Monday, 23 August 2010

Week Two

Veronique swept into our shop, trailing a dove grey chiffon scarf, a perfectly appointed hat of the softest green, a matching parasol, her white hair perfectly coiffed. Her clothes were immaculate, French like her perfume. She introduced herself in the most polite of manner as Veronique, her French accent suiting her perfectly. A school teacher for many years and newly retired, she has moved to London to live with her wonderful son. To an innocent bystander she is an eccentric old lady, living in the past. To us she is a breath of fresh air, a loyal customer and fast becoming our friend. Veronique first came in to buy a toy for her soon to be grandchild, she was back a day later to buy a leather bound copy of 'Far from the madding crowd' and yesterday she popped in for a teapot.
I love my job! It is these chance encounters that gets me out of bed in the mornings. you just never know who is going to walk through your doors. To say that London is quiet in August is an understatement. There are practically tumble weeds rolling past our doors yet we seem to be attracting a steady flow of customers, whether for curiosity's sake or to buy something they have seen in the window we are meeting and greeting so many lovely folk.

This week we celebrated a birthday, Steve's 38th to be precise! We had a huge chocolate cake in the shop and made sure our loyal customers got to share a piece of it with us.

Although when it came to cutting me a slice, Steve wasn't feeling very generous!(mine is the one on the right).

To be fair, I did make him work on his birthday which was rather nasty but just look what he has been working on;





But most of the time, this is where you will find Steve;

Just jokes. It has been quiet enough for Steve to be in the studio shabby chic-ing while I have been dealing with customers. In between I have worked on a few new displays.

The first was my baking goods which I felt needed to be displayed better. I thought I would try to change their use to a visual one and was quite pleased with the outcome.

Amazing what a little blu-Tack and some imagination might achieve.

This would work well on a bare kitchen wall and you could add to it for years to come with all sorts of interesting pieces.

Outside, we have continued adding to our display and created a rather funky shop sign with fake grass feet.

The mantique corner has some new pieces and continues to intrigue the blokes who boldly venture past the pretty prams on the forecourt into the cave of prettiness, the vast expanse of China- bedecked surfaces in the shop.

The new teddies I have been working on have found corners, shelves and cushioned beds to live in.

Although this cheeky chappy sock monkey was placed in a rather unfortunate position of prominence on the desk and it was only while talking to a rather posh elderly lady that Steve decided to bring it to my attention. Steven, really!

Two very exciting other things happened this week. Firstly, Nicholas & Steele will be appearing in the next issue of Darling magazine in an article entitled "Durham Road, The New Village"
For those of you who know the area, Wimbledon Village is the posh end of town were the rich and famous go to see and be seen. It abounds with boutiques, bars and restaurants and has been the hub of exclusive shopping in Wimbledon since The first pig was bought to market. Here on the quiet slopes of the village, is our little Durham road were in the last year, several little independent boutiques have shunned the high rentals of the village, the lack of customer parking, the ever cloned high street and opened their doors to an ever curious public, hungry for user- friendly, home spun, old fashioned shops with old fashioned values.

Secondly, on Saturday a lovely visitor popped into our store an hour before closing. As she walked in, her focus complete, she muttered under her breath, "this store is going to be trouble."
And she wasn't kidding. She left nearly an hour later with Five huge bags of shopping including my favourite tea set, a pale pink 1920's Art Deco set with matching teapot.

and Steve's favourite tea set, a 1930s black Royal Standard set.

She also picked up the pink magazine rack and several other bits.
After leaving five minutes later she rang to ask us to put another set aside and said she would pop in on Monday to pick it up.

This lady happens to be a very famous author and my pink tea set is a gift for an A-list fashion designer. I am not allowed to say who he is. Needless to say he is neither Jewish nor Muslim.
(Answers on a postcard please.) This lovely, lovely lady does research and is best friends with another a-list fashion designer of an exceedingly flamboyant nature and has asked for our help to source a few interesting costume bits etc for him. She has also offered to sign my book I have of hers and said, "I am your fan too" AAAARRAAAAAGGGGHHHHH! (if you think I am over reacting now, you should have seen me in the shop when the penny dropped and I realised who I was talking to...not very cool.)

So all in all it has been a wonderful week full of many surprises and happy moments.

Our new, New Zealand import, Sheep skin lined, lambswool newborn booties.

A Nicholas & Steele favourite, white doves.

A new book corner

Some very sweet little ducklings

A lovely midwinter set which was sold in Woolworths in the 60s.

A retro corner of gigantic crochet 70's throws and Staffordshire stripe crockery.

and Noddy and his remedial chair

In just two weeks Nicholas & Steele feels like it has begun to stamp its little mark on the foothills of Wimbledon Village, from the 'calander girls' who visit us every Wednesday after their fitness class at the church hall across the road and stay for a cup of tea, to our fabulously famous authoress and of course not forgetting the beautiful and graceful Veronique and her hats and matching parasol. To all of them, we are something.

Have a lovely week friends.

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