Picture of Amanda Wrigley
It started when my mother, Shirley Hirst, opened her Antique business on the Portobello Road in 1964. I, Amanda Wrigley, joined the story in 1977 and was soon touring Antique shops in my pram. As a child I followed her around Antique fairs and, a little bored, started buying cheap costume jewellery for 50p and £1. I had one board of sparkly vintage brooches in the window of my Mum's shop and it was exciting when I had a sale. I also made some bead decorated safety pins for watch straps that I sold to my friends at school. By the age of 12 I was running a stall outside the shop on a Saturday, market day. To start off with it was just at Christmas to get some money for presents but it soon became a regular thing. By 16 I was making my own earrings and making regular visits to the bead shop in Covent garden, using a mixture of vintage and modern beads. I loved venetian glass beads. I went with my Mum on buying trips to France as her translator and managed to pick up some jewelery on my way.
I went to Liverpool University at 18 and spent 4 years studying to become a Primary School teacher, continuing my jewellery stall in the holidays. On returning to London I taught 8 year olds in Kilburn for 2 years before joining my Mum in the shop full time in 2001.
Sadly the Antique business was waning so my Mum too became a jewellery dealer. We slowly got more and more cabinets till we came to be the Aladdin's cave people now come to visit. We are like a jewellery museum where you can actually buy things. We buy anything, modern or vintage, that is striking, unique, unusual, beautiful or completely crazy! We try to cover all price ranges from £19 upwards so that it is accessible to all. I don't want people to think all our pieces are highly priced as they are not, I'm keen for our jewellery to be for everyone. I'm always on the hunt for pieces that look like the real deal but for a fraction of the price, as it's much more fun to have lots of jewellery than to have just one expensive piece.
I still make some jewellery and collaborate with other designers. We are compulsive buyers, so we have continually have new stock, the full collection comprising of over 2000 pieces in our shop on Portobello Road. But recently we have opened this website and are looking forward to sharing some special finds with those of you who can't make it to the shop. Enjoy! xx
- Amanda Wrigley