SUPPORT OUR SHOPS: Couple make a living by keeping history alive

David Carter of Funked Up Furniture and Vintage Wares, Baytree Garden Centre, Weston.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG300417-183TW.
David Carter of Funked Up Furniture and Vintage Wares, Baytree Garden Centre, Weston. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG300417-183TW.
  • Heirlooms at the Carters’ chat room in Weston
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Do you fancy a “trip down memory lane” while giving your children a “history lesson” at the same time?

David and Ann Marie-Carter, of Funked Up Furniture and Vintage Wares in Weston, have issued this exciting invitation to their antiques and collectables shop which opened on December 1, 2016.

The shop marks an expansion of the Carter’s ambitions, having been based previously in a small unit at the entrance to Baytree Garden Centre where they were “up against the elements”, according to David.

He said: “The business started off last summer when we were in a wooden unit just outside the entrance to Baytree Garden Centre.

“But we were a bit limited for space, we couldn’t leave items outside as they wouldn’t be secure and we were weather-dependent in that if it was rainy or windy, we’d have to close.

“So when the previous occupants of the unit where we are now moved out, I approached the manager of Baytree Garden Centre with a view to taking it on.

Ann-Marie Carter of Funked Up Furniture and Vintage Wares, Baytree Garden Centre, Weston.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG300417-184TW.

Ann-Marie Carter of Funked Up Furniture and Vintage Wares, Baytree Garden Centre, Weston. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG300417-184TW.

“However, there was someone else interested as well and he turned out to be Iain Anderson (of 3 Pieces of Eight Antiques and featured in Support Our Shops last week).

“There’s a tiny bit of crossover between us, but we’re more into the vintage goods and outdoor garden type of items, whereas Iain is more for traditional antiques.

“But even though we are two totally independent retailers together in the same unit, it has worked well and if someone approaches us with something one or other of us could sell, we’ll pass the stuff on to each other.”

David and Ann-Marie, originally from London and Peterborough together, have been together for 12 years but bring different backgrounds to their business.

I’m elated, but not suprised, by how well it’s gone so far and the support from everyone at Baytree has been fantastic

David and Ann Marie-Carter, Funked Up Furniture and Vintage Wares, Baytree Garden Centre, Weston

He said: “I was on military service with the Royal Navy for 17 years, then I was a HGV driver and then a warehouse supervisor for Geest in Sutton Bridge.

“Ann-Marie has worked in the charity sector for a number of years, but she’s always had a bit of a passion for artistic flair and she’s also always wanted to have her own business.

“She loves taking furniture that I’ve sourced from various places, stripping them down and working her magic on it with various equipmeny to produce the finished items in the shop.

“She’ll do commissions for people who want to come in and say ‘I’ve got this piece of furniture for you to work on’ and she’ll give it a new lease of life.”

David’s chance to run a business with his wife came after taking early retirement when his previous interest in visiting antiques and collectables fairs took on “a new lease of life”.

He said: “I went to antique fairs many, many years ago but taking early retirement meant that I could concentrate fully on the shop.

“I’m elated, but not suprised, by how well it’s gone so far and the support from everyone at Baytree Garden Centre has been fantastic.

“The staff will help us out all the time if we ever have an issue, while local people and other traders have supported us as well.”

Funked Up Furniture and Vintage Wares has been open less than six months but, with help from social media, David and Ann-Marie have welcomed customers from Lincoln, Skegness and Stamford.

David said: “It’s a lovely-sized shop that we can manage, with the added security that it’s within Baytree Garden Centre and there’s a customer base who come, not just for plants but for us as well.

“While the centre is adding different things to attract more people, they can come here as well and spend anything up to hundreds of pounds.

“We like to think that our shop appeals to everyone and we always get customers who say ‘my nan had that’.

“This is how we want it to be and we’ve found our niche as people can come here and either have a trip down memory lane or a history lesson, depending on what age they are.”

As far as David and Ann-Marie Carter are concerned, customers can visit their shop whether they plan to buy items or not.

David said: “It wouldn’t bother me if people just came in here and talked to me, without buying anything.

“That gives me a buzz and I get a lot of satisfaction of it because I don’t want people to come in and feel like they can’t touch anything.

“I love it and I wished that we’d have done it years ago because it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.”