Updated: Jan 13, 2019
Reclaimed furniture specialist Nicki Barley tells us all about her work sourcing and restoring vintage pieces.
Tell us about your background and your work?
I am a retired florist of over 20 years. At the age of 15 I was a Saturday girl and at 25 my boss retired and I bought the shop. Over the next 10 years, I filled my flower shop in Henley with vintage furniture and props amongst the blooms. I sold the shop five years ago, had my two beautiful baby girls and now I am getting back in to work after longing to be creative again. Today I trade in vintage, industrial and reclaimed furniture and kitchenalia, via my business Green Magpie.
What made you decide to start your creative business?
I need to be creative in life... I love colour, old things and trading... the antique fairs were calling!
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration at the early morning trade fairs, they are a visual feast for me and I am like a kid in a sweet shop! I also find strength amongst other creatives and traders that I have met along the way who are passionate, hardworking and resilient.
What have been the highs and lows so far?
The high for me has been feeling like my old self again. Being a mum is truly amazing and rewarding but I also just love the hunt of finding a beautiful vintage item that a customer then loves as much as me. I love seeing these gorgeous items going off to good homes. No lows so far, maybe a few wet markets!
How would you describe your style?
Vintage, rustic, colourful and quirky.
Best nugget of wisdom?
Believe in yourself and don’t let anyone compromise your passion... and a good sense of humour in business is essential!
How can people find out more?
There is a real community today on social media if you get involved. You can also find me in my pop-up vintage showroom at Duck Pond Market every 4th Sunday of the month in Market Place, Henley-on-Thames.
Or of course on this very website!