Every month we let you discover a different vintage trader in the North east of Scotland. This month we are putting the spotlight on yet another vintage shop that not everyone might have heard of: Louis Little Haven in the small village of Durno, a few miles outside Inverurie. When I think of the true meaning of ‘vintage’, I feel this shop embodies it perfectly with its pretty romantic florals, pastel colours, dainty tea sets, quirky collectables and solid old wooden furniture. This gem, tucked away in rural Aberdeenshire, is owned by Melanie Wilson who not only has an obsession with old china but is also a great lover of dogs. It was opened in 2013 and named after her beloved labrador Louis, who sadly passed away last year. Her new buddy bassett hound Briony has since joined her on her treasure hunts and can usually be found sleeping in the corner of the shop.
I’ve collected since the age of ten, starting off with handbags and hats and moving on to teacups where I became obsessed! My mum would often take us around Thainstone (carboot sale ed.) on a Sunday and in addition to that I come from a family who can’t throw anything out as “it could be useful”. Growing up across from my grandparents’ farm also had an influence. I loved having a “nosey” to see what treasures could be found. I still can’t help myself when I see a shed!
I am breathing new life into the old village shop in Durno (we have found some great black and white photos of what it used to look like), so I feel I am bringing something to the local community here. Everyone is always welcome to pop in for a look around or just a chat.
I have had a few strange itemd in stock as I like picking up unusual things but at the moment it is definitely a Victorian Scottish pottery spittoon in the shape of a shell. I have had lots of beautiful things as well and those are really hard to part with! I’d say two of the items that stick to mind are a gorgeous blue 1940s Paragon tea set and a stunning 19th century 8ft kitchen larder cupboard.
I don’t consider it a job, rather a passion I have had for as long as I can remember and I feel lucky to do what I do. I love meeting new people, hearing their stories and finding out the history behind the items I’m buying. I’d like to think I am a curator of beautiful things who finds them their new home, their next chapter in life.
What is the hardest part in running a vintage shop?
Finding good quality, beautiful pieces and trying to keep them at a reasonable price.
Why should people buy vintage, in your opinion?
There is a charm to vintage items, they don’t make things anymore like they used to. Buying vintage also means buying a little piece of history. I always think that if the tea cups I sell could talk about all the stories and gossip they have heard, wouldn’t that be wonderful!
Louis Little Haven, Mel and Briony the dog can be found here:
Durno, north of Inverurie (off the A96).
Open: Friday 10.30am-3pm, Saturday 10.30am-4pm, Monday 10.30am-3pm
And at some vintage fairs in the area.