Laura Cartledge learns that the past and present trends go hand in hand.
Sarah Kingston’s approach to business is beautifully simple.
“I buy what I like the look of,” she explains. “I never think it works otherwise. If you are not confident in something I think it comes across.”
Which means at the end of the working day this Shoreham resident doesn’t go home and shut the door on her vintage homewares company – it lives with her.
“It is in the house, I dress the house,” smiles Sarah. “I have had the TV on the floor because I have sold the table it was on before.”
Husband Paul, a builder, doesn’t find this daunting, in fact it is part and parcel of running Goose Home and Garden together.
“We have always bought and sold properties and moved up the ladder,” Sarah reveals.
“We would sell the property then we would sell all of the contents. It is easier to move with nothing.
“There was one time where the buyer bought everything, she loved it all, so we just packed our bags and walked out.”
Thankfully Sarah’s 25 years experience of ‘buying and selling’ makes facing an empty property an exciting, rather than scary, prospect.
So how did this interest begin?
“It has always been a fascination with me,” she replies. “I remember I was still at school, aged 13 or 14, and car boots started happening around that time. I was amazed by all the wonderful stuff.
“I think it was that and the fact I had a lot of old aunties who all lived in bungalows in seaside towns,” adds Sarah.
“I can remember being mesmerised by the things they had around them.”
Having attended fairs ‘on the side’ making a business was the obvious ‘next stage’ and saw Goose, which takes its name from Sarah’s childhood nickname, launch four years ago.
“I still absolutely love it,” she enthuses. “It’s a case of what am I going to find today? You are always excited, never knowing what will come up.”
The very nature of sourcing genuinely vintage and often unique pieces in their original condition means it can be a bit of a treasure hunt.
With this in mind I can’t help but ask if there’s ever been an item Sarah wishes she’d kept hold of?
“There have been a fair few things I have found that have been lovely, but I wouldn’t say there is one thing because things change over the years,” she answers.
“I did get a whole stack of Welsh blankets which were £20, now it would be £120. We do have a lot of conversations about going back and buying things again.
“A lot of galvanised things are popular at the moment. A few years ago you would walk by and not look at them,” continues Sarah.
“It is about being on top of it all the time. Things are going in different directions now.”
Sarah believes her ‘years of doing it’ is key to her success at hitting gold.
“You just go around a fair and scan,” she says. “It is seeing the corner of something in the back of someone’s van and hoping the rest of it lives up to expectations.”
While the items Sarah collects range from furniture and kitchenware to garden items there is a clear stylish and sophisticated quality which brings everything together.
All of which is sprinkled with a sense of fun, whether you fancy the novelty of dotting vintage metal golf markers across the lawn or using a pink enamel French lavabo – a type of ceremonial sink – as an unconventional planting container.
The way vintage allows you to create an ‘individual look’ is something Sarah cites as her attraction to the subject.
There’s no doubt her vision and expertise make her a great advocate for all things nostalgic and discovering that looking back is the best way to be ahead.
Goose Home and Garden regularly attend events across Sussex. To find out more about these and the items they have for sale, visit www.goosehomeandgarden.com
July 6, 2015 Interiors and Property