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Shona’s shed of vintage treasure in Aberdeenshire

Shona Campbell has always loved collecting quirky items.
Shona Campbell has always loved collecting quirky items.

Pretty fabric evokes quite the reaction in Shona Campbell, from Victorian embroidery to the bold prints of the seventies.

Her family home in Inchmarlo is practically bursting at the seams, and what was previously a stable has now been transformed into Shona’s treasure trove of finds.

And having lived all over the world, Shona has quite the collection of interesting items.

Now 60, and with her twin daughters away studying at university, Shona has finally found the time to turn her passion into a business.

Shona has always loved the unusual.

Rare finds and all manner of curiosities make up what she has aptly called ‘Shona’s Shed,’ and her eye for the unusual has won her a legion of fans online.

The next generation of vintage lovers often go head to head in a bid to snap something up, only mere minutes after Shona has posted online.

We caught up with her prior to her latest pop-up in Banchory, and found out why her love of collectables has become a full time job.

Childhood dream

“It’s been a long process, I’ve always collected things,” said Shona.

“I remember taking a Friday off college in the eighties, and going to Aberdeen market in Castlegate.

“I’ve always had a great love for second hand and vintage. My sister, Helen Bruce, who is an artist, also collects things.

Shona collects items from the Fifties onwards.

“I certainly don’t get the love of it from my mum, she wasn’t that way at all.

“In her house she had what she needed, and that was it.

“I’m a collector of many different things, of vintage and of things that are pleasing to me.

“Then everything started to burst out my house.”

Motherhood kept Shona busy, as did travelling across the middle-east due to her husband’s job in the oil and gas industry.

Having returned to the north-east, and with her daughters now grown up, Shona’s passion finally came into its own.

Business opportunity

“My real love is printed fabric, my house is full of it,” she said.

“Helen and me started trying to get stalls at numerous fairs, but they were always snapped up quickly”

Shona believes Studio 1 has enabled her to reach more people.

“Then we started volunteering at a community cafe in Banchory, which is now known as Studio One.”

The pair rented the space at weekends, and started running pop up stalls.

The venue has since become a haven for artists, and has given Shona a “step up” into business.

Alongside exhibiting there, she also sells items from the stables at her home – which she has aptly named Shona’s Shed.

“The response has been fabulous,” she said.

“I run pop ups at weekends, but quite often someone will turn up on my driveway during the week.

“I just can’t turn them away.

Shona’s collection soon outgrew her home in Inchmarlo

Social media trend

“A lot of my sales happen online, social media is absolutely fundamental to how I run my business.

“Every Friday, I do a Friday Fabulous Finds, and there can sometimes be six people all after the same thing.

“Vintage has become very popular, and I think the new crowd is really switching on to it.

“My customers online are mostly young people, whereas it’s older people who come to the pop ups. They treat it as a day out.”

But where does Shona find all things magical?

“I love the hunt, it is the hunt which is exciting,” she said.

“I find a lot of things online, and people tell me about things.

“I’ve also done a few house calls where people have asked me to come along and have a look at something, although I don’t tend to do house clearances.

“I just have an eye and I know what I like.

“I don’t do old antiques, it’s not my style.”

Shona has collected items from all over the world.

Future plans

Shona is drawn to the fifties era and onward, and can usually pick out what certain customers might like.

“I’ve got one lady who comes from north of Aviemore, I buy a lot of things with her in mind,” she said.

“She’s doing up a house in Skye, so now it has a very big beautiful dressing table.

“The kind your mum might have had, with the brush and mirror set.”

Shona believes that keeping her prices low is part of the secret to her success, alongside the fact that you never quite know what you’ll find.

Alongside busy pop-up events, her ultimate dream is to one day upgrade her stable for a shop.

But until then, she’s perfectly content with her humble shed of magic.

“What is a 60-year-old to do for work these days?” she said.

“My answer was to turn my passion into a business.”

For more information, visit @Shona’s Shed on Facebook or Instagram @Shona’s.Shed

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