Another new shop opens in town this weekend – but don’t call it shabby-chic. Cato Cooper is all about painted furniture – using chalk-based Autentico paint from her native Holland.
“I came across it quite by chance a few years ago but for me it’s a match made in heaven,” said Cato, who still has a Dutch lilt in her voice, despite many years resident in Britain.
Her new shop on Mantle St, adjacent to the Old Sale Rooms, was unused for a number of years but had an appealing potential. “I’d always loved this place, spoke to the owner about some renovations and the rest is history,” said Cato, who lives off Pyles Thorne Rd with her husband and two children.
As well as renovating old furniture – “I don’t call it shabby chic because that usually means a slightly worn or distressed look and I like a cleaner finish” – Cato plans to run a series of workshops for people who want to learn how to use paints.
“They’ll have a choice of working on a picture frame or a pair of wooden clogs (!),” she explained. And to show how good painted clogs can look there’s a tiny pair once worn by her son in the shop.
Cato is self-taught but had always enjoyed painting and restoring her own furniture. Like many small businesses she began selling her output on eBay and Facebook. “It went really well but my house was getting a little bit full,” she laughed.
3 Mantle St, Wellington, TA21 8AR