North could be an antique hub: dealer


When Pete Fenton decided to expand his antique business, Blue Moon, Oamaru turned out to be the prefect place to do it.
Blue Moon has been open for about six weeks at the North End shopping area, at the former premises of Gallery Picture Framing on Thames Hwy.
Originally from Lancashire, England, Mr Fenton moved to New Zealand with wife Linda about 10 years ago, settling in Auckland.
However, the couple decided the City of Sails was not for them, and took a trip to the South Island to check out potential areas to live.
They settled in Timaru, where Mr Fenton worked as an auctioneer and Mrs Fenton still works as a nurse.
About two years ago, he decided to get out of the auctioneering game and sold his part of the business to his partner so he could concentrate on his antique shop just south of Timaru.
“I had a shop in St Andrews. We moved the shop over Christmas,” Mr Fenton said.
“We still live up in in Timaru; we have a lifestyle block up there. We’ll see how things go here and then decide if we move here or not.”So far, business had been steady.
“It’s pretty good. I’m not regretting the move so far. It was also a chance for me to expand a little into furniture. It went a bit quiet in St Andrews, hence the move.”Mr Fenton already has a regular customer base _ people who are interested in collecting antiques and not just there for a snoop around, not that he minded the latter.
“We are getting a lot of people through and not just tyre-kickers, which is a refreshing change. Everyone seems to be happy to take five minutes to chat, which is great and helps the day go by a wee bit better.”He said when he was an auctioneer, he “became a bit of a hoarder”.
“Originally, I collected Royal Doulton and [John] Beswick figures. I was always on the lookout for stuff and ended up with all sorts of beauties. A shop was a natural progression, I suppose.”Mr Fenton believed Oamaru’s North End could become a “hub for antiques”, which he said fellow antique dealer, Tim Arthur, agreed with.
“It can only be good for Oamaru,” Mr Fenton said.
So far, he’s enjoying the town and, all going well, may move to the town permanently.
“People seem to be interested in what I’m doing and what I’ve got to offer.”
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