By Wai Lin Coultas
ONCE UPON A Time Collectables opened last July at 49 William Street.
Eve and Ian Robson have collected while living in Sydney and on vacations around Australia. Along with all sorts of rustic items and furniture, their collectables include 1900s English china, Venetian and Victorian glassware, English and Australian pottery.
Be it old irons or even scales, Eve loves rustics as people can buy them to display or use.
When she and Ian collected too much china, pottery and glass to fit in their house, they started selling at Sydney markets as a hobby.
When the markets slowed down for china and glass, they switched to rustics – old luggage, mirrors, ladders.
They have been sourcing for quite a number of customers since opening their shop. ‘If we come across it, I will let them know,’ Eve added.
After six vacations every two years, Eve and Ian settled in Tasmania eighteen months ago. They always visited Westbury as it was ‘quiet and easy going compared to the city … the people are very helpful, friendly and nice.’
To go with their William Street shop, they bought tables and sideboards from Love Antiques. ‘We had the stock to start a shop up. What we did not have were the big pieces of furniture to put things on,’ Eve explained.
Tasmanians are becoming regular customers by word of mouth. Even people from Hobart drive over and tourists visiting by ferry happily load their cars up too.
Reminiscing often prompts purchases, Eve elaborated. ‘They see things they have had when they were younger. Or remember one of their parents having them …’
Half the Robson’s sales have been small traditional furniture: tables; occasional tables; little cabinets for kitchens or bathrooms. Men favour old rustic midget toys, cast iron pieces and tools.
The shop gives Ian the space to strip back, wax and replace parts to let the true worth of collected pieces shine – something he got interested in since Eve started collecting.
With their shop open only from Fridays to Sundays, it has enabled them to slow down, while still having a hobby.
‘Tassie is a hidden treasure with everything – the lovely oceans, mountain ranges, rivers, and a little city life in Lonnie and Hobart. We have no plans to go back to the mainland, except visit family.’