My Country Business: The Country Brocante

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  • Ever thought about running your own business? Watch this episode of My Country Business and prepare to be inspired by the story of The Country Brocante.

    “My name is Lucy Haywood and I run the Country Brocante in West Sussex”

    “I grew up here and I’ve always lived here. I love Sussex because you get the best of both worlds. The coast is only 20 minutes away and it doesn’t take too long to drive to London.”

    “I live in a very old cottage down a country lane – it’s very rural and quiet. It’s a lovely place to bring up my family and run my country business.”

    “I grew up in a house filled with old china and textiles. My mum was a seamstress so everything was handmade at home. All my dresses were made from vintage floral fabrics picked up from car boot sales. Shopping at fairs has always been a big part of my life, so being able to turn that into a business has just been amazing.”

    “At the time I had a big collection of china and vintage props. I soon realised that there wasn’t anyone doing anything in regards to the hiring service, so in my spare time I started to put some thoughts together for a business to hire out the china and the props – that was how my first business was born – Love Lane Vintage.”

    “I would fill my old car with china and turn up to weddings the day before and style tents with vintage china, bunting, props, old French dog carts, crates and from there we started the shop, which became a show room for brides who wanted inspiration for their weddings.”

    “Now we have the County Brocante, which is homed in beautiful country estates. We have over 100 exhibitors that come from France, England, and even new designers, hobbyists and proper businesses. We open for a day and people come to shop and enjoy the countryside.”

    “The shop was born out of my desire to do the fair more often. It is based in Midhurst, just off the corner where we run the event. With the shop we don’t tend to focus on what’s on-trend, instead it is just a mishmash of all the things that I love. The shop is ever changing with special monthly events including book signings, work shops and textile rummages. As the Country Brocante grew I was able to leave my job to focus on this full-time.”

    “Living close to my business is so important, but it’s nice to come home and shut the door – I feel like I’ve got the balance right.”

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