Meet Sheila Tennet, owner of Florin and The Glendale Gallery, a treasure trove of antiques and gifts, that also displays and sells work from local artists.
A Northumbrian by choice if not by birth, Sheila has holidayed in Wooler with friends when her son was a little boy and decided to move to Wooler.
This is the 19th year of the shop. We had Florin before we moved here permanently. I had someone working in the shop during the week, and I would come up at weekends. People were so welcoming and so friendly. There’s a real sense of community here, and people really care for each other in Wooler.
The shop may look small from the front, but it’s like a tardis, and there is a courtyard leading to the art gallery displaying larger vintage furniture and collectables. We started off with the front two shops selling mainly antiques, gifts, cards and accessories and then we evolved from there. I love window dressing!
When I took the shop over I thought what could I do that’s a little bit different? I sell lots of things, and they all complement each other. There is something for everyone. We also offer complimentary gift wrapping - whether it’s a little boy or girl coming in to buy a bar of soap for their Mum, or a customer coming in to buy jewellery or a piece of furniture - we treat everyone the same
I pride myself on the products we sell from many small local businesses in Florin. We have a lot of unusual cards. As an independent business I am not tied to any company, so I like to sell a different selection of cards. It’s really exciting choosing the products and companies we buy from, and we often build up really good relationships with them, such as Mary Ann Rogers, a Northumbrian artist, whose work we have exhibited and
sell, including her bone china jugs and mugs all made in the UK.
We deliver within the local area and take things to elderly customers. Time is a precious commodity - making the time to deliver items and having a chat can make a big difference to someone’s day.
I really enjoy my business. My husband and I go to auctions, and David renovates any furniture that needs it. I employ two local people - Julie has been with me for 16 years, and Den started last year. We’re open 6 days a week, from Monday to Saturday, and on Sundays to coincide with local events.
We deliver within the local area and take things to elderly customers. Time is the most precious commodity, making the time to deliver items and have a chat makes a lot of difference to someone’s day.
Why should people Shop Local?
It’s important for the local economy. Employing local people is also important and it keeps money in the town. If we don’t sell something a customer is looking for we always direct them to other local businesses on the High Street.
When we’re away we always seek out small independent coffee shops, cafes and businesses like ours to support. With small businesses people have more time for you and it makes such as difference to the local economy.