Today I am please to share an interview with Louisa Blackmore from West Egg Interiors an inspiring collection of antique and vintage furniture and decorative home accessories.
1. Where did it all begin with West Egg what made you start your own business? I set up West Egg in late 2010 and the company started trading in February 2011. West Egg is an online boutique store selling antique and vintage furniture and decorative home accessories. I had the idea for the company a few years ago while I working at a hedge fund in London. I never thought I’d have the guts to quit my job and follow my dream until I have a real “moment of truth” on a plane to the States for a wedding. When I turned my blackberry off I realised I was the happiest I’d been in months and it suddenly dawned on me that if I didn’t do it now I probably never would and that terrified me more than the thought of failing. 2. Tell us a little bit about the products you sell at West Egg? All the products at West Egg are individually sourced and restored to their former glory before going on sale. The main criteria for stock is that they are charming, simple and good quality. We want our customers to be able to create a fresh, vintage and personal look for their homes and our products reflect this philosophy. Our collection is really eclectic - currently we have in stock some lovely vintage trunks, distressed chairs, tables, mirrors, vintage French L’Ideale glassware, antique maps and prints and Chinese ceramic jars and vases.
3. You have some new products just launched on your site tell us more about these? The new products include a stunning vintage French armoire painted in Chateaux Grey and Old White from the Annie Sloan paint collection, a beautiful distressed vintage trunk, some lovely vintage shelves, a fabulous Victorian washstand and Chinese ceramic jars and vases. I will be sorry to see them go!
4. You also undertake restoration projects what does this involve? I restore pieces for the West Egg store but I also undertake projects for other people which might include stain removal (heat marks, water stains), furniture stripping, staining and waxing and of course french polishing.
5. What gives you inspiration for these restoration projects & what process & techniques do you use? For the West Egg pieces I tend to research the item and get an idea of what it would look like now if it hadn’t been damaged/neglected. Sometimes though I have to overhaul a piece completely if it’s badly neglected and damaged - for example, the lovely vintage shelves were in a terrible condition so I used the Annie Sloan paints to create a lovely French country finish - lightly distressed with a soft wax finish. All the techniques I use are sympathetic and traditional, for example, the vintage trunks are re-lined using traditional blue & white ticking fabric to give an authentic and classic look to the piece.
6. You have a source book service, what is this? Because I spend so much time at different fairs and auctions, West Egg also offers a sourcing service for clients looking for a particular piece of furniture. Clients can upload a description and photograph of what they’re searching for to the source book online which I then keep with me in case I spot something similar.
7. Where can we buy your products, do you have a shop we can visit? West Egg is an online store and does not currently have a physical shop premises. Customers can order online via the website or over the phone and we offer a fully secure Visa and Mastercard payment gateway powered by RBS Worldpay. We want our customers to love their purchases but if for whatever reason they don’t, we offer a no quibbles returns policy. If customers want to see a product before ordering, they can contact us and we will do our best to arrange a viewing.
8. What advice would you have for someone staring their own business? The best advice is to be flexible and open to new ideas and different ways of doing things. I wasn’t too keen on doing restoration work for other people to start with but now I love it; it’s all experience and it’s a great way to earn extra money for the business. The other valuable pieces of advice are to keep it simple and follow up on every lead - even an unlikely chance encounter can go somewhere. Above all, keep believing in yourself and work hard!
For more details on all these lovely products please contact Louisa Blackmore
West Egg Limited T: 0207 060 2975 M: 07979 238019 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website http://www.westegg.co.uk/