Raglan collectors, renovators and entrepreneurs, Paul and Sue Marrow, are calling full time on their treasure trove shop Raglan Vintage & Retro.
Listed with Ray White Raglan, the shop is up for sale along with all the stock and a very good reputation across the country for retro and vintage furniture and memorabilia.
The couple are not about to give up on collecting but retirement beckons and Sue has macular degeneration which will eventually limit her vision – the couple want time to travel and to indulge some of their other passions.
“We will miss this place. We’ve loved it here and could have happily stayed for another couple of years,” Sue says.
Located at the Raglan Wharf, the well-loved shop with a spectacular view over the inner harbour is a step back in time to the 50s, 60s and 70s. From lovingly restored retro furniture and snazzy reupholstered chairs and couches, to everybody’s favourite, Crown Lynn china and Temuka pottery, Paul and Sue are passionate about their collectibles and about the memories the pieces evoke.
“Collecting is about nostalgia,” she says.
“You often collect for what you had, what you didn’t have or what you couldn’t afford,” Paul adds.
The couple, who met when they were 16 and celebrate 47 years of blissful wedlock this year, love seeing the smiles as people walk into the shop and recognise something from their childhood.
“People always wander around the shop and say – oh, I recognise that from home or from my grandmother’s house,” Sue says.
Introduced to collecting by her mother who loved carnival glass, Sue also started collecting the shiny, metallic, pressed glass. She then added Noddy, teddy bears and golliwogs, New Zealand Rail memorabilia, New Zealand pottery and a large amount of Crown Lynn to her collection.
Sue has a penchant for upcycling furniture and she sources all the fabric and designs the look of all the couches, chairs and footstools, which are reupholstered in Hamilton.
“I love chairs and fabric and I always thought I would like to have a second-hand shop called TLC – tables, lamps and chairs,” she laughs.
A former banker, Sue has taken meticulous care of all the bookwork and she has her finger on the pulse of the shop’s profitability.
“The shop has provided us with an income and a stress-free lifestyle for the past five years,” she says.
A cabinet maker by trade, Paul also began his collecting journey at a young age – his passion is for toy cars, buses and trains. He utilises his wood crafting skills on restoring the furniture to a very high quality and all the chrome work is lovingly given a new lease of life by Paul.
The shop is well-known for a replica Tardis crafted by Paul and the couple say they get a lot of tourists come in just to do a bit of time traveling in Dr Who’s favourite mode of transportation. A large record collection is also Paul’s work and he shares his love of music at Raglan Community Radio where he hosts Friday Freak Zone from 2.30-5pm.
In the summer months, the shop is open up to seven days a week to keep up with the demand, but in the off-season they open from Thursday through to Sunday and the couple say they are well-supported by locals and by sales they get through Facebook.
The couple have excellent sources for their furniture and collectibles all over the country, and they love getting in their van and travelling far and wide to purchase special pieces for the shop. Just like collecting, restoring and upcycling will always be in the blood and the couple have plans to finally renovate the 1977 caravan that has been sitting neglected in their driveway.
“We want to do it up all retro and maybe go to different markets selling smaller pieces,” Sue says.
For more information about the shop contact Ray White Raglan – Julie Hanna 0274418964 or Blair Hanna 021 0200 8282.