ABOVE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR CUSTOMERS REVIEWS.... Hi, I'm Lucy & this is the story of how I became the owner of Vintrotique collectables emporium & Lilly's Vintage Tea Room in Glastonbury, Somerset.
It all started in March 2015 when my Mum, Lois & step-dad, Graham decided to retire, downsize from a five bed to a two bed and move closer to me in Somerset. Previous to moving back to Somerset they spent a lot of their time travelling, collecting all sorts of little treasures along the way. Once they had moved it became apparent that 5 bedrooms worth of collectables would not fit in a two bedroom house so most of it was moved into storage containers.
Knowing that they needed to let go of some of it (and realising that doing this on ebay would take years) I did a bit of research and found an affordable but small unit to rent in Bridgwater indoor market. After a bit of persuasion, in June 2015 we opened our doors as Presence of the Past, Vintage & Retro Boutique. Business was slow at first and we were not sure if we would be able to make a success of it but about six months in we found the ‘missing piece of the puzzle’ when my dad joined us to sell some of his antiques and finally we started to get a lot more custom. It was lovely to hear customers reminisce when looking through our stock and so we decided to keep the shop open permanently and make a go of it.
Over the next 6 months we extended our unit into another to make it bigger, but even after that we realised we were getting too popular & needed to get our own premises. We found a place on the high street, Bridgwater & after a couple of weeks of refurbishment we were ready to open our doors & on 14th June 2016. Things were going very well for a while and we had grown closer as a family but sadly Bridgwater High Street was declining rapidly so we made the tough decision to move while we still had a business. On the 4th July 2017 we reopened in a much bigger premises in Glastonbury High Street and I am so pleased to say it has been our home since. It has been an absolute whirlwind since moving the shop here and residents and fellow business owners in Glastonbury have been so kind and welcoming, we have made some wonderful friends and I really feel us and the shop have become part of the community!
Since opening my mum & I had always dreamt of having a tea room in the shop and we thought that this would be the perfect way we could give back to the community and bring people closer together. So we managed to get some funds together and thanks to my husband's hard work and carpentry skills we refurbished the shop, gave it a new name & colour & in May 2019 we re-opened as a shop & tea room called Vintrotique collectables emporium & tea room. The tea room has been a great success and we have had some wonderful feedback which makes it all worthwhile. My Collie dog Lilly was even becoming a star in her own right with people frequently coming in to see her, taking pictures of her and posting them on social media. People loved her as did I & so when she passed away in February 2020 at the age of 14 we had a lot of customers wanting to pay tribute to her, so we decided in her memory we would re-name the tea room Lilly's Vintage Tearoom.
Not only is the tea room a homely relaxing place for people to escape their hectic lives for a while we also help out the local homeless by giving them free hot drinks & often donate clothes & coats as well.
So here is where we need your help.
We want to be able to open our doors once the lock down restrictions are lifted but as time goes on it is looking less likely that we will be able to. I have tried to get help from my bank and insurance company but (like many other businesses) they aren't willing to help due to the unprecedented situation we have all found ourselves in. This isn't something I would normally do and I appreciate we are not the only small business asking for help but I don't want to lose my business. My family has sacrificed so much & worked so hard over the last 5 years so as a last resort I am asking for your help. We are helping our community & we are helping the environment by selling 2nd hand goods & with your help we can continue to do so & promise to do more in the future.