UNEARTHING vintage gems in LA’s treasure trove of vintage boutiques and flea markets is a far cry from Sarah Kneeshaw’s day job.
Back home she’d be tending to the wounded in Sunderland Royal Hospital’s bustling A&E department – a job she’s done, and enjoyed, for the past three years.
The 26-year-old from Chapel Garth has taken a break from the medical world to spend three months in LA with boxer boyfriend Tony Jeffries, inset, while he continues to train with Tommy Brooks, whose former charges include Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
While he’s working hard in the gym, Sarah is spending her days sourcing vintage clothing which she sells from her eBay page.
Her keen eye for vintage threads has proven a hit with fashionistas across the globe and she has so far sold to customers in America, the UK and even Israel.
Sarah says it’s a field she’s been interested in since she was a little girl who raided through her gran’s closet – so her three-month break has given her the perfect opportunity to develop her fledgling business.
She said: “Everybody who knows me will say that I never chuck anything away. I will always make clothes into something different.
“I am always doing things like making a pair of jeans into a skirt. I wore a nighty as a dress to one of Tony’s boxing shows once and loads of girls were asking me where I got it from.”
The period pieces, priced from £7 upwards, can be anything from a 1920s dress and 70s flares to modern-day one-offs, it all depends what Sarah has been able to source from LA’s vast array of vintage clothing boutiques and markets.
She said:“The vintage shops here are amazing, there is just nothing like this at home. I drag Tony around the flea markets on a Sunday on his day off and there is some great stuff. Some things I have to modify, but I’m quite handy with a needle and thread.
“There’s a market on Melrose Avenue on a Sunday and I can’t control myself, I get so excited by all the clothes and jewellery.”
The vintage vixen keeps up to date with all the latest trends in fashion magazines and websites so that she has an idea of what will appeal to buyers.
She said: “I just think rather than going to Primark and buying a dress that you will see 10 or 12 girls in, you can buy something vintage that is still trendy, but that no one else will have.
“I’m not making much of a profit yet, but the items on eBay are going really well. I’ve even bought a couple of vintage wedding dresses which people are going mad for.”
Once her Visa runs out, Sarah is returning to Wearside and is taking part in a wedding fayre at The Alexandra pub, Grangetown, in April, to display her bridal finds.
She also sends “pre-loved” (vintage for the unintiated) jewellery home to her friend who sells it from her shop, 24 Carat Hair & Beauty, in Grangetown.
In the meantime though, Sarah says she is enjoying her time in the LA sunshine.
She said: “I really like LA, but I’m still not used to it, it’s all a bit surreal. The downside is that I really miss my family.
“I miss my job too, the men and women at Sunderland Royal do such a fantastic job. Working in A&E is crazy, but I do miss it.
“The people here are really friendly though and the weather is lovely.
“Tony’s training comes first, it’s the main reason we are here, but it’s fantastic to have this opportunity.”
l To access Sarah’s eBay page look for Loves.Fashion on Facebook.