What is one key feature needed for a great shop or centre?
Great stock, great prices and, most importantly, friendly staff. It’s also about the little things like having the right kind of music playing in the background, maintaining a clean-smelling premises, clear descriptions on stock tables and encouraging customers to wander around without feeling like they have to buy something.
How many people work at House of Rust?
There are three main dealers on site but we rent spaces and cabinets to other dealers, so around 10 people total.
How has the trade changed since you’ve been open?
Trade is moving online more each year. We have a strong presence on social media via our website, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, and we are now an online marketing company as much as an antiques business in order to stay ahead of the game.
What is the hardest part of running the business?
Finding new and interesting pieces to wow our clients and customers each and every week.
How do you encourage customers to visit?
We create weekly online adverts and posters alongside our advertisements of new stock. This, along with window displays, seems to work really well.
Name one other antiques shop, centre or space that you love and why?
For me personally it has to be Drew Pritchard’s place in north Wales. Drew and his team are everything we strive to be in terms of quality of stock, knowledge and the general style. We deal with Drew a lot and from the first meeting to the most recent a few weeks ago he was happy to share knowledge and was always fair on pricing.
Given an unlimited budget what is one change you would make to the premises?
Tricky to not instantly say ‘a bar’ or ‘hot tub on the roof’… I’d probably go for building a bigger space so I can buy larger, wackier items. Recently I was offered a 14ft horse from Blackpool. I just don’t have the room so had to pass on it. Another floor would allow for more dealers too – we currently have quite a waiting list with some really cool dealers on it.