When and how did you start?
Emporium Antiques Centre was established in 1992 and bought in ‘95 with my business partner, Steve Madigan.
How did you and Steve meet?
Through work at another centre. We’d both been in the business all our lives and it was in the blood from our families, so between us we had a broad knowledge and good work balance. He sadly passed away in 2014 after a brave fight with cancer for more than four years.
What is the biggest challenge of the job?
Having the responsibility on my own without Steve. He was genuinely such a lovely man. He worked right up until two weeks before he passed away. We all miss him. He said: “Go on MD, I know you can do it.” It gave me enormous strength.
How has the market changed since you’ve been open?
At first, we were quite shocked at the diversity at Emporium compared with the more traditional goods we were more familiar with, things that don’t sell any more. Having about 60 dealers’ stock in cabinets and stall units, there is such a huge selection… something for collectors, investors, addicts and hoarders alike.
One perk of running the centre?
It’s great fun having Bargain Hunt filming, with the red and blue teams treasure hunting. It’s always being repeated – as seen on TV, luvvies!
What change would you make to the centre given an unlimited budget?
Well, I did replace the grotty carpet a couple of years ago with industrial carpet tiles and would personally prefer original wooden floorboards. Unfortunately, part of the floor at the back is chipboard patchwork which would be a fussy, disruptive job to replace.
Emporium Antiques Centre 42 Cliffe High Street, Lewes BN7 2AN
Call 01273 486866