South Woodford businesswoman swapping 9-to-5 in the City for vintage furniture and homeware

Natalie Howard has set up her own homeware company. Her with some of her kitchen sets.

Natalie Howard has set up her own homeware company. Her with some of her kitchen sets. - Credit: Archant

When Natalie Howard realised she’d amassed more vintage furniture and homeware pieces than she had room for, a business plan began to take root.

The 26-year-old, of South Woodford, recently turned her back on an eight-year career in the City to specialise in “up-cycling” promising antiques into must-have items.

Her motivating factor wasn’t just clearing out her own collection of pieces, though, because while moving house, she realised she had a talent for uncovering great finds.

She said: “I realised I had an eye for vintage homeware. I didn’t need everything I had.

“I decided to leave what I knew, working in the City nine to five and start somewhere new and different.”

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She has been collecting since last year but only set out with her business venture, Coffee Tea or Me, at the turn of the year.

Through a Facebook page and on website Etsy, which specialises in handmade or vintage items, she is now offering items such as a silver plated round vintage tray; vintage dinner plates and bowls; her own home-made candles and even clip-on earrings.

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At the moment, she said she tends towards smaller items because they are easier to store and she’s collected a variety of furniture such as chairs, dressing tables and cabinets.

She said: “I realised that you can make some old things like new or in more modern colours or reupholster them.

“I got quite into it and I got quite a collection.”

With her own website in the offing, she has already received orders from America and Thailand, while closer to home, Time for Tea, High Street, Wanstead, is also a stockist.

She is also selling at Spitalfields Market on Saturday, and September 7.

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