Tinker twins with a sign for their market

Twin sisters bring Vogue-featured makers market to Selfridges

From their favourite vintage finds to this week’s Selfridges pop-up, the Tinker twins tell us the story behind their award-winning makers market Salad Days.

Daisy and Liv Tinker have always loved a bargain.

Growing up, the sisters dreamed of one day working together and, coming from a family of upholsterers, traditional crafts have always been something they’ve celebrated.

The sisters studied fashion-related subjects at university, both going on to work for big industry brands — Daisy in content and marketing and Liv in visual merchandising. 

However, it is not a time they recall particularly fondly.

Daisy said: “I think for our twenties, there was a lot of change, upheaval, and we both never really felt 100% happy with the work we were doing.

“I think they just really drilled into us that you are just lucky to be working in fashion or creative industries or publishing. You are just lucky to have any job.”

“I think it was a rite of passage of just being miserable because that’s just kind of how they sold it at university,” Liv agreed.

It all began in the upstairs room of a Crystal Palace library

In 2019, Daisy moved to Crystal Palace, and was keen to become more involved with her new community.

When taking out some books from a local library, she noticed a room-for-hire upstairs, and immediately messaged Liv suggesting they do something there.

They settled on hosting a Christmas market. 

Daisy explained: “We have always been lifelong shoppers, which I know doesn’t seem like a legit hobby.

“We’ve always been really interested in rummaging through things and finding things.

“We opened the doors, and hundreds of people just poured through. We were just in this tiny room above the library. It was an absolutely resounding success.”

Liv added: I think the biggest thing for us, running the market, has been building back up the confidence that got knocked out of us by university. I am still doing it now. We were quite confident as teenagers, and it literally all got smashed to smithereens at uni.”

Shoppers browsing a bright and colourful stall selling art prints arranged on a gingham table cloth at a Salad Days market.
PRINT PARTY: Shoppers browsing stalls at a Salad Days market / Image: supplied by Salad Days

Beryl’s box of vintage treasures

The twins were high on life after hosting that first market. Until the next day, when Liv got fired.

Feeling low and lost, Liv said her heart was no longer in the corporate job search, and she knew, deep down, it was the right time to try and give something else a shot.

She said: “I didn’t want to jump back into another career. I really felt like it was a defining moment in my life.” 

She evaluated her options — which was difficult after the confidence hit of being fired.

So, where to go for inspiration and confidence-building? The car boot, of course. 

Every Wednesday, Liv would trek to look for things she could buy and sell.

Despite a childhood filled with second-hand shopping, she struggled at first.

She explained: “It sounds really silly, but it really took a lot of time for me to feel confident enough to go to the shopping centre on my own.

“I felt really uncomfortable going on my own and wheeling and dealing with people and looking for things. As a woman on your own, you always feel like you are being viewed.”

On one occasion, at the end of the morning, when the sellers had started giving away stuff for free, Liv stumbled upon something special.

Stacked in a cardboard box, was a vast collection of vintage theatre programmes, all in pristine condition, belonging to a woman named Beryl.

The programmes had beautiful front covers, hand-drawn and photocopied onto coloured paper. They spanned around 50 years, dating back to the 1930s, and were all from south London theatres.

She added: “It just really sparked something inside of me. It reminded me of things we would do as kids: writing things, photocopying things, trying to make magazines.”

Liv and Daisy set up in a coffee shop to delve into the box.

Inside, they found a letter addressed to Beryl from a cast member of one of the productions, thanking her for being their line prompt.

One production that kept popping up was a play called Salad Days.

Intrigued, Liv looked up what it meant. A Shakespearean idiom, Salad Days refers to “a period of carefree innocence, idealism, and pleasure associated with youth”.

Liv said: “It basically described what I felt like was the time of my life that I was in. I was young and I was naïve, and I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was just trying to make something work and just have a go.”

Liv holds up a framed vintage theatre booklet from Beryl's collection for a production of Salad Days.
PRIDE OF PLACE: One of Beryl’s Salad Days programmes Liv has framed

So, the sisters carried on with the market and Liv took it on as her full-time job.

Eventually, as it expanded into other events like swap shops and community meetups around London, what was known as the South London Makers Market needed a new name.

Salad Days stuck.

A global pandemic

Daisy and Liv had fully booked events for the next three months when they found themselves in lockdown.

Many of the businesses they had booked had little to no online presence, and were financially relying on the market.

With a lot of hard work, many daily walks, and a fair amount of tears later, Daisy, still in a full-time job, and Liv took the business fully online.

They hosted markets using Instagram pages like store fronts, helping the businesses create an online presence.

Throughout the pandemic, the sisters hosted around 30 online markets.

It was a pivotal point for Salad Days and their “shop small, spread joy” message.

From local library to fourth Selfridges pop-up

Running until tomorrow, Sunday 5th November, Salad Days is popping up in one of London’s most iconic stores. 

Liv and Daisy pose in front of a Selfridges & Co plaque outside the shopfront.
SHOPFRONTS AND SMILES: Salad Days takes on Selfridges

Liv said: “There are going to be so many exciting new, original, beautiful things, lots of sustainable options, lots of vintage options and all the makers will be there the entire time.”

Everything at the pop-up will be either vintage or handmade in the UK, and you can expect everything from a build-your-own beaded bag station with Nori Mori to live portrait painting from Paris-based artist Willemien Bardawil.

Find out more about the pop-up and participating brands here.

Plans for the future

With Salad Days, Daisy and Liv are on a mission to make it easier for more people to shop small more frequently.

Of the 146 crafts featured on the Heritage Crafts’s 2023 Red List, 62 were classified as critically endangered and 84 as endangered.

Liv explained: “We really appreciate and want to celebrate traditional crafts and make sure that they don’t die.

“So we want to continue to create a space where craftsmanship can be right at the forefront and we can celebrate original, exciting, handmade things.”

All-time favourite finds?

Daisy and Liv spoke fondly about the tip shop near their family home.

Treasures include a gold vintage bar cart for £2 and a Marcel Breuer chair for £3, followed by six free additional Marcel Breuer chairs when a woman throwing them out saw their interest.

Daisy also once picked up a framed original David Hockney poster for just £20 in a hospice charity shop.

From cutting and sticking homemade magazines to celebrating their fourth Selfridges popup, the Tinker twins have come a long way.

One thing is for certain — they have many more salad days ahead.


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