Earlier this year I discovered a little hidden gem, just a 10 minutes drive from where I live, I love it when that happens. Steve and I were driving to High Wycombe via Marlow one weekend and drove past a little collection of shops, I asked Steve if we could stop in on the way back to check them out, I am so glad I did. We had discovered Homebarn!
I loved it there so much I took H back for a visit and to meet up with the one of the owners Sarah for a chat.
Hi Sarah, Can you tell our readers a little about yourselves?
We are Sisters in-law Sarah and Sally Wilkie and we run Homebarn. We are partners with our husbands also and together we all run a design agency called The Narrative. The Narrative is a multi-disciplinary agency encompassing Branding, Fashion, Web, Graphics and interiors. Sally and I help the boys out mostly on the trade interiors side. We are currently working on several hotels, bars and restaurants. As well as our day jobs we also both have young families, It is nice to have a carer that mean we can work with our families and can be flexible around our children.
Sally and her husband James returned from spending many years in the USA as fashion designers. Sally was looking to combine her flair for interiors with a job which would allow her to work around her small children. I had worked in retail interiors as a buyer for several years before starting a family. We were both fans of vintage style and antiques and we began Homebarn by selling several pieces from our own collections privately and then realising that we would enjoy working together and creating a vintage homewares brand. Homebarn was really begun as an extension of a creative hobby.
What is your favourite part of the business?
We love shopping for stock, that is still so much fun. We have met some lovely people along the way, many of our cabinetmakers and suppliers are now really good friends. We love helping to style the shop and enjoy being hands on with the photography and social media side of the business.
Which of all the pieces you have recovered/restored has been your favourite?
Old shop fittings such as Haberdashery counters are a favourite - in fact any piece of furniture with lots of drawers we can not resist!
Hauling heavy pieces of furniture around is extremely hard work and not much fun. Also It's very cold in the winter and in the mornings before we have lit wood burner it's really bitter.
Popping up elsewhere regularly seems to be on the cards in the short term, we are about to 'pop up' at Tent London and we have plans for other pop up's this year and next. We are looking forward to working more with clients on the commercial side which is looking very busy for next year. We are developing our own range of 'own brand' products including furniture, artwork and gift items.
If you could go back to the beginning what piece of advice would you to give yourself ?
Don't try and cover all bases, stick with what you love and don't spread yourself to thin.
Thanks so much to Sarah and her team for having us, I Love that the business grew organicly from your passions, and that all the family are involved. Some great advice there for anyone starting a business.
We had such a lovely afternoon looking around this little Aladdin's cave of vintage goodies. There were so many things that have been added to our wish lists after our visit. It was a pleasure to walk around the barn taking photos and dreaming of where we could incorporate pieces in to our homes and for me Sew Crafty. My favourite thing about Homebarn is the way they lay things out in mini dioramas, so things are sorted by room and displayed beautifully.
If you are near by its totally worth a visit, if you are a little further away, still worth a visit, and if you are even further away you can buy on-line!
All the details you need can be found on their website, go check it out, its just lovely.
H and Sammy xxx