A Week in the Life: Vintage Furniture Dealer Mary from MoseyHome
Mary Le Compte is a vintage dealer based in Finsbury Park. We were intrigued to know what a typical week looks like if you source and sell furniture professionally! Curious too? Let Mary guide you through her week!
I will tell you why I like Mondays! I make plans to go and source lovely stock for MoseyHome. Mondays are the one day in the week that my shop is shut so I am free to go out and about. This week I went to the home of a family who were clearing out their house. They had lots of pieces that they wanted me to look at, including some fantastic lamps – a Guzzini floor lamp, and a quirky table lamp by Jan Wickelgren, both 1970s.
I love lighting and I love a lot of 1970s design. I am definitely drawn to design from the 1930s to the 1980s, but MoseyHome is all having an eclectic approach through layering design from all sorts of eras, and finding tones, colours, shapes and styles which bring them together. The MoseyHome USP is having a good eye to style old and new together. As our tag says: Vintage Style, Modern Edge. This means that as well as vintage I have new design pieces in the shop too, so on Tuesday….
I met with a woman who up-cycles stools in a very cool Terrazzo style design and we discussed MoseyHome stocking some of her work. We have always been keen on re-purposing, re-using and recycling so we look out for furniture that we can breathe new life into and or turn into a one off unique MoseyHome piece. We certainly keep our eye on current interior ideas and styles and look at how we can bring a touch of them into our own pieces. Pink, for example, in its many beautiful shades is still a strong colour in interiors. I went to a big fabric outlet before I opened the shop and got some gorgeous dusty coral pink velvet to reupholster a midcentury chair with. Talking of new interior ideas, I had a delivery of jute and recycled leather rugs to unpack in the afternoon. They come from a company which is fair trade and ethically minded, as many of our customers are – so we can be sure of passing this on when we are asked. In fact one of the rugs walked out the door with a customer who came back on Wednesday…..
…to discuss our Styling Service! We offer advice and practical help to people who want to restyle their spaces and bring a refreshed look to their homes. So from looking at how to combine vintage and new, to putting together colour palettes and sourcing pieces we become a team with our customers and love the process. The fact that we are a bricks and mortar shop makes a big difference to our customer service. We have chats about all sorts of things with new and regular customers. The fact that we have pieces from the 20th century always triggers memories and stories. My career before this was in the Museum sector and so I very much enjoy the story behind the object, along with the display. Wednesday brought a customer who was immediately drawn to a pair of rush chairs. She explained that it was the anniversary of her husband’s passing and that he had absolutely loved this type of chair as it reminded him of Cyprus, where his family were from. It was lovely to hear her stories. She said she felt that she was meant to come into the shop and see the chairs. Another customer, looking at chairs, rang and asked if he could come into the shop on Thursday to have a look at…..
…The set of six Ercol dining chairs that he had noticed at the weekend and couldn’t stop thinking about. Sometimes with furniture it takes a few looks online or in the shop before a customer buys. I was also having a few meetings in the shop that day. One was with two interior bloggers who have launched a cool new blog called All Up In My Space. They are coming to MoseyHome in April to undertake a ‘Style My Shop’. I have been doing this for a year or so. I invite people in the creative / interiors industries to come along and style an area of my shop – in fact a team from Vinterior did it last year! In the past the results have been published in a magazine. The All Up In My Space ladies will be doing a kind of ‘style off’ as their tastes are pretty different. The How’s, Why’s and Where’s along with photos of the results will be written about in their blog. Going back to the chairs, the customer purchased six of them and on Friday….
I delivered them to the customer before I opened up. I then spent a bit of time cleaning and oiling furniture as you can’t deal with vintage and antique pieces without using some elbow grease! This was before I had to look presentable for a photograph that needed to be taken for an article that a local company is writing on business women in the neighbourhood. It is to be published for International Women’s Day and a great idea it is too! Having your photo taken is tricky but photographing my products is one of the things I find the most difficult. It always needs to be done, but there is never enough space, light, or muscle to lift and shift everything, not to mention editing and uploading the photos. It is knackering! Last thing on a Friday I always need to spend a bit of time writing a list of ‘Things to Do and Things You Need To Know’ for…..
Saturday and Sunday
…My staff who work at the weekends. Usually I don’t work in the shop over the weekend. But of course I am always on the end of the phone! I do also pop in, often to drop off pieces of furniture that I have picked up, and on Saturday it was one of my most favourite coffee tables that I have ever had in the shop. It is by the designers Tove and Edvard Kindt-Larsen. It has gained a lovely dark patina and a few nicks and dinks since the 1960s when it was created. A gorgeous quality, lived in look.
So the week rolls into the next but I can’t mention running this kind of business without saying that I have to keep up with Social Media all week, every week. However, I mostly do have stuff to say as new, different things happen each week. I never know who is going to walk through the door, what will be bought and what I will find when I am sourcing.
Thank you Mary for telling us all about a typical week in the life of MoseyHome! Click here to browse through all of the vintage and antique finds in the MoseyHome collection.