I've recently been exploring home interior-related businesses and designer makers in my local area and have been blown away by the range of quality products available and the incredible talent on my doorstep. In terms of the local economy it's obviously important to champion these businesses and their add-on value is that they offer something different to all the mass produced stuff on the high street.
Wherever you're based it doesn't take long to find interesting independent retailers, vintage emporiums, and local art shows and galleries among the usual high street brands and even if it sometimes means paying a bit more it's often worth the investment for an item that tells a story and adds interest to your home.
I'll update this blog with more places as and when I find them but for starters here are two of my favourites in Hertford - Rossi's Attic and Five and Dime. They couldn't be more different but both have loads to offer. The lovely owners kindly shared with me a little bit about their businesses and what makes them so great.
1. What sort of store are you?
We are an antiques and vintage emporium with 12 local dealers selling a variety of items for the home and individual. Our dealers specialise and sell jewellery, mid century, antique, retro & modern furniture and items for the home, vinyls, ethnic & Asian antiques, militaria, vintage clothes, bespoke lighting, toys, crystals and metaphysical goods.
2. What services, if any, do you offer? We offer a free local delivery for larger items.
3. Who are your customers? Our customers vary from 8 up to 90years old.
4. What are your most popular items? Our most popular items are our jewellery, crystals, vinyls and home furnishings.
5. What has been your most unusual item? We have had some bizarre items for sale including a large fiberglass stingray, glass eyeball and 5ft tall oriental base. We are currently awaiting a shipment from a company supplying museums, which will include woolly mammoth bones, tusk and fur.
6. How would you persuade somebody who hasn’t bought second-hand before to try shopping in your store? We would encourage anyone that has never bought pre loved items to just pop in for a look. Antique and vintage items are of a better quality and were built to last longer than today’s throwaway society.
7. Can people barter for items in your store? If so, how should they go about it? We generally do not barter as each dealer has marked their own prices. Most dealers will have reduced items and some dealers will offer a small discount for sales over £150.
8. What makes your shop special? We are a treasure trove crammed full of amazing, unique and rare items. We have something for everyone. We are Hertford’s best kept secret.
9. What interior design styles can be found in your shop?
Mid century, Victorian, Edwardian, Retro and modern.
10. Do you have any top tips/lifestyle hacks? Your unwanted goods are often someone else’s treasure, where possible sell or recycle.
1. What’s the name of your business?
Five And Dime
2. What do you sell? Exciting home accessories from brands such as Broste, Hübsch, Fundamental and other amazing home accessory brands such as Bitten and Fisura.
3. What services, if any, do you offer? We're flexible in our approach as every customer is different and has different needs, from advice on home trends and decoration to products that we feel would sit well we try to be as open and accessible as we can.
4. Who are your customers? We have a broad range of customers but usually between the ages of 20 - 45 are the main customer base, looking for cool unique and trend led products.
5. What are your biggest sellers at the moment? We're in a gifting season at the moment so our range of huggables and hand sculptures are really taking off, homes interior wise lighting, candles and of course our insta famous dog toys!
6. What are key trends for Autumn/Winter 2021? For us sculptures, colour and texture are definitely leading the way. Since lockdown we have seen people interact with and love their homes more and with that really defining a space that they can call home.
7. What makes your shop special? We tend to do things a little differently, our main focus is to bring in products and brands that reflect our own style, coming from creative backgrounds we are quite particular in how the whole and not the parts look. This can be seen in how the products look and feel to the unique colours and shapes we have in our store.
8. How would you describe your interior design style? Minimalist but with pops of vibrant colours and shapes to keep it fun and the brain absorbed with all that's around it. We never really have a particular style as this can lead to too much matching in the home environment. For example white is such a great clinical colour but for us to have a home full of greys and whites would be a nightmare! Home for us is about self expression and interpretation of your own unique style.
9. Do you have any top tips/lifestyle hacks? Be and do you, have the confidence not to follow. If you love it then put it in your home!