A vintage vibe
PUBLISHED: 20:26 24 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:57 20 February 2013
Looking for some top-table decorations with a difference? The an online business set up by two enterprising Kent cousins could be the perfect place to start
A vintage vibe
Looking for some top-table decorations for your wedding with a difference? The an online business set up by two enterprising Kent cousins could be the perfect place to start
Two go-getting girls out there doing it for themselves are cousins Lisa Williamson from East Peckham and Wendy Thomas from Tunbridge Wells who decided to pool their resources and go it alone in the weddings business.
Both have two children but now their families are grown up, found themselves with more time on their hands to launch something they are both passionate about.
It all began three years ago when Wendy, who has 20 years experience in retail and the antiques business, started a home boutique in Tunbridge Wells and Lisa, then assistant bursar at Sackville School, Tonbridge was helping her with the accounts.
They realised their backgrounds in finance, IT and retail made an ideal combination for launching an online home furnishings boutique together, but very soon found themselves supplying bridal shops and boutique hotels - which led to them specialising in candelabras and launching their second website business.
Most couples are trying to save money on their big day and we can help by offering a range of high-quality, outstanding-value candelabra, says Wendy. Retail has changed so much and were all much more switched on and looking for bargains, yet were finding people want that personal touch again.
She adds: We supply top venues like the Royal Opera House and Fortnum and Mason, but we are also always on the other end of a line to give future brides advice on choosing the perfect candelabra for their wedding day. We now import our own candelabra by the container, specialising in classic and vintage designs.
With prices starting from 25 for a single candelabra, its not surprising that business is growing, as are the different lines in quality silver plate for the wedding table, with everything from five-tiered cupcake stands to Victorian-style silver platter centrepieces, Champagne coolers and even his and hers vintage-style crowns.
Some of the Matthew Boulton silver plate candelabra have also been snapped up as unusual silver wedding presents, and they also have fun sourcing quirky gifts such as cherub trinket boxes for the bridesmaids and unusual best mans gifts As long as they dont say best man on them! laughs Lisa, a country girl at heart who also runs her own smallholding.
I meet the cousins at Tonbridge Lok'nStore which, while it may not be the most glamorous of settings, has proved perfect for their needs, offering ample space for their deliveries in and out (everything is carefully hand-packaged) and storage.
While there are boxes everywhere and orders and enquiries are constantly coming in via the website and on their mobiles, the girls may be exhausted, but theyre clearly happy with their joint life-changing decision.
And relaxing over a cuppa, I cant help but notice the chairs they are sitting on wonderfully retro, Louis XIV-style in shades like hot pink or covered in a patriotic Union Flag design.
Naturally, theyre for sale too brides love them for their getting ready photoshoot at home and hairdressers and beauticians are snapping them up to use in their salons and receptions.
I get out quick before I find myself in my own lounge with a newly purchased vintage crown on my head and sitting on my own Royal throne. Its a very close call indeed.
GET IN TOUCH
Candelabras & Weddings
Call Wendy Thomas for product information on: 07990574426
Call Lisa Williamson for accounts and delivery info: 07894082346
Or book an appointment to collect direct from Lok'nStore, Vale Rise Tonbridge TN9 1SU, Mon-Fri 8:30am- 11:30am.