Christmas at attic. | A look around the shop!

IMG_0315Boxes have been unpacked, stock has been displayed and shelves have been re-merchandised. Hard to believe, it’s that time of year again…

Christmas is such an important time of year to a small business like ours; more than ever in these unpredictable times! Therefore it’s vitally important to give ourselves the best chance for a good season.

We ordered a lot of our Christmas stock months ago (some of it in January and February) so we always get a little anxious when it arrives, and we start to unpack it. Is it as nice as we thought? Have the collections worked together as well as we planned? And, has what we ordered, actually turned up. Being a small retailer, sometimes what we order isn’t always what we get. The bulk of a wholesaler/makers stock can be swallowed up by much larger retailers, with what’s left, served out to the small independents. Leaving us with a diluted collection!

Anyway – all our fears were forgotten this year. In fact most of the stock we ordered was nicer than we remembered. And the things we thought wouldn’t arrive – did. Result!

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IMG_6528So, with just over a month to go, we thought we’d take some photos of Phase 1 – and show you what we’ve been up to. We’re pretty chuffed with how the shop is looking, so we thought we’d share it with you. Hope you like it too!IMG_6485IMG_6454

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IMG_6507We’ve photographed most of the Christmas stock, and consequently the website has been very busy this year, with nearly everything being online. So if it’s still available – it’ll be on there. Click through for links to website and product pages…IMG_6488

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IMG_6511We’ve also just had in a new delivery of toiletries and skincare products from Priddy Essentials. All handmade in Rutland, England. Beautiful scents with gorgeous packaging.IMG_0341

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IMG_6523These metal Christmas trees are probably our favourite product this season.

IMG_6561Every year we sell more and more of the beautiful decorations from Walther & Co in Denmark (probably best known for their little house lanterns) They are becoming quite the collector’s items. People come back year after year to see what’s been added to the collection…IMG_5963We’re open everyday now until Christmas (open Sundays 12-4pm) so do pop in and say hello if you’re near!IMG_0300

 

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New Stock | New Photos | New Blog!

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With the advent of Instagram, and our regular email newsletters (that we send out to our subscribers)  it’s been quite a while since we last posted an ACTUAL blog!

Sometimes there is much more content that we want to get across, than is possible on Instagram. We always have lots to write about – and photos to share from our travels – but it’s just finding the time!!

We’ve had a whole lot of fresh and exciting new stock arrive recently.  A selection across the board, from new suppliers and makers, to new vintage pieces.

Since Christmas, we’ve looked carefully at what stock we hold, and introduced some great new ranges of products that focus on value – as well as quality. So we are pleased to say there are now alternatives to the high end ranges of toiletries, candles and  frames etc.

Having recently given the shop a ‘refresh’ – we took some photos of the results, and that seemed like the perfect reason to kick-start the blog again…IMG_3784This little corner of the shop (above) – features our original antique hand painted ‘Hampton Hill’ sign! It originally adorned the front of the ‘Hampton Hill Dress Agency’ sometime in the early 1900s. A bit of a mystery, as no-one local to us seems to know about it or remember it. Anyway, it was offered to us a few years ago – as it was going to be thrown out!! 😱
IMG_3704 2We have a lovely new range of toiletries, handmade in Yorkshire, and beautifully packaged.

Original vintage postcards (new old stock).

Also just arrived from the workshop, this beautifully stylish painted vintage sideboard/cupboard…IMG_3703

A new collection of seasonal scarves and bags. (Stock changes regularly)IMG_3783

Vintage kitchenalia – mixed with our beautiful Tierra Negra black clay cookware from Columbia. And of course some vintage industrial drawers and scales…IMG_3754

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This lovely old painted panel was originally abandoned in the shop garden, when we first started the business nearly 20 years ago. Not everyone’s cup of tea – but we just loved the faded patina and flakey paint. We loved it then and we love it now. Great backdrop for photos!IMG_3715Brilliant quality, men’s shaving/grooming products from LA:Bruket in Sweden…IMG_3747Brand new range of classic, great value, black framed photo frames. Made In England.IMG_3743There’s a good collection of faux plants and flowers in at a the moment  – mixed with some lovely original vintage pieces…IMG_3727These pots are a favourite of ours. ‘Whitestone’ rose and cactus flowerpots. They make any plants look that little bit more special! IMG_3738Also just arrived – a new delivery of our reclaimed frames – made from salvaged timber from South Africa…IMG_3763

IMG_3790We are trying to grow our ‘gifts for gardeners’ section this year, with a selection of books, toiletries for gardeners –  and garden tools etc…garden_productsAnd it won’t be long before we open our shop garden again, for the Spring/Summer season. Beautiful and useful vintage garden accessories, plants and one-off decorative pieces…IMG_3791

IMG_1744So if you’re local to us, do stop by and have a look at what we’ve been up to. We’re always grateful for your visit!

 

Christmas at attic.

We thought you might like to see our new Christmas window display. We’re really rather pleased with it…..IMG_1908Some of the regular visits to our site (and this blog!) and various social media, may have noticed that we haven’t been very active in this last few months, Here’s a quick update on our year…IMG_1740We’ve actually been incredibly busy behind the scenes, setting ourselves up for the future with a new integrated till/ epos system and a better functioning website, that will be updated regularly!! There will also be some new things happening with the website over the next few months so we’ll keep you updated….IMG_1770 It’s actually been a year of ups and downs. The loss of a close family member to cancer in the first half of the year was difficult to say the least. That tends to put things into perspective. IMG_1771We’ve also had challenges with our website, stemming from unforeseen incompatibility issues, that have caused a lot of work – but we’ve also been shown the most incredible generosity of spirit (and time!) by certain people. One step back – two steps forward and all that…. Encouragingly though, our business in general, has had some incredible recognition from across the globe – so we must be doing something right!IMG_7009Anyway, we’re getting back on track and we’ve been busy getting the shops ready for Christmas. They are now jam packed with seasonal stock, gifts, decorations and inspiration. We’re taking new product shots as we speak, so new stock will also be added to the website this week.IMG_1750

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IMG_1763attic by night……IMG_1917And by the way, in case you are wondering – the mystical figures in the window are called Santos dolls. We bought them in New York last year. They are replicas of figurines found in churches and holy places in South America (and parts of Europe) in the 17th and 18th century. Not for sale i’m afraid, display only – sorry!

Quintessance, Paris.

While on our last buying trip to Paris in September, we stumbled upon the most intriguing and inspiring of places….. With no name on the outside, no business cards, no obvious signs of staff working there, we left somewhat mystified about where and what exactly we had just visited. All we knew was that it was quite breathtaking. And very, very inspiring….Only after returning home and looking up the address did we discover that it is called QUINTESSENCE…..Essentially it is a 650 square meters concept store created by Ludovic Messager, Interior designer and Antiques dealer. From what we can gather, this gallery style environment is used mainly as a showcase for the eclectic display, visual merchanding and interiors style of it’s creator.Some of the worlds most innovative and respected retailers and designers have come to this ‘house of curiosities’ to commission interiors projects. ABC New York, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, John Varvatos to name a few.You have to be careful in Paris when taking pictures in shops or boutiques. A lot of the owners/proprietors don’t like it at all. But they were kind enough to let us take pictures, in fact we got the nod from the man himself, Monsieur Messager. This is just a selection….

Trick or Treat?

Spooky goings on down down at our shops in Hampton Hill…….We thought it was about time we made an effort and got in the ‘Spirit’ of all things Halloween and so decorated the windows in an appropriately scary manner.We made good use of display domes, skull soaps and script wrapping paper. Not to mention old chemist’s labels, steel bank boxes and apothecary bottles. Oh and a large can of frighteningly good Spider’s web spray!