IN THE FEBRUARY / MARCH ISSUE…
After an exciting run interviewing decorative dealers, our editor Karyn suggested I try a slightly different approach and asked if I could interview women in the trade who have gone beyond just dealing, and have set up other businesses related to the trade. Not only did Karyn suggest a couple of dealers that she’d like me to talk to, but she also dropped quite a few hints that she in fact, would also be a perfect candidate!
As time went on, and with our deadline looming, it soon became apparent that one of the dealers wasn’t going to get back to us in time, and with no time to find a replacement, I could almost hear the sound of Karyn shouting “Pick me, PICK ME!” in the distance.
Now I’m not one to point fingers... but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Karyn purposely tried to sabotage my article in order to secure her slot! Nevertheless, knowing where my bread is buttered, and with my hands firmly tied, I was delighted to interview Karyn for the last two pages!
I talk to Jane Walton, founder of the Decorative Collective to find out how her simple idea to help promote a few local dealers, has turned into the country’s most trusted and recognisable antiques website; attracting the attention of high profile clients and celebrities from all over the world.
Margriet Akkerman talks about her passion for design and how it has led to the creation of Design Icons, the annual trade show in Amsterdam specialising in top quality Mid-century design.
Jules Brisbane explains how taking a leap of faith when given the opportunity to set up an antiques fair, has lead to the success of Antiquesintents, and how her rural antique shop continues to thrive, despite the pressure for antique shops to move online!
Finally, we learn a bit more about our very own Karyn Sparks, who tells us all about the birth of VE, her weird collections, and how her fearless approach to everything she does insures she doesn’t buckle under the pressure.
issue 44 - February / March 2019
Issue 43 - December / January 2019
You have an eye for rather large European furniture, often still bearing traces of their original paint, which isn’t always easy to source? Do you have to travel a lot?
We only buy things we would want to put in our own home and luckily we both have very similar taste, we only try to buy things that have a certain patina, things with soul and a history behind them. Since we closed the shop and are now only online, we travel a lot more.
When did you start dealing?
I started dealing in my mid-twenties, just after Dawn and I met. After we bought our first house, we had very little money, so to furnish it we went to charity shops and car boots. We bought items of furniture very cheaply that we could paint, both working in the arts; we loved having colour around us.
Molly and Maud are the names of your sheep, aren’t they? How did you decide to use them to name the business?
Yes. We’re not very serious people and wanted the name to reflect that, which is how we came to name the business after our pet sheep ‘Molly and Maud’. When we started, we purchased a little wooden building and put it in an orchard behind the house, which before this, was home to Molly and Maud.
Do you come from an antique loving family? How did you get started?
My mum is the only other member of my family who loves antiques... mum used to have an antiques shop and I loved styling the displays, especially the large shop window.
I started by putting some items into the shop that I’d bought myself and then I went on to having units in antiques centres, now I have a room in a shared antiques shop, 55 Mill Street, Ludlow, Shropshire. I also sell at fairs across the country.
ISSUE 42 - OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2018
Writing for VE has been a real privilege. I am fortunate enough to have the freedom to choose the dealers that I’d like to interview, and can say, or ask whatever I like, with no restrictions or editing. This carte blanche can go either way when talking to some of the trades biggest personalities, and after easing my way into this writing gig over the past few issues, I thought it would be a good time to chat to the trade’s most controversial dealer. Drew Pritchard is a man whose name echoes through antiques shops, fairs and living rooms all over the world. Everyone in the trade knows of him, and all seem to have formed their own opinions – some dealers are utterly inspired by his achievements, others find him obnoxious! Having never spoken to Drew before, I wanted the opportunity to form my own opinion, one based on my own experience and gut instinct rather than what I’d heard on the grapevine. Read more…