When did you open the shop?
Origin Antiques began trading in early 2016 from a beautiful converted grain barn on the outskirts of Colchester, Essex.
How did you choose the location?
The area has historically had a generous range of antique shops to choose from with the towns of Coggeshall, Dedham and Melford in the surrounding area. We are now located in a barn that has been trading antiques, furniture and other home-wares through previous tenants for the last 30 years. This means the local customer base is established and buyers are familiar with finding antique furniture here. Colchester is only a 10-minute drive away, London is 45 minutes and we are just a couple of miles from the motorway, so access to our showroom is a breeze.
Why was now the right time to open a premises?
Interest in antique, vintage, upcycled furniture has been growing steadily among the 20-30-year-old age group. It’s exciting that people are giving more thought to the value of a unique, antique piece rather than ‘quick-fix’ mass market options from high-street retailers, which often do not last as long and are far less individual. I get the feeling that the impression of antique shops as ‘stuffy’ and ‘old fashioned’ is a thing of the past.
How has the passing trade changed since you’ve been open?
As we have been trading for just over a year we’ve mostly seen seasonal trends. November through to January is a peak time for walk-in customers with people in a buying mood around Christmas and the New Year sales. Things pick up again in the spring as people’s thoughts turn to renewal and refurbishing their homes. Meanwhile, I’ve invested much time in making our stock available to a wider audience via the wonderful power of the internet.
Given an unlimited budget what is one change you would make to the shop?
I would love to install a functional workshop so we can carry out more extensive restoration and refinishing projects. But it’s important as a business owner to have short and medium-term goals, and for now, I’m fully focused on growing the business.
Origin Antiques, The Barn, Turkey Cock Lane, near Colchester, Essex