ATG’s 10 Questions with Sarah Seccombe of Blighty Antiques and Interiors, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
1. What do you do? Blighty Antiques has a very particular style with its eccentric mix of English country house and colonial pieces. I manage the general running of the business, the marketing and PR.
2. Do you do any fairs? Fairs play an increasingly important part of the antique trade especially as more shops are having to close. In the past we have exhibited at Olympia, Decorative Fair and Bath Decorative Fair but we are fortunate to have an established shop in Cheltenham with a loyal and growing client base.
3. What was your first job? Unrelated to the antiques trade - my first job was at Deutsche Bank.
4. Best buy and biggest mistake? Best buy, a 19th century crown that came out of the House of Lords as it was a key influence in the branding of Blighty and the logo of the crown can still be seen throughout our marketing collateral. Biggest mistake, buying a footless hippo at Kempton.
5. Biggest threat to the trade at the moment? Antique shops tend to cluster in bohemian areas and a threat is that these areas become fashionable with flagship retail shops and restaurants opening up. Coupled with rising rent and rates, this results in the traditional independent antique shop being pushed out.
6. Any advice for those starting out in the trade? My advice is to take risks with the styling of the shop; you need to inspire the consumer and show them something in a way they didn't see it, giving them ideas of how they can recreate it in their home.
7. Alternative career? I would have loved to have been a TV presenter.
8. Michelin Star or greasy spoon? Michelin Star of course! We are very lucky to have a two-Michelin star restaurant just around the corner from our shop.
9. Cat or dog? Dog gets the paws up - we have a very tolerant Jack Russell called Shanti.
10. Tell us a secret? I still have that much-loved footless hippo.