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 year.
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 Poirot.
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 two years.
10. Michelin Star or greasy spoon? Greasy spoon - I love a bacon sandwich after setting up a fair.
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