After a delightful coffee meeting with a fellow girl boss in the fashion world, we realised that we have a lot more in common with Antonia Timpany than it may seem at first glance.
Antonia started her own business because she was passionate about building a brand from scratch (like us) and particularly loved the idea of working in a space that champions one-off, quality gems (also like us).
The idea soon turned into a reality when Antonia founded Timpanys, a luxury resale store showcasing beautiful designer clothes, shoes (oh the shoes!), handbags and accessories, based in Sunninghill, Berkshire.
Sure, we obsess about home design here at Layer but after our conversations with Antonia, we couldn’t help but think about the art of creating beautiful shop spaces – how do you achieve the kind of design that makes a customer relaxed and happy when they walk into a retail space?
Here, Antonia tells us all about her treasure trove of designer pieces and the thought process that goes into creating an enjoyable shopping experience…
Tell us about starting your luxury resale store Timpanys – what inspired you to take the leap?
I started Timpanys straight out of university. I have always had a passion for business and wanted to do my own thing from the outset. At the time I graduated it was the height of the recession and everyone was being a bit more economical. I loved the concept of someone being able to buy beautiful things at affordable prices without compromising on the luxury experience. Essentially my hope was that Timpanys would democratise luxury fashion for everyone to enjoy.
As well selling beautiful clothes, shoes and handbags, we love that you’re very environmentally aware in your approach – is this important to you?
Oh gosh do not get me started! I think it is so important to stand back and see what this ‘pile them high and sell them cheap’ society is doing to our world. Let me fire some stats at you – nearly £100 million worth of used clothing went to landfill in the UK in 2015 and just so you can picture it, that’s the equivalent of nearly 90 thousand elephants. Instead of throwing something away, choose to sell it, or perhaps buy something preowned and you not only reduce the impact on landfill but also the initial environmental costs of production too.
Your store is absolutely beautiful. How would you describe your space in three words? In your opinion, how does a physical space impact someone’s shopping experience?
A treasure trove. Because although everything is beautiful you sometimes have to dig a little to find the piece that you’re really after!
So much impacts a shopping experience. The three senses we aim to hit well are sight, smell and hearing.
Sight – it is not always easy to display hundreds of individual items in an orderly way, however we arrange in colour to keep things neat. We also have big beautiful faux flower displays and elegant vintage pieces to display on. My colleague Holly changes the windows every two days which helps customers to discover new pieces that they might have missed.
Smell – we always have a beautiful candle burning which never fails to relax our customers as they come through the door.
Hearing – we have a great relationship with all our customers and always welcome feedback. It’s nice when someone feels heard, it doesn’t happen very much any more and I’m quite old school about that.
What does home mean to you?
My home is a modern flat on the river in Battersea. I am constantly surrounded by ‘stuff’ at work so at home I like things to be comfy but very much clutter-free. My favourite interior designer style would be someone like the amazing David Collins, having said that our use of colour has been a non starter!
Where is your happy place in the home?
One of our big splurges when buying the flat was our big dark green velvet sofa. Embarrassingly, with the whole of London at my finger tips, the permanent Antonia sized indents in the cushions betray that as my happy place!
For me, nothing beats curling up at the end of a long day with a cup of peppermint (read hot chocolate) and a suitably gripping box set.
A perfect Sunday is….
Walking to Lots Road auction house with my hubby. We love the thrill of finding something beautiful and bidding on it – naturally there are a few fails but it is all part of the fun.
If you could choose one piece from our website, what would it be? Where would it be placed in your home or store?
Well my home most definitely has a mid century feel about it and we are desperately in need of a floor lamp so my pick would be this Mid Century Dutch Back Floor Lamp. It would go in our lounge to help create some new pockets of light. That’s my mother rubbing off on me there – I have no idea what a pocket of light is but she said I need them so a floor lamp it is!
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