For dealer Mark Peacock it is the opening of a new showroom in the Glasgow City Antiques Centre.
A long-time collector of antiques and curios, he had previously “dabbled” in auctions and sales. When Covid struck, he lost his position as a contract IT programme manager and started trading more seriously, concentrating on buying and selling at auction. As the pandemic eased, he returned to his IT work, but carried on trading.
“The successes – and failures – I was having at auction along with a few nudges from my wife Susan led me to opening my first showroom at the Glasgow City Antiques Centre, which was quite daunting with all the time-served dealers there,” Peacock says. “They have, however, all been fantastic and welcoming.”
He set up his first space there two months ago offering his mix of “antiques and anything unusual, including a lot of rare fairground pieces”. Shop business now accounts for 70% of his sales, with a new website increasingly contributing to the bottom line. He also continues to work the auctions.
As of August 1 he has taken a larger space in the premises.
Peacock adds: “The showroom and online store opened just 10 weeks ago and the number of sales have stunned me. I just seem to have struck a chord with others that love to mix the traditional with a bit of the obscure and damn-right unusual.”
Many miles away in a potting shed in Somerset on the grounds of a 16th century manor house, Sharon Parham has set up Attic Bruton and plans to launch her first website.
Before the pandemic she ran Alchemy, a large interiors showroom that she launched with a business partner in Bruton in 2014. With the arrival of Covid the business closed.
She turned her attention to some of the pieces that she had stashed away in her attic and started restoring them and experimenting with bright paints and finishes, as well as simple upholstery projects.
“I have always had a passion for interiors and antiques and my first job in the business was at Talisman, the iconic brand founded by Ken Bolan in the 1980s,” Parham says. “Ken offered great advice, as did Flora Soames, who worked both at his Dorset store and the main London outlets.”
She officially launched the business in 2021. The manor house setting of her workshop belongs to her mother in law, and she uses another of the outbuildings for a showroom space. Pieces range from antiques to mid-century with a few decorative pieces added in.
Though she sells via Instagram, she has a new website in the works and plans to expand on her interior design work.