Naomi Cunningham and Sam White - Cunningham White's

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You started in 2015, with an ‘anti-passion’ for mass production and its lack of sustainability. How important is sustainability to you, and how can antiques make a difference?
Sustainability is very important to us. Antiques, particularly the furniture we tend to sell, are built to last. They’ve already lasted at least 100 years or perhaps many more, and thanks to us, and those like us, they will do so for another 100! Why put something good to waste? By buying antiques we not only get good value for money as we don’t need to replace them every few years, but we’re also cutting down on the amount of new stuff that’s being created.

Sam’s the finder... and you Naomi are the fixer. Do you think it’s a winning formula?
It seems to be! We both swap roles from time to time. The trouble is, Sam doesn’t have the patience to work on things for long as he wants to be out finding new things. I pay particular attention to detail – also beneficial when buying antiques!

Tell me about some of your most exciting finds.
We recently visited a large property in Totnes and in their summer house, behind a whole bunch of stuff was a wonderful painted Friesland folding table, decorated with a rustic village scene and delft style blue frongs to the underside. It was so unexpected! Thinking back a bit, we’ve found some great local signs – all hand-painted and utterly unique. All of which sold quickly to a regular customer – almost too quickly for our liking!


Woo Gilchrist