Following on from our previous email introducing Second Hand September we continue with the theme in this blog post. I was recently asked by a lovely customer if I source my furniture and display tables second hand. When I looked around and started to think about it I realised that pretty much everything, furniture and fixings are almost all second hand. Some I obtained for free as they were just going to go to the tip, or others I purchased on second hand websites like eBay or from other local shop closures.
One of the first few purchases that I found was a stunning glass table with wrought iron legs which was pick up only from my local area, and I only paid about £7. It is such a sturdy and beautiful table so I was really pleased to get it. Over the years it has had many uses In the shop. At first it was my desk and paying area before I had my official counter. Now it holds my ladies second hand designer jeans which people love to rifle through. This item I will never get rid of even if I close the shop at any point in the future.
My first second hand purchase for the shop display areas, this glass and wrought iron table for £7.
Another item I purchased online from a second hand site was a dark wood circular table which I collected locally. The best part about the table was that I won it for only 99p. I used some Annie Sloan paint to up-cycle the table In Antoinette pink with Annie Sloan clear wax over the top. The table to still going strong and is one of the main display areas at the entrance to the shop.
My up cycled table purchased for just 99p. Annie Sloan Antoinette pink paint and Clear wax used.
Quite early on I realised I needed more display and storage space as I don’t have a stock area, so cupboard space was crucial to store away all those things that don’t need to be seen like paper work or packaging. A very close friend wanted to get rid of her beautiful side table from her dining room and I knew it would be perfect in the shop with not only a display top but drawers and cupboards to store things. We arranged a swap as there was a little leather back pack she loved In the shop. It was as easy as that and now the dresser still sits as a main focal point in the centre of the shop. For a swap I think that is one of my favourite second hand display items.
One of my favourite items received free in a swap.
From a local shop closure I was able to purchase a second jewellery cabinet. I already had one from when I inherited the premises for the shop but, a second one was perfect so I could add even more beautiful jewellery for display. From the same shop closure they were also selling un used hat boxes for display use only, so I also bought those which are used throughout the shop.
I was so pleased to be able to home these items so they could be used and not just thrown away.
Finding these display Items to add to my shop was fantastic and helped them still be used rather than thrown away due to a shop closure.
I have also been lucky enough to be given some display items for free that would otherwise have been sent to the tip. My corner unit that currently hold the men’s pre loved shoes was given to me by one of the businesses in the office above my shop who were downsizing their office space. The shelving unit fitted perfectly into the corner so made a great addition for display and saved it going to the tip and being wasted. The vase and blue and white fronds were also given by the same office.
Our men’s shoes display corner shelving cams free from an office clearance as well as the beautiful blue and white plant fronds in a vase.
One of my favourite display cabinets that I also saved from being sent to the tip is this stunning free standing jewellery unit. The mirrored back also offers another place for people to check their outfits. I use it for displaying the more luxury shoes and bags that I stock, rather than jewellery. This was kindly given to me from the shop next door as they were moving things around and decided to get rid of it. For me it was the perfect addition.
My favourite free item I rescued from going to the tip.
Not only have I had display items given to me or purchased second hand I have got some fixtures and fixings for the shop as well. My main changing room is made from metal pipes which were given to be by another shop closure around the corner from my shop. I also got their changing room curtains for my fitting room so nothing went to waste. I have also been given clothing hooks from the shop next door that have been damaged so unable to be sold. I am so pleased I could use these items and save them from going in the bin and keeping them off landfill. One of the curtains had not even been used.
Even my changing room was built using second hand pipes and curtains as well as the hooks inside.
The other fixings that are second hand are my floating shelves. These have a bit of a story behind them and are also vintage as well as second hand. I was looking for apple crates to use as shelving or stacked display for the shop, but purchasing them cost quite a lot. One of my close friends who used to help me in the shop said her dad had some old apple and potato crates. The crates were used to collect the fruit and veg from around the farm when she was a little girl, she even remembers carrying them for her chores. Her father was going to just burn them on the fire and use them as fire wood as he had so many of them but she managed to stop him and she gave me some for the shop. I used purple and white Authentico paint and Authentico clear wax on the crates after they were hosed down. They now suspend on one of my main walls in the shop for my more luxury bags and shoes.
My amazing vintage apple crate shelves, saved from being burned on the fire. Keep my friends childhood memories on her parents farm alive.
One of my favourite and most beloved items I have bought for the shop second hand is my counter. I did not have a counter before or know where to get one to fit when I first opened. When the shop around the corner from me announced it was closing I asked what they were doing with their counter. The ladies husband had made it by hand so is beautifully finished and not too big for a small shop like mine. Both myself and the owner of the shop that was closing were really pleased the counter was being passed on to continue being used. I love my counter and I never thought I would have one. To get it in the shop we did have to removed the L shape part from it but apart from that it fitted in perfectly.
My beautiful shop counter purchased second hand from a shop closure.
I have many more second hand display and storage items that I have not mentioned that I use every day and would be lost with out them. I have other cupboards, shelves and baskets all second hand and in full use in the shop. If you spot something that might work in your house, business or workspace grab it while you can and make it work. You can up cycle, re upholster and paint. Giving things new life is an amazing way to stop landfill filling up. Share your second hand purchases with us and how you have made them slot into your life, or if you want to have a look at our pre loved designer clothing on our website visit www.myexwardrobe.co.uk.