When and why did you open your premises?
I joined the shop in 1991 but there has been an antique shop on these premises as part of an indoor market for almost 40 years. Focus on the Past was established in 1978. It was a Woolworth shop originally, many, many years ago.
Do you own or rent your premises?
I rent the premises on a joint lease with my daughter who lives just round the corner. Clifton is a great place to trade with lots of cosmopolitan shops and friendly people – a real village atmosphere.
How many dealers rent space in your centre?
The centre has 15 dealers buying and selling and it is run as a cooperative with everyone taking turns to man the shop – so no extra staff. We sell a wide variety of antiques and collectables from furniture and kitchenalia to china, glass, silver, costume jewellery and retro, across two floors in Clifton Village. We open every day including Sundays and prices range from 50p-£1000.
How has the passing trade changed since you’ve been open?
We have experienced a significant drop in footfall since the new parking restrictions came in two years ago – hopefully the new mayor will review and amend.
Given an unlimited budget, what is one change you would make to the shop?
I always have had aspirations to run a teashop in tandem – sadly not possible in these premises.
Why should customers visit a shop rather than visit a website?
Antiques sell better if people can see and touch – so it is a better experience than online I believe.
What is the biggest challenge of running a shop?
My main difficulty in running the shop is managing at a distance as I live around two hours drive away and my daughter has a full-time job elsewhere.
I get by because I am so lucky with my colleagues in the centre. We are a happy bunch and get along really well most of the time.