Old brings new shopping experience
PATSY Thomasson's new vintage store, Ellenmave Vintage and Antiques in Hospital Rd, is not just a new business in Emerald.
It's a sign of things to come, as residents and tourists seek something different from the ubiquity of shopping mall brands.
And not only does Patsy sell antiques, she uses her discerning and experienced eye to search far and wide to obtain pieces from interstate and overseas to offer Emerald residents and visitors something special.
With a number of years in the industry and good connections overseas - mainly in London - Patsy sources furniture, jewellery, porcelain and china that would be very hard to find in much of Australia, let alone little Emerald.
Having operated through others' premises until this year, Patsy decided to bite the bullet and rent a dedicated shop - which has had a positive spin-off.
"I was always restricted in (display) area,” Patsy said.
"It was hard to display china in a closed cabinet - porcelain, too. I built up a vast amount of stock so thought I would start a small shop.”
The shop's landlords "have been amazing” as far as helping her get started, and since her opening day on March 10, the shop has been a runaway success.
So successful in fact that her beautiful display has attracted another quality tenant to the building from next month.
The shop is the first antique store in Emerald "since about the 1980s, from memory”, Patsy said.
"It has been so incredibly busy. It's a combination of nostalgia - people seeing something and saying 'my grandma had one just like that' - and people so pleased to have something unique, rather than from a chain store.
"And it's quality - not something made out of chipboard or plastic.”
It helped that, just before the store's opening, three tea chests of stock from Patsy's last visit to London arrived.
"I am passionate about antiques. It's so enjoyable to be surrounded by beautiful things,” she said.
"You learn every day with antiques - you're always looking to learn more.
"And there is interest in everything; one day it's all jewellery, the next day it's porcelain, the next it's furniture.”
And she has long-range support, too.
"My sister lives in London and regularly buys antiques at local markets. I go over once a year and am going again in June.”
Patsy is no stranger to Emerald. She grew up in Gindie and is ecstatic her business has made its mark in her own backyard.
"I could not be happier. I have been overwhelmed with the response,” Patsy said.