BUSINESS OF THE WEEK: Chic' It

Train

Welcome to Business of the Week, a new section of the Explore Tiverton website which does exactly what it says on the tin. Every week we'll be focussing on a different business in Tiverton, interviewing the proprietor and talking about the ins and outs of their enterprise.

Read on to find out how you can appear on this feature in future...

 

BUSINESS OF THE WEEK: Chic' It imageOne of the biggest recent trends in interior design is 'shabby chic', the practice of turning old, worn furniture into something new and elegant through paints, fabrics and special designs. And now there's a fantastic new shop on Bridge Street in Tiverton to show you how it's done. Its name is Chic' It, and its owner is Tina Mosley.

Born and bred in Tiverton, Tina has a lifelong association with the town, having raised her grown sons here and worked in and around the down for most of her life. Frankly the only thing she loves more is being creative.

"I've always had a flair for painting and decorating homes," Tina says, leaning on the counter of her new eclectic emporium. Looking around at all her colourful and striking stock, it's easy to see the personal touch in everything that's being sold.

But, as become clear through talking to Tina, this job was never the big life dream; rather it was something she fell into after leaving an unhappy office job in accounts and marketing.

BUSINESS OF THE WEEK: Chic' It image"I just walked out of that job and started painting," she says. "I never thought about running my own business, I just started painting at home."

Said home increasingly had to change to keep up with Tina's growing levels of creativity.

"Mark [her husband] built an extension on our garage, then I ran out of space in there from doing business on eBay and Preloved, so we built a conservatory as well!"

The decision to open up Chic' It was virtually spur of the moment; Tina was walking past the empty unit and ran into the gentleman who was trying to sell it.

Tina has been always been drawn to shabby chic because of the unique character its examples have. It is impossible to mass-produce shabby chic furniture, meaning that every single item in her shop is one of a kind. If you buy a table, a set of chairs or a bookcase from her, you'll be the only one of your street who will ever have one quite like that.

BUSINESS OF THE WEEK: Chic' It imageTo keep up with demand, Tina sources a lot of her furniture from local auctions, doing them up in the back of her shop using Autentico chalk paint and wax.

"I'm hooked on this stuff - not literally!" Tina says. "It saves me a lot of time in turning furniture around. You don't have to sand or varnish any of the wood, you just paint straight on. And because it's VLC-free, it gives off no smell and is child-friendly too!"

Tina's motivation with her shop is to help people to make their homes feel more special and unique to them. "I am a free spirit... what I like is to see other people happy. I'm a people person" she beams from behind the counter.

Clearly she's already made a lot of people happy. Within barely a week of opening, she had sold one of her most elaborate items - a double glass-fronted display cabinet with draws at the bottom, now in the safe hands of The Trout Inn, Bickleigh.

BUSINESS OF THE WEEK: Chic' It imageNot only that, but Tina is encouraging members of the public to try their hands at shabby chic themselves. She holds regular workshops on site, taking people through the basics and allowing them to get their hands dirty with her range of paints.

It's clear that Tina has built a business that is destined to prosper. So why not take time this week to pop down to Bridge Street and have a browse? You might find just what you're looking for - and if it's not there, chances are she can make it for you...

For more information on Chic' It, clear here to see its profile in the Explore Tiverton Business Directory. Join us again next week for another Business of the Week!

---

If you would like your business to appear in Business of the Week, or to be included in the Business Directory, please email mumby1988@googlemail.com or send a tweet to @tivtownteam.