1. Tell us a bit about your business?
Wilson Picks, founded by Jeannie Shapiro & Lesley Faux, specialises in reclaiming and upcycling an ‘eclectic collection’ of pre-loved furniture, china, homewares, textiles and accessories. We sell a mix of antique, vintage and unique pieces – all carefully chosen for their quality and originality.
2. What inspired you to start your business?
Our business was actually founded on our desire to work together. Having met as members of a local business group, we realised that our skills complimented each other. Lesley is the artistic one and Jeannie has the marketing skills. We also got on very well and wanted to do something else besides what we were doing. So finding ourselves ‘in the same place at the same time’, we looked for business ideas we both felt passionate about. Lesley came up with the idea for upcycling & vintage and Wilson Picks was born.
3. What are the biggest challenges you face with your business?
The biggest challenge we face with our business is the ability to find space to have permanent or semi-permanent retail facilities. West London property is just too expensive for independent traders and the rental costs landlords want are killing the high street. We would love to find either PopUp space or find space in a co-op PopUp. Carting around our products from fair to fair is back-breaking work let alone fairly seasonal – there are not enough opportunities to sell or frankly make enough money. We have run our own PopUp Shows in Chiswick in the past (the Homeware & Gift Show) to increase those opportunities but that is also a big undertaking and not regular enough – something to think about.
4. What is the most rewarding part of your business?
The most rewarding part of our business is when our regular customers seek us out at the different fairs and buy more. It is very satisfying knowing that we have loyal customers and that they like what we sell. Obviously also satisfying is when we go home with a lot less stock and a half-empty van.
5. What advice would you give to people who have a business dream that they want to follow?
Dreaming is good but making it a reality is even better. If you have an idea go for it – you’ll never know unless you try. Not all businesses succeed and you need to constantly renew and refresh to keep the dream going. Hate to be clichéd but ‘if at first you don’t succeed try, try again’.
To find out more about Wilson Picks, click here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/WilsonPicks