We recently caught up with vintage and contemporary interiors brand Ceraudo, run by sisters Emily and Victoria. Read on to find out their favourite things about the industry, their top tips for buying antiques and why designing their own collection has been their greatest professional achievement to date.
What inspired you to become an antique dealer?
To be honest, I wouldn’t really call us an antique dealer as it feels a bit too singular. We do source vintage and antique pieces, but we have also designed our own collection. We feel it’s important to have this antique and contemporary mix and curate pieces in a way that’s reflective of our broad decorative style.
Both of our backgrounds definitely influenced our decision to start Ceraudo. Emily's an architect so has always worked closely with interior designers or designed the interiors herself on smaller projects, and I studied History of Art and Architecture so have always been a keen aesthete! Our Mum is also obsessed with interiors so we've grown up around all kinds of styles and interesting pieces. These influences were then combined with the frustration that you couldn't easily source beautiful furniture online without a four figure budget. We also thought it was an exciting niche in the market that sat between generic high street brands and high-end design stores.
What was your first ever job?
Emily's was an internship for Tom Dixon Design Studio before going onto work for an architectural practice in Kensington, and mine was Marketing Assistant at Giorgio Armani.
What part of your job gets you out of bed in the morning?
Designing and sourcing. We've loved designing our new collection that's launching later in the year, and we always like keeping a beady eye out for decorative antiques to source for the site. Our favourite thing is putting these pieces together and seeing how different styles and eras can complement each other if put together thoughtfully.
What is your favourite thing about the industry?
There's a real buzz around interiors at the moment and the customers that were once obsessed with fashion are now turning their attention to their homes. Our customers tend to be creative 30-40 somethings and this is the time they start curating their interiors and making sure their homes reflect their own style. We also have a huge fondness for the traditional antique shops, however they can be quite stuffy and intimidating for younger generations so we think it's important to make this side of the market more accessible and relevant.
What has been your greatest professional achievement?
It would have to be designing our new collection. There's so much more to it than just sketching furniture - we've been the designers, product developers, sourcing agents and inspectors. At the same time, we've had to design a furniture & fabrics collection from scratch that is really flexible, but equally decorative and interesting.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the antiques world?
Don't be fooled by the pretty pictures - it's hard work! You have to turnover lots of pieces if you want to sell at an accessible price point, which means a huge amount of work in between sourcing the piece and getting it online. People underestimate how much work goes into not only buying the piece but repairing, restoring, upholstering, photographing, copywriting and pricing. It can take weeks to get pieces online. However, it's a really nice community and there are some stunning pieces out there that just aren't the same as modern brands. They add something special to interiors and it's great to be a part in curating them and selling to new owners.
"Traditional antique shops can be quite stuffy and intimidating for younger generations... we think it's important to make this side of the market more accessible and relevant"
What makes your business unique?
Our curation. I think our experiences in fashion and architecture have complemented our style and allowed us to get creative with our product offering and overall brand aesthetic.
What is your favourite period or style to collect?
We love the brass and bold colours of Italian Mid-Century, but also the classical details of Regency pieces.
Who are your favourite interior designers?
John Stefanidis, Beata Heuman, Emma Burns, Rose Uniacke and Ben Pentreath. We also love the recent works of Sophie Ashby and Barlow & Barlow.
What are your top tips for buying antiques and vintage?
Buy what you like, and what you think will add a sense of personality to your home. Interiors are so much more interesting when there's been a lot of fun and creativity that's gone into it. It's not all about how old the piece is, what's on-trend or who it was designed by - show off your inherent taste and don't be distracted by names and numbers.
What is on the horizon for your business?
We're continuing to source antique and vintage pieces for our site, but much of our attention is focused on the launch of our new collection.
How do you like to spend your days off?
Ideally we'd be on holiday! But when staying in London it's mostly having friends over for dinner, binging on Netflix or trying a new restaurant.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party, dead or alive?
Cecil Beaton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Tom Hanks, Helena Bonham Carter, Donald Glover and Judi Dench. Absolutely no idea if any of them would get on but it would be an interesting evening to say the least!