One of the most elegant shop frontages in the High Street has recently been occupied by Jilly, Tilly & Boo and proves to be as attractive inside as it is out.
Jilly, who specialises in up-cycling furniture using Chalk Paint TM Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan, has made a progressive step-down from 7b High Street (only accessible up steep concrete stairs), to a more comfortably situated 18 High Street. When asked about the advantages of being on the ground floor, Jilly, being an artist, enthused about the natural light given by the double-fronted location in order to display her painted furniture and, almost as an afterthought, confirmed that the increased footfall and accessibility has resulted in at least doubling the number of visitors to her shop.
The most frequently asked question seems to be ‘why Jilly, Tilly & Boo?’ The family of five have a number of pets, two of which are somewhat unusual – a one-eyed ferret called Tilly and a deaf dog named Boo. All of Jilly’s pets are rescue animals and she quips: ‘I rescue animals and now furniture’.
One of her passions is to take furniture deemed too ugly by most people and turn it into something beautiful or interesting using her talent with paint. The second FAQ is; ‘how do I achieve this effect?’ Jilly uses the rear of her new premises as a workshop and is always on hand to give advice to those keen to have a go, and equally as helpful to those requesting commissions who have either no inclination or time to create the desired article.
Jilly is a firm believer in keeping it local and everything she stocks, despite its origins, is sourced from wholesalers within the South West. This philosophy is shared by Annie Sloan whose remarkable paint allows anyone to transform almost anything with the minimum amount of effort and the maximum amount of effect, as she will only stock independent outlets – and once a market has been established in a country a factory will be founded to supply the demand.
Many treasures can be discovered, old and new – antique bric-a-brac feature as part of the shop as do unusual textiles – again locally sourced – created by sewing expert Rosalind who will be running a ’Get to know your Sewing Machine’ tuition – dates to be advertised on our What’s On section – as will Jilly’s paint workshops.
Report & photos: Carla Bao