When did you open the shop?
We opened our shop here in Kensington Church Street in 1989 having moved up from our first location in Fulham, which opened in 1983. Our relocation to one of London’s busiest streets was the best move we ever made.
What is the importance of your location?
‘Ken Church Street’ was, and still is, a great location where US buyers continue to call on us. We have the largest collection of diverse dealers here, who offer anything from antique furniture and walking sticks to modern Japanese paintings.
Your morning and evening routines?
Each morning we clean up the shop and answer all the emails that have come in overnight. We only close after having had a good cup of tea and biscuits.
How does business run on a daily basis?
We really are a traditional shop where every item is properly displayed and price-ticketed. We have four staff manning our large showrooms, keeping busy with customers and doing online work. We are also very much ‘open all hours’ (10am-6pm weekdays, 10am-4pm Saturdays).
How many visitors come through your doors?
One can never underestimate the value of a base where customers can remember where we are – whether old clients or people we’ve met at recent antique fairs. We can have several visitors every day to a quiet, wet Monday when only one or two ‘lookers’ come in.
The biggest challenge of having a premises?
Extortionate business rates. Ours are in excess of £40,000 and they are breaking so many businesses. I suspect that those starting out just look at these rates and give up before they even start.
What is your favourite shop or space?
It would have to be the old Frank Partridge galleries on New Bond Street. It was the grandest premises I have ever seen and the new leaseholder, Halcyon Gallery, has changed the space to fit its needs perfectly. What a dream it would be to have these galleries as my showrooms here in Kensington Church Street.
150-152 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4BN