Retro traders team up
Collaboration is key for a collective occupying Hamilton store Remains to be Scene. Kashka Tunstall reports.
Remains to be Scene has been providing Hamiltonians with vintage and retro collectibles for 25 years but a new collaboration between the store owners and some of their collector friends has multiplied the shop's retro vibe.
The Anglesea St shop sells pre-loved items like clothing, furniture, collectibles, jewellery, old lace and linens from decades gone by.
Nina Sauerbier is the woman behind the counter.
The 51-year-old started off collecting textiles and fashionable goods 35 years ago and when she went to sell her personal collection 10 years later, she decided to get into vintage trading fulltime.
"If it wasn't for that retro clothing, I would have never ended up here," she says.
Sauerbier ran a stall in the Hood St Market in the early 90s before opening up her first fixed retail location on Hood St in 1993.
By 2007 she had relocated to Anglesea St and ran the store with her longtime partner, Ric Main.
But the recession has hit the store hard and to keep things afloat Main decided to focus on working from the home office, clearing estates and selling retro books and records online.
And the financial difficulties that flowed on from the recession led Sauerbier to reevaluate the way she ran the store.
"Since we made that change, and I'd been here on my own, I looked at subletting so that we could create a collective," Sauerbier says.
"The recession has brought about thinking in a different way, bringing people together to create hubs and that's also good in a green way."
So to revitalise the little shop she has run for 20 years, Sauerbier established an antiques and retro collectibles co-operative with four other Hamilton antiquers, all women.
Sauerbier welcomed Anni St Pierre, Natalie Read, Karole Mardon and Viv Strong to the store two months ago. Each has been allocated space in the shop to display wares and specialised goods.
Trading under different names, such as Time Warp and Professor Higgins, the women sell collectible goods, teacups and trading items sourced from antique fare hunts.
Viv Strong, who uses the name Time Warp for her stock, says the move to the collective has been a positive one.
"It's more of a lifestyle-type job. It has the flexibility and it beats being on the treadmill in an office job," she says.
"We've all known each other for years and quite a few of us are members of the local collectibles club.
"We've all done markets collectively and I think it's always been in the back of our minds that getting together is a good idea, and it's sort of manifested itself."
Sauerbier is sure the customers have noticed the change in atmosphere.
"It's a more interesting hub, people can see more and find more. It fills the store with interest and history so it brings in a really good variety for the customers," she says.
"The economic market has changed so for me this is a boost to hopefully pick it up so that we can continue here."
The collective is considering taking on a sixth member if someone can be found who is interested in opening a coffee house at the site.
That way Sauerbier thinks all the elements for a destination shop that offers variety and the memory-lane quality will be complete.
"It's different from other places, it's a point of difference for customers," she says.
"It just takes you away into another place, another time for a while and then you walk out, back into reality."
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