HE’S been in the antiques business since he was 13 and last Saturday Ben Field proudly welcomed invited guests to the grand opening of his very own antique business just on the outskirts of Mickleton.
Ben, who is from Stratford, is now 20 and his business is called Ben Field Antiques and Furniture Restoration specialising in French antiques and painted furniture. He is also a cabinet maker and furniture restorer.
Ben spent three years studying cabinet making and furniture restoration at Warwickshire College in Leamington.
There, as a 17-year-old, he was awarded the prestigious City and Guilds Medal for Excellence in Furniture Making.
So his skill in combining furniture making with the antique trade has been learnt at an early age.
His newly-opened antiques showroom is housed at The Mickleton Shed Antiques Limited on the Stratford Road, just a mile or two from Mickleton village centre.
After a big turn-out of guests and traders to his showroom, Ben admitted to the Herald he was over joyed to get his business off the ground after months of careful planning.
“It’s not easy to get into antiques,” he said.
“Once you’ve got your foot in the door it gets easier. Then you keep the business going by word of mouth with clients and traders, that’s what really counts.”
Ben has taken time and care to create a relaxed and comfortable showroom with items of furniture from cabinets and chairs to mirrors on display. A lot of his merchandise is purchased in France, in fact 90 per cent of it is.
He said: “French furniture is more ornate than its English counterpart. It’s exotic in tone and possesses lots of colourful carvings. I go to France a lot to seek out what I consider to be the best items.”
He restores furniture at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon and sells antiques from his new showroom. He likes his new location which he believes also benefits customers.
Ben said: “If I was in a well-known town centre in the Cotswolds or in south Warwickshire I could probably charge half as much again for an item because of the location.
“In my current showroom, I can keep items at a reasonable price. That way they remain affordable to clients and I know, from my point of view, I stand a good chance of selling them.”
At Saturday’s official opening of his showroom Ben was very satisfied with the turnout, which he said was “packed”.
He added: “It was great to see so many people turn up even if it was standing room only I think that’s a good sign and I’m grateful to everyone who attended.”