Our dream is to open an amazing Vintage & Arts Emporium in Hertfordshire. In addition to offering 3,000 square feet of Antique and Vintage retail space housing an eclectic mix of sellers, it will be a hub for local artists, musicians and craftspeople. We hope to create a meeting place for the whole of the local Arts community, and hope to become a 'destination location'
You can follow our progress on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wise_three
In the heart of the St Albans countryside is a long established high-end outlet store selling fabulous homewares and luxury leather goods. Immediately adjacent to it is this. My eyes just lit up when I saw it, my little house of dreams! I just had to have it.
Here it is...
Although it wasn't on the market a lot of sleuthing led us to the owner who, after getting over the surprise of being hunted down over the internet by a complete stranger with crazy plans, became totally enthusiastic about the idea and he agreed to rent it to us.
Amazingly, it's still kitted out with the original fittings from its previous incarnation as a saddle makers.
Beautiful original fittings...
The plan is now to sympathetically restore it, retaining original features whilst adding a layer of quirkiness and fantastical wonderland to the interior. We will use, wherever possible, local labour and talent to help us complete our project.
Oh, and we also have a horse called Colin.
As well as renting interior space to sellers of antiquities and curiosities, we will offer display space throughout to allow local creatives a live 'window' in which to showcase and market their products. We will have a library of vintage books, and a dedicated corner where musicians can come and hang out with like minded people.
We will hold regular exhibitions to promote local artistic talent, including special events for children. One room will be available for creatives to run classes promoting their individual arts. Throughout will be an interesting collection of gifts, antiques and quirky things for sale. We also hope to open a small cafe.
We started out with no money and some grand ideas, and still have an abundance of both of those things, having sunk all we have into the down payment! Although a deposit has been paid to secure the premises, we are Crowdfunding now to help us raise Phase 1 of the funds we need to renovate the property to a fully habitable state.
Our wonderful landlord has kindly offered to redecorate upstairs, connect water and electricity, and replace part of the glazing.
For our part we need to fund the repair and restoration of the original flagstone floor. We need a boiler, a heating system and a basic kitchen. The downstairs requires repair and repainting. We need proper lighting, carpets, a shop counter and some display cabinets. We need everything!
We welcome any and all offers of help, whether you want to donate your goods, your money, your time, or your expertise!
We aim to commence works this summer, and be open as a thriving hub of local creative talent by September 2016.
In spite of my 30 years as a book-keeperI have managed to retain a poets heart, remain a dreamer of great dreams, a collector of wonderful things, a vintage trader, a writer, a believer in magic, and the Mother of a wonderful son. I, like most people always had a idea of the thing I would do 'one day'. I guess turning 50 made me wake up to the fact that 'one day' is either now, or never. I chose NOW!
Thank you for reading about us, and for donating if you feel inclined. Every single pound we receive is as important, and as gratefully received, as the next. Each one brings us one step closer to the day we can open our doors to you, and offer you the warmest of welcomes.
*** PLEASE BE AWARE THAT CLICKING 'PLEDGE' WILL TAKE YOU DIRECTLY THROUGH TO YOUR CHOSEN PAYMENT OPTION ***
*** THIS IS NORMAL PROCEDURE FOR THIS CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM AND YOU HAVE NOT BEEN HACKED! ***
In the meantime I am throwing this out there like blowing a dandelion clock into the wind. Please help carry the seeds of our idea far and wide by sharing our link, spreading our story, and help us to reach as many people as we can. We will be running a blog on our website updating you with news and progress and you can subscribe to that here: