A letter tucked within a floral envelope and sealed with a wax stamp; dainty teacups adorned with roses and vines; pretty dresses trimmed with sweet lace and ruffles... These are the little touches that can make the mundane feel magical. Jordan at Little Vintage Sparrow infuses this ephemeral magic into her everyday moments—and thankfully, she shares them in her delightful Instagram posts for all of us to enjoy!
I often visit Little Vintage Sparrow when I need a dose of cheer and a reminder to find the romance and dreaminess in my own life. After enjoying Jordan's posts for quite some time, I was curious to learn more about what inspires her uniquely lovely lifestyle. She graciously shared her story in the following interview where she talks about her love of vintage, her fascinating work in wildlife conservation, overcoming a debilitating spinal condition, future travel dreams, and more.
(But before we move on to the interview ... for more vintage-inspired fun, plus beauty tips and Victoriana, click here to become a Willow & Birch Insider!)
And now here's Jordan ... Enjoy!
When I first came across your Instagram page, I was immediately enamored with all the lovely outfits you share in your posts. You have such a dreamy, timeless style! What are some of your favorite places to find unique pieces for your wardrobe?
Aww that’s so sweet of you to say! Thank you so much! I am glad we were able to connect on this app. ☺️ I love thrifting at my local secondhand shops and through Etsy or Depop. Shopping secondhand is a great way to find beautiful vintage pieces and keep clothing out of the landfills.
There are also several clothing retailers that I enjoy supporting that carry timeless, vintage-inspired and modest clothing that I vibe with. Adored Vintage, Breath of Youth Clothing, Boutique 1861 (Canadian! Like me), and Little Women Atelier are all wonderful businesses that inspire a romantic way of living.
Many of your posts also feature delectable treats you’ve baked. What are some of your favorite ingredients to bake with? Do you have a particular recipe you return to over and over again?
I really do have quite the sweet tooth, haha. I love incorporating tea into my baking. There is a London Fog tea cake with a vanilla buttercream that I always make for my birthday and just because it’s delicious. (Keep reading to find the full recipe if you would like to try it!) This recipe is also great with any other black tea if you aren’t an Earl Grey drinker. You can do cupcakes instead of a layered cake as well.
What prompted you to create your Instagram account?
I created this account the day my province in Canada announced we were locking down at the start of the pandemic. It was a time in my life when I felt I was lacking connection with others and was struggling to find like-minded souls who shared my interests. I also really wanted some pen pals to write to. Now I write to around twenty beautiful people around the world, all who are dear friends to me.
I have truly met so many lovely humans on this app, and I hope to meet them in person one day. I am forever grateful for the day I decided to start this account, or I wouldn’t have met some of my greatest friends.
You’ve mentioned in your posts that you earned your bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology and conservation. What initially drew you to those fields of study? What is your dream job?
Both of my parents have degrees involving the environment, and when I was growing up, they really encouraged my love of nature and anything to do with the outdoors. I was quite young when I started to show a specific interest in birds, specifically owls. I was bird obsessed! They got me my first pet bird when I was seven, and I have had pet birds ever since. I am spoiled because I always knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and that was to work with birds and help them in any way that I could.
I was preparing to move to England to do my master’s in ornithology/biodiversity studies when the pandemic hit. So I never ended up moving, which was quite disappointing at the time. However, several months ago I ended up being given a dream job opportunity, working at a rehabilitation center for injured owls and birds of prey. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be able to work with such majestic birds and hopefully help them get back to the wild.
For many years my dreams felt far out of reach, so it truly feels like a gift that I get to live my dream every day. Throughout most of my undergraduate degree I actually dealt with debilitating chronic pain from a spinal condition called spondylolisthesis. Basically, I had a defect on two of my vertebrae, which caused them to start slipping off one another.
Over five years, my vertebrae went from a 25 percent slip to an 80 percent slip. It was most likely going to paralyze me. Luckily for me, based on the progression of the slip, I finally became a candidate for surgery! My surgeon fused my vertebrae and did a bone graft from my hip to build me strong, new vertebrae. He gave me a second chance at life. And now I get to live my dream and I feel so incredibly grateful to be alive.
Who is your favorite character from classic literature? What do you admire most about them?
Oh my goodness, well that would have to be Anne Shirley, wouldn’t it? What I admire most about Anne is that she romanticizes her life in every way. She appreciates the simple joys like flowers blooming, the sparkle of the frost covering an autumnal field, and enjoying a sweet treat with her bosom friends. She is optimistic, fiery, and quick to apologize for her mistakes. She doesn’t let the boys outrun her and she knows how to bring a smile to even the grumpiest soul. She has a genuine heart and I hope to even be an ounce like her.
After being cooped up and unable to travel for the past few years, many of us are feeling a sense of wanderlust. Do you like to travel? What are some places you’d like to visit?
I love to travel and have definitely been feeling the itch to explore somewhere new! I would still love to visit England and other parts of the UK. Highclere Castle is high on my list. (Downton Abbey, anyone?) I am also really drawn to Iceland and Norway. But let’s be real, I would love to travel anywhere, hehe.
And, finally, what is your favorite Willow & Birch "Signature Scent," and why?
Oh, most definitely, Lavender Breeze. It’s the perfect scent for winding down at the end of the day, or if I want to bring some calm with me. I have a hard time slowing myself down some days, and this scent makes me feel more centered and grounded.