the story so far

Hi! I’m Carol, the founder of Retro Lane.  I have been a collector, creator, planner, and homemaker for many years. 

I come from a family of creative talent – artists, architects, builders, bakers, chefs, and crafters.  My passion has always been dressing homes, but my professional life has taken a few detours.  I majored in art at school and spent my college years studying fashion design. 

After a short-lived career in the garment industry and a spell abroad, I settled into the hospitality industry.  I’ve worked in big cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg and London, but it was the twelve years in the bushveld, working at one of South Africa’s premier game lodges, that had a profound influence on my views of sustainability.  

I have moved many times and no matter the size of the space – a cramped flat-share, a cottage with a bushveld view, or a newly renovated house in the city – I’ve always tried to make it home.  Drawn from a lifetime collection of miscellanea, mementos, and bits-and-bobs, making home has been the inspiration behind Retro Lane. 

Retro Lane has been operating as an online shop since 2018.  What started as a hobby with a random idea has slowly grown into a purposeful, full-time business.   

I am the originator, sole-proprietor, photographer, writer, researcher and only employee.  Retro Lane operates from the country town of Napier in the Overberg, Western Cape, where I live with my beloved rescue-cat, Olly.   When I’m not obsessing over Retro Lane, online auctions or internet research, you will find me quietly enjoying a cup of tea – or a glass of wine, depending on the time of day.

Carol Chamberlain

the shop

Browse Retro Lane’s collection of retro, vintage and antique finds, sourced from thrift stores, flea markets and auctions.  We also offer the occasional new item inspired by a time when things were made with thought, consideration and style.


Learn more about the products featured in our shop and go behind the scenes with Retro Lane’s owner, Carol, as she shares her research, experiences, experiments and more.


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