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We didn’t meet Mary beforehand at all, so the first meeting that you see on the show, really was the first time we had met her. In fact, throughout the show, we were never told beforehand what was going to happen, so it was all surprises. It was a great experience, but very tiring too, especially as we had to deal with family health issues during it.


Filming was a few days per week, spread over two and a half months and was quite intensive. A lot of the filming involved general filming of the shop and didn’t involve Mary.


What was the best and worst experience of working with Mary? The best experience was seeing the shop done up differently and listening and learning from Mary herself. The worst had to be selling off our stock to make room for new stock and having to defend our product choices.


What areas have you focussed on to move your business to the next level? We use social networking to help with marketing and will be starting to send out press releases too. Mary has helped enormously and continues to do so by sharing press contacts, etc. She recently helped us with a pop up shop at her ‘Living and Giving’ charity shop.


What is the theme of 37 Old London Road? The furniture that we up-cycle, has a retro and vintage theme. The accessories we stock are by up and coming handmade designers and artists.


88 | ukhandmade | Winter 2010


Have you spotted any new trends in interiors to watch out for? At the NEC home wares exhibition recently, we noticed a trend for distressed furniture. Also, silver coloured furniture seems to be popular. We have also noticed that the union jack on soft furnishings is very much on trend at the moment.


How do you source your furniture for up-cycling and is there a particular type of furniture or period you prefer to work with? From antiques fairs on the south coast mostly, but sometimes charity shops too. We have built up a list of suppliers now. We are driven by availability rather than trends. If a piece of furniture has ‘something about it’ that you can bring out and transform, then we can use it and this crosses all periods. The choice really depends on the piece itself.


How do you decide on which other designer / makers to stock? The piece needs to fit with the theme of the shop, so has to have, ideally,


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