Since I took over in April 2008 it has taken 20 months of hard work, fun, endless encouragement from friends, fellow dealers and fabulous customers, and a smidgin of determination to put Dairy House Antiques firmly on the map. Our dealers have doubled in number, the footfall has increased to such an extent that the carpet is wearing thin, and sales have beaten all expectations. Please don't think we have become complacent, though. We know we are one of the lucky ones, as the antiques trade has taken quite a knock in some areas. However, regular advertising and a frequent turnround of stock has kept the public's interest and we are constantly greeting new customers who have heard about us from various sources.
A few of our dealers stand at Ardingly and Kempton, as well as more locally at the Shepton 3-day Fair and the Giant Flea, and they promote Dairy House wherever they go. Often, when mentioning Dairy House to their customers at these fairs, they are told that the customer knows of us, has visited recently and, invariably, has made purchases.
What is so exciting is the fact that customers are now visiting Dairy House in search of 20th century fabrics and decorative items, as well as those of the Victorian and earlier eras. The word is spreading that we no longer cater solely for those looking for large pieces of Georgian furniture - although we still sell plenty of that - but are able to offer something for the new breed of customer looking for vintage.
As a result 2010 would seem the right time to stage the event which was mooted so long ago, and I am proud to announce that the first
Vintage Textiles and Costume Day @ Dairy House
is to take place on
Sunday 11 April 2010 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
The sellers have been invited and have accepted, the advertising postcards have been ordered and will be available after Christmas, and I've already put in a request to the long-range weather planner for a fine, sunny day.
Liz van Hasselt is very much involved in the planning process, and she and I are gradually putting all the details into place. It's always good to have 2 people working on something like this so that all will be fine-tuned, every eventuality catered for and nothing forgotten or ignored. I know it would have been a far harder job without Liz's input and so I thank her for that. I'm fairly sure we shall have a few giggles between now and 11 April - I expect we shall have the odd panic, too - but with the trusty Jack keeping us on the straight and narrow I'm sure it'll be all right on the day!
Some of the well-known West Country textile and costume dealers will be displaying their wares under the verandah at Dairy House, and the shop will be open all day, giving everyone an opportunity to browse around the 3 floors and buy, not only from the sellers mentioned, but also from some of the Dairy House dealers who will be displaying textiles and vintage costume within their individual spaces.
Both Liz and I will keep you posted on progress via our blogs between now and 11 April and hope that many of you will be able to come and share the day with us.