Antiques Trade ‘Adventure’ Remains Fresh Every Day for Dingwall Businessman as Artwork Marks Major Milestone After Unforgettable Year Eradicated by Coronavirus Crisis
In the midst of another tough year for business, a well-established Dingwall trader celebrates a decade in business and looks to 2022 with some optimism.
Artwork owner Bill Powrie explains that part of that optimism comes from the day-to-day interest in running an antique store with over 7,000 items in stock which he described as “an adventure. “.
The fun comes from never knowing what people will offer to sell it and recognizing that for many an antique store offers a welcome touch of nostalgia that leaves many people feeling like it is “like a car.” comfort blanket “.
“Walking into an antique store is kind of an adventure,” he said. “It’s a two-way street – I need to buy in order to sell. So it’s not like a more traditional store where they would buy from a wholesaler or whatever.
“I demand that the general public come and sell me stuff so that I provide the stock in the store where I can sell. So every day is different. One day you might have someone come to sell you or pick you up to buy old furniture or clocks and then the next person might want to sell you taxidermy or jewelry or literally whatever.
“There are over seven thousand items in this store and their price and subject matter really goes from, I don’t know, hundreds of years to the 1970s. Guess that’s adventure.
“And that’s the allure, the enduring allure of antique shops, because you walk in there and not only don’t you know what you’re going to see, you’ll end up buying something only when you woke up this morning. there, you didn’t think you would want to buy this item.
“And there’s also that trip down memory lane where you’ll see things your grandmother had in her house or your parents had when you were younger. And so there is a bit of a comfort blanket in that sense to walk into a store like this.
When asked what was the most interesting buy or sell of the year, Mr Powrie replied: Probably, because I tend to specialize in this area and am interested in it – a Victorian polar bear, which I managed to buy and which we managed to renovate.
“I have become too attached to him to sell him so he sits at the bottom of my stairs in my house. So that was by far the most interesting thing.
“You know, absolutely everything sells. And one of the biggest difficulties in a business like this is that you have to try to keep yourself from just buying the things you love, because you end up with a store full of you.
“So people come of all sizes and interests and what I can think of as hard to move will probably last in the store for about an hour before someone comes in and buys it, so absolutely every item. is attractive to someone and you cannot pass judgment on anything.
“And, you know, every day is a treasure trove of people coming up with various items to sell you and you just have to have a balanced view of what you think you’re selling and if it’s in good shape, we usually will. Try.”
But despite some optimistic signs in the fall, many sectors were plunged back into restrictions in December due to the Omicron variant, but Mr Powrie – who once worked in finance – believes the economy will recover.
“It has certainly been a difficult year, we had very welcome government support during the lockdown period last winter. And I think, like most stores, our respective owners were quite understanding in terms of normal obligations.
“Having said that, when we got back, when we reopened our doors in April, business was going very well. So the past six to seven months have probably been some of the best in the last 10 years since I’ve been going. But December was not as busy as I would have hoped with attendance probably equal to 60% of what I expected. “
But despite that, he remains confident that things will pick up in 2022, saying: “I would. I would like to think that I am now in my 10th year of trading what was really just a retirement business for me. And, you know, I would like to think that we’re going to keep growing year over year.
“A lot of things depend on general economic conditions. I think the economy has behaved remarkably well or held up, given everything that has happened and like everything, it is because of consumer confidence. I believe we can and will overcome the problems of Covid.
“It’s just the underlying confidence of the general public to go out and spend money on the main streets. “
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