This week’s 10 Questions is with Natalie Smith, owner of Woodbridge Antiques Centre, Suffolk
1. How long have you been
dealing? Seven years.
2. Do you do any
fairs? Yes, we have exhibited at all sorts of fairs from
small village halls to bigger ones like Newmarket and Alexandra
Palace. Last year I joined the Antiques Young Guns at the big NEC
fair in November and I am looking forward to doing more fairs this
3. What was your first
job? My first job was working Saturdays in the homeware
department of a large shop when I was 15.
4. Best and worst thing about
being a dealer? Best, every day is different, you never
know what you are going to see. Worst, paperwork.
5. Best buy and biggest
mistake? Best buy, Woodbridge Antiques Centre. Biggest
mistake, not buying a beautiful set of René Lalique glasses when I
was younger. They were a lot of money but they were stunning and I
haven't seen another set like them since.
6. Biggest threat to the trade
at the moment? As an independent shop in a town centre
location I see our biggest threat as the out-of-town retail parks
with free parking outside the front of their premises. We are
always trying to remind our customers that independent retailers
offer variety and, with antique shops in particular, you never know
what treasures you will find until you get there.
7. Guiltiest pleasure?
Period dramas, in particular Downton Abbey or
8. Any advice for those
starting out in the trade? Deal in things you are
passionate about and that make you happy; that way you will always
enjoy what you do.
9. Alternative career?
Interpreter. I studied Italian at university and lived there for
10. Michelin Star
or greasy spoon? Greasy spoon - I love a bacon sandwich
after setting up a fair.
If you are a dealer and would like to be featured in 10