It can be said of shop owner charismatic Terry that she knows what she likes. And her customers like what she likes. That’s why they are happy to spend time browsing, and choosing to buy, some of the many and varied pre-loved items in her hidden gem of a shop tucked away, though easy enough to find, in Chichester city centre.
Terry’s little shop of treasures, Turn The Tables, in Jay Walk, St Martin’s Street, boasts a multitude of desirable pieces; from functional, sensibly-priced furniture to objet d’art. On a visit to the shop, often referred to as a veritable Aladdin’s Cave, expect to be able to adjust your scope and thought patterns at any turn, such is the spectrum of items for sale.
You can be enamoured by a pair of distinguished, blood-red Victorian arm chairs one minute (as I was); then be admiring solid pine tables the next. For here you will encounter a wealth of desirable things. Intricately-decorated lamps rub shoulders with exquisite jewels boxes and silver picture frames. And acrylic paintings by a local artist, adorn the walls; desirable objects (often known as bric-a-brac; though that is too simplistic a term for these cherished articles) abound.
You get the impression that for Terry, who has a background in sales of ‘pre-loved’ items and who previously managed Millbarn, Barnham, which housed good quality second-hand pieces, running her shop is very much a labour of love.
“Yes, it is rather enjoyable,” concedes Terry, who runs the premises ably assisted by her adorable springer spaniel Ben, who is happy to be the recipient of no end of fuss. “I love Chichester and the people and it is wonderful to see customers, new and old, when they come in to browse and, of course, make purchases!
“There are some lovely characters, some more flamboyant than others, and I love to see them all in the shop. Lots of people com in for a chat and to see Ben. It can be wonderful.”
So how does Terry manage to stock her shop with pieces that seem so attractive to potential buyers?
“I suppose you could say that I do have an ‘eye’ for certain items,” she says. “And that very much helps because it makes it interesting for people who love to pop in and peruse the things in the shop at their leisure.
“I like the aspect of recycling that is inherent in this business. It makes perfect sense if say, some furniture has been put together well and has life left in it, for new owners of it to put it to good use. That has got to be good for the environment.
“And it’s certainly good for the bank balance, because all of what I sell is done so at very competitive prices.”
Pay Terry and Ben a visit; it’s a shop you will enjoy, and the conversation is rather good, too.