1. How did you get your start?
I was surrounded by clocks from a young age. My uncle started his antiques business in 1957 and had a separate clock room at his premises. Another uncle had a fine collection of clocks and my parents had a longcase clock and others at home.
At my first table-top antique fair I sold a French boulle mantel clock for £220. That was a lot of money for me at the time. The sale helped convince me that there was potential and for the next few years I built the business part-time.
2. When and why did you get online?
I was lucky that a customer introduced me to the web nearly 20 years ago as ‘the way forward’.
We shut our last shop in Bath nine years ago as the online sales were outstripping those in-store, which made it hard to justify having premises.
3. Why AfE?
Selected fairs such as Antiques for Everyone are still a great way of selling and promoting your business but are always a gamble – then again, aren’t all dealers gamblers of sorts?
I trained as an accountant after school and the principles are implanted in my mind – don’t risk one expensive fair after another as it could be a downward spiral. ‘Choose a fair wisely and have confidence in your stock’ are wise words I have been told before.
4. One rule you live by as a dealer?
Treat people (that is, customers) the way you want to be treated yourself.
We are selling mechanical items that in all likelihood are going to cause an issue in the future so expect a bit of grief – it’s the way you handle it that matters.
5. Real ale or espresso martini?
A St Emilion of Chateanuef du Pape with a rib-eye steak is an old favourite. Might still sneak a small one in, but don’t tell my doctor please!
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