When did the shop open?
I grew up around antiques and started buying and selling furniture wherever I could about 10 years ago, bouncing from one auction house to the next. Then I got grounded and opened Timeless in August 2011. I have been trading here ever since.
Where did you get your start?
For the majority of my life I worked alongside my parents at their business, Second Best (36 Station Road, Taunton, TA1 1NL). It is fantastic and ever-changing, dealing in lots of smaller items including glass, china, the odd bit of furniture and the bizarre. However, I felt that it was time to open my own doors in order to expand my own line. I handpick unique pieces of furniture of only the best quality, which I feel deserve a place in my customers’ homes. My parents help out here sometimes, as does my wife.
How have you changed the business?
For the past seven years I used the shop as a warehouse, only opening by appointment and selling online. Recently, however, I decided to head in a new direction and have now opened to the public Thursday and Friday 10am-2pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.
What’s worked about being open to the public?
We love this change. It allows us to meet many enthusiastic people interested in the world of antiques just like us. It also gives customers a chance to view items in person, not just through photos online. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to get a real feel for the piece and see its true quality and craftsmanship.
What is your biggest challenge?
Location. We are slightly out of town and although we are just a five-minute drive away we do not get the large amount of footfall town stores have. We mainly rely on word-of-mouth and advertising to reach our customers.
First thing you do in the morning?
On the morning of opening days we like to get in early to make a start on organising new stock that has come in during the week. We always try to utilise our outdoor forecourt, which adds valuable space and offers a glimpse of what we offer to potential customers.
Given an unlimited budget what change would you make?
Expand. Storage is a constant battle for us. A larger shop would allow us to stock more of what we believe our customers want.
Timeless Furniture, 66 Cheddon Road, Taunton, Somerset TA2 7DP