Since I was able to by things for myself, so for around forty years I’ve loved vintage, antique, worn, pre-loved or simply old things. Many items are better made the older they are, but it’s their character and essence born out of their history and usage that appeals to me. Items that have lived their lives, survived and look, feel and sometimes smell better for it. Items that have stood the test of time by their quality, or older items that simply look fantastic. I’ve frequented charity, second-hand, antique shops and auctions in the UK for forty years and have built up some knowledge of curios and collectables. This vintage love only expanded whilst spending a hugely enjoyable five year stint as a charity shop manager for Shelter in Edinburgh, an experience made all the more enjoyable as it was where I met and worked alongside my wife, Heather.
One of the highlights of our many visits to France has been frequenting outdoor flea markets and indoor brocantes. One of the frustrations was our inability to bring certain items home due to size or weight. On more than one occasion I’ve purchased a vintage case in France to use as my hand luggage on the flight home. My fragrant collection of vintage trunks and cases is well into double figures but sadly remains in Edinburgh for the time being. So, I love old things. Now resident in France we have no reason, beyond price for not purchasing an item that takes our eye, but if we purchased everything pleasing to our eyes we’d soon have no room in our house and no money in our bank account. The answer to this issue is simple. We’ve opened an Etsy shop.
Our main income, hopefully from this summer onwards will come from our new gite. We’re expecting to be able to advertise for bookings some time in March. Before that, and initially simply for a little extra income will be sales of curios, collectables and objets d’art from our Etsy shop. I say a little extra income, but that in itself will take a number of months as clearly there needs to be an initial outlay in order to open a shop. We’re trusting that our eyes, taste and experience will prevail and lead to a little extra earning and who knows how the business may build in the future. Little seeds grow mighty trees.
So, we have been frequenting brocantes, depots and charity shops in and around St.Junien, Limoges and Confolens, getting to know our business. Outdoor flea markets are perfect places to find rare and collectable gems, although many are currently being cancelled due to covid, so that pleasure will have to wait. We are not antique experts and our knowledge certainly has limitations, but we think we know enough to make Etsy work for us. We certainly know about the importance of presentation and personal, efficient customer service. After ten weeks of gathering stock, building our Etsy shop and of course completing our lengthy administrative duties to set up our business, we are OPEN!
Please… come on in, make yourselves at home, take a look around. At the moment we’re petit compared to similar French-sourced Etsy shops, but in the coming weeks and months we will grow. Fingers crossed we’ll sell more than we buy! Oh… and if you like what you see, please tell your friends. Nothing beats word of mouth for advertising of wares. Merci beaucoup!