this event started to impinge on her time and eventually it ceased to exist for her.
Back to present day, 2015 has been a big year for Victoria. Part of the initiative to head up a vintage corner at QVM, Victoria is the market organiser that started the QVM Brocante Marche Vintage Market earlier this year and operates on the first Sunday of each month. The market also has a Facebook page if you'd like to join it to stay in the know of when the next market event is going to be.
Juste Parc Que at La Cultcha Collectif on 293 Victoria street, West Melbourne
Having met and become friends with a few amazing women who had the same focus on all things French influenced and a passion for vintage, Victoria's Juste Parce Que moved in with Vintage Linens & Collectives in June 2015. I should say a third of Juste Parce Que, because the other one third lives at the QVM Brocante Marche and the last third shares a space at La Cultcha Collectif as of a couple of months ago. No longer sharing the same views as the Chapel street Bazaar where Juste Parce Que used to be housed, it's now spreading its wings between three locations.
Madame Vintage is the special daughter with a space of her own. As you can see she was spawned of a deep passion and commitment that only grew stronger over the years. Having been witness to all that you've read about Victoria, you can't help but come away with the feeling that this woman can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. You couldn't wish for a better person to hunt down that piece of vintage for you if you can't find it at Madame Vintage or at Victoria's three other shared stores (Vintage Linens & Collectables, La Cultcha Collective and QVM Brocante Marche). You'll be well taken care of so make sure you pay Madame Vintage a visit. You can also drool over her pictures and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
Victoria is always looking for vintage stallholders for the QVM Brocante Marche, so make sure you give her a call if you'd like to join this merry band of vintage stallholders.
Juste Parc Que at Vintage Linens & Collectables, 519 Brunswick street, Fitzroy North
Madame Vintage has since moved to new premises and is sharing a space with another vintage store; Chasse au Tresor at 293 Victoria Street, West Melbourne. It's open every day, except Monday from 10-5 or by appointment.