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Expanding antiques business scales up operations and accommodation

Expanding antiques business scales up operations and accommodation
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Expanding antiques business scales up operations and accommodation
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

We love nothing more than when one of our customers outgrows their office, studio or workshop almost as soon as they move in.  That’s what happened to Antiques and Chic, who needed a bigger unit within two months of moving into Greenway Business Centre in Harlow.  With ambitions to be known as the only place to go for unique items in Essex, as well as plans to expand their national and international operations, we’re pretty sure they’ll be looking to upscale again soon. 

As their name suggests, Antiques and Chic specialise in buying and selling quality antique, vintage and mid-century design pieces, including furniture, ornaments and jewellery.  It’s run by husband and wife team Nicholas and Nicola Crooks: “Antiques are in Nick’s blood; his family had antique shops around London and his first purchase was a Georgian tea caddy when he was seven,” says Nicola. 

The couple met 12 years ago: “I quickly became involved in the business, as whenever I got home all the furniture had changed.  I also became the tech person and was instrumental in setting up our e-bay site, as Nick struggles to find the return button on the computer!”

When the couple became parents, Nicola gave up her full-time job to look after the children and work part-time on Antiques and Chic, trading from home.  Between them, they successfully grew the business to the point that Nick could give up his full-time job in June.  In August they moved into Greenway Business Centre, and by October had moved into a bigger unit.

“Our success is that we source unique items and try to keep our prices accessible to everyone.  We sell unique items from shop fittings to beautiful items for the home and garden at affordable prices for all, along with one-off vintage jewellery at high-street prices. We trade through our website and on our e-bay shop, but the unit at Greenway helps us to showcase our items and store our stock safely,” says Nicola.

Nicola and Nick needed business accommodation near to their home, to help them juggle their growing business and young family; Greenway Business Centre provided the ideal solution, with easy access, on-site parking and the flexibility of one-month contracts: “The workshop gives us the opportunity to add a mezzanine if needed in the future, and the one-month contract means we can upsize/downsize as needed.  We also like the fact that the security is excellent and the business

centre is clean and well-looked after.  We have also had a lot of support from ‘the aunties’ at reception!”

They may have started out as a part-time home business, but Antiques and Chic have ambitious plans: “We want to increase our international market, supply to interior designers and central London antique dealers and build up a client base that allows us to buy for specific dealers.  But more than anything, we want to be able to share our passion, offering our advice and employing more people so we can teach them a dying trade.”

And their measure of success?  “When we need another workshop because we have run out of space!”

To find out how Capital Space business premises could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667