Please tell us about your background and the background to The
Philip started the business about six years ago.
Does it come from a hobby?
He does restoration work and so it started from him restoring
old buildings. Itís slowly grown from that and weíve added
to it as the years go by.
Thereís a big portfolio of products that you offer now.
Yes. We started off with the building materials Ė the cast
iron, the lime mortars and things like that and now we have
incorporated the indoor stuff like the signs and the clocks
Thereís a physical presence and a web presence?
How important is The Internet to you?
Thatís the main part of it. We do supply local builders with
lime mortars and so on but the majority is Internet business
all over the country.
I need lime mortar for our house because itís made of
Northampton stone and where theyíve used ordinary mortar it
doesnít let the stone breathe and it starts to crack.
You may get an order from me at some stage. I just donít
know what sort of ratio I need for the mix.
Philís the one for all the technical stuff.
Can you tell us what sorts of people are buying your products
and what are the most popular ranges?
It completely varied. Quite recently the enamelware has been
Thatís a recent introduction?
Yes, within the past year. I think itís because Jamie Oliver
is a bit of a champion of enamelware and so with that being on
TV everyoneís wanting to buy it.
People follow their heroes? Thatís good that they can be
relied on like that. (Both laugh) Why is there such an
interest in heritage, the traditional and nostalgia in your
I think itís keeping the traditions and thereís a lot of
older buildings that still need the upkeep. And people nowadays
are more willing to look after them.
Weíre very lucky here actually. With the terrible climatic
and other events that seem to happen overseas all the time
these days they donít really have a tradition of maintaining
old buildings because so much of their infrastructure is
Yes, they donít have as much heritage as we do. Everyone
here is restoring old items and re-using them. A lot of people
are asking for second-hand things nowadays. Itís a lot to do
with the economy as well; people would rather buy second-hand
for less than spending a fortune on first-hand.
Well, you donít even get the quality when buying new
compared to a lot of the older stuff. That was made to last.
Yes. Definitely and itís a lot cheaper.
And greener too?
What sort of client feedback and comments are you getting?
It varies. A lot of people like the old-style things for a bit
of a change rather than just new stuff. We sell a lot of the
Are these people from all over the world?
Yes, we do get quite a lot of people from America buying our
things. Places like San Francisco, they tell us itís a lot
easier and cheaper to buy it in the UK and then get it posted
out to them. And itís something different as well because
they canít get these items over there.
Itís wonderful the opportunities The Internet has opened up,
Yes, you can go anywhere in the world with it.
Itís such a small world as a result. Truly a global village.
Exactly, and you get a bigger range of clients coming in.
are the things that make The Heritage Store stand out as a
We try to have a bit of everything so if someone has an old
home they can come in or view online and pick up everything
that they might need for a period property.
Thatís important, isnít it? Get it all in one place.
Weíre like Tescoís for older properties. (Both laugh)
Where do you see The Heritage Store business heading in the
Weíre just hoping to grow and currently weíre working on a
new website. We want to make it easier for our customers to go
on and find items. We want to grow and sell as many things as
possible. Things that people can't pick up in the ordinary
high street shops.
Yes, you also have to keep on the ball with The Internet and
keep in touch with developments.
Yes, you need to keep on top of it and adding on to it and
finding new products and new ideas in the market that others
havenít got into yet.
Thanks Leanne. And best of luck with your development plans
for the business.
and traditional tools