VINTAGE CHIC: Nicole Gillespie at The Little Cat Next Door.
VINTAGE CHIC: Nicole Gillespie at The Little Cat Next Door. Allan Reinikka Rokalittlec

Nicole Gillespie makes old new again

WITH a little love and attention, Nicole Gillespie restores pre-loved goods to trendy vintage gems at her East St store The Little Cat Next Door.

Nicole also owns My Sister's House, and opened The Little Cat Next Door when she saw a market in second-hand goods.

"My Sister's House always had vintage displays and we got asked daily if the stuff was for sale - we saw a market in it," Nicole said.

Nicole came up with the idea for the shop in March, and by June The Little Cat Next Door was in full swing.

"We started a Facebook page before we had opened the store, or even had a name for it and we would post about everything - as we were renovating, when we got our second-hand dealer's licence so when we opened the store, people raced in and bought everything up and we had to go out and get more straight away," she said.

Everything was sourced locally, and it specialised in industrial pieces made of metal or timber.

"We're not antique dealers - we like the stuff in your grandpa's shed rather than what's in your nana's house...the dirtier and grottier the better," Nicole said.

Once people knew she was dealing in second-hand goods, people came out of the woodwork to both sell and buy items - "pieces tend to find me now", she said.

Every item was cleaned once it had been collected, some items were sold as is, but some were up-cycled or painted with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint.

Nicole said they tried to do things locally as transport costs were through the roof, and recycling goods was more eco-friendly.

"I also thing people are genuinely interested in where the pieces came from and the stories behind them...the baby boomer generation threw everything out but when they come in here, they see an old piece and it evokes memories of nana's house," she said.



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