So, if you’re serious about retailing vintage then you’ll be reading Homes and Antiques magazine. OK, so it’s written for the interested rather than the professional seller but, and it’s a big but, it will tell you what is hot and what is not, as well as helping you learn about everything from chairs to jewellery.
Don’t write this magazine off as being for old fuddy-duddies – years ago it was just about older antiques but it’s much more modern now. Now it has a strong thread of vintage/ retro/ mid-century modern content. Certainly, it helps me with pricing, knowledge of designers and periods, as well as events and trends. It gives me a good idea of who the main movers are in the sector and what people are looking for – the adverts are also interesting. I must admit this is the only magazine that I read where the adverts are as informative as the text. The magazine manages a tightrope walk of epic proportions, covering everything from toys to fine art and everything in between.
On average, I look at about 6–10 Facebook pages or websites that are mentioned in the magazine – and then following most of them so it’s an incredible resource for becoming part of the sector. Perhaps my favourite regular feature is the ‘After Auction’ section that shows estimates and final sale prices – and they are not always higher! And the 10 decorating trends is brilliant for shop and stall layout.
I cut out and keep their designer notes such as ‘Behind the brand’ and ‘Notes on an icon’ as they give a brief overview that helps spot the best pieces when you are out hunting. Every page carries detailed captions that help you understand and recognise similar pieces. It’s not just a glossy interiors magazine that you flip through – there’s lots to read and learn. Features like ‘How to master vintage style now’ and ‘1970s Luxe’ are pretty as well as interesting. I pin the ‘Five-minute expert’ pieces on my noticeboard until I can recite them by heart and I love the guidance on creating vintage interiors by pairing the unexpected – something vintage and something modern – and I hope that my customers are reading it as well.
My only frustration – it’s almost as if Scotland doesn’t exist. Events in Scotland are listed under ‘The North’ and have to compete with English cities like York for space. I understand that the readership is mostly in England (that’s basic demographics) but it is on sale across Scotland and we do have a thriving antiques and retro scene up here too.
Homes and Antiques magazine has been a constant companion in my journey to this point – engaging me and building my confidence.