~~A new shop selling retro, handmade and collectable vintage items has opened in St Nicholas Market. Gray and Guild has been launched in the city-centre market by two collectors with a passion for all things vintage.
Jenny Alexander from Whitchurch and Hazel Sutton from Eastville have decided the time has come to share many of the gems they have picked up over the years.
The pair have a varied and colourful business past. Jenny’s background is in craft, having worked in furniture design, theatre and television art departments. She hails from Dundee in Scotland, and has been living in Bristol for seven years.
Hazel, who comes from South Shields near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, came to Bristol in 1975 to run the original Virgin Records store. Over the years she has worked as an antiques dealer, upholsterer, window dresser and silversmith, as well as in television props. She was once offered a job sourcing vintage fabrics for Cath Kidston.
Since it opened in November, Gray and Guild has been doing a brisk trade in china from the 1950s and 1960s, vintage clothing and fabrics, upcycled and hand-painted coffee tables, retro electrical items and children’s toys from the past.
There are also special pieces in the form of Hazel’s own silver jewellery, and capes made from vintage fabrics by Jenny’s sister.
Jenny said: “Although we have been involved in vintage fairs around Bristol for a number of years we really wanted to be able to show off more of our stock. A permanent shop seemed the obvious next step. St Nicholas Market is perfect. The cafes, record shops and bookshops give the place a real community feel.”
Hazel said: “There used to be so many good antique and bric-a-brac shops in Bristol, but over the years many have disappeared. At Gray and Guild we have got stock that will appeal to people of all ages and tastes.
"Whether you are looking for a one-off Christmas present, a vintage toy that will bring the memories flooding back, or something special to wear over the festive season, we are here to help.”
After securing the shop they wanted -– in the covered market at the St Nicholas Street end of All Saints Lane, just opposite The Crown pub – Jenny and Hazel set about redesigning and decorating inside and outside with the help of friends and family.
Jenny said: “It has been a labour of love, to have a place that we are so proud of, offering something completely new to this part of Bristol. We are thrilled to be open.”