Q&A WITH SARAH CORTON- FOUNDER OF VINE STREET VINTAGE
In the heart of Brightons North Laines Vine Street Vintage founder Sarah Corton has created a haven for lovers of all things antique, vintage or just that little bit different. It’s the type of establishment you walk into and the first thing that springs to mind is that whoever set the business up has got it just right. The space is full of eclectic treasures from traditional french farmhouse fabulousness to mid century danish delights, of course being situated in a city where anything goes additions of fair ground memorabilia, taxidermy, slightly frightening mannequins and vessels from an ancient apothecary sit amongst more classical and conventional pieces found in a well stocked antiques shop.
It’s always a pleasure to walk past and stare endlessly at pieces I want to buy but in truth I wanted to know how Sarah started this great business and what she faces day to day as one of Brighton’s most loved retailers, here is a short Q&A with Vine Street Vintage founder Sarah Corton scratching the surface on what it takes to be a successful retailer in the antiques and vintage trade.
1. How did Vine Street Vintage come about?
The concept of Vine Street Vintage came about by happy co-incidence. I was looking for a new shop and a friend of mine, James Oliver, who owns the building and operates Vine Street Studios, a luxury holiday apartment upstairs was looking for a new tenant for the downstairs units. The size and scale of the building and the great North Laine location determined our decision to open an antique/vintage market along the lines of the buzzing, eclectic places you find in Shoreditch and Hoxton, a sort of mini Spitalfields in Brighton
2. What is your most exciting antique find to date?
Too many to mention ! I only buy things that excite and my fellow traders are the same. Currently we have a couple of stunning original fairground waltsers in the shop which have been refurbished and painted by a tattoo artist. They are absolutely beautiful and practical too as sofas. You’ll need a big space mind you !
3. What is the next big trend in antiques and what should we be buying?
We don’t really follow trends as they tend to be faddy and short lived. That rusty metal locker that you just had to have because it was ‘on trend’ will soon date. A beautiful painting or chair will always be beautiful. You are better off investing in beautiful, well made and practical pieces of great design which will stand the test of time.
4. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in Antiques selling?
Have a passion for it ! Be prepared to work hard and travel far and wide ! Expect it to take over your life !
5. Vine Street Vintage is more than a retail space, you also have a coffee shop and regular events in store. What was the thinking behind combing the two?
Having a cafe onsite makes us more of a destination and creates a nice shopping vibe. The playlist in the cafe is often remarked upon. You can arrange to meet for a great coffee and eggs benedict before you browse our new stock…or treat yourself to an afternoon cuppa and slice of cake.
6. Can you source pieces for clients upon request?
Absolutely ! You name it..we’ll find it