Almost forty years ago, teenager Jane Grant climbed up a ladder in stiletto heels to paint the sign above her mother’s shop - The Front Parlour.
Since then, the shop sign has been changed two or three times, but Jane still stands proudly behind the counter.
She took over as owner of the business, which opened in 1979, from her mum Betty Nash three years ago.
“I started working here full-time when I was 17. I liked it because it was different, the products were different, the people were different. It’s still the same,” said Jane.
The quaint shop, on Sharrow Vale Road, stocks a wide range of items - from men’s and women’s clothing, to glassware to books.
“When mum first opened she just sold glassware, but she was struggling. Then, one day, about a year after she opened, she was turning out her wardrobe and found a pair of stilettos she had from the 1950s or 1960s and she decided to sell them. I think she sold them for £1.
“She sold them and then people were asking for more so she was finding more thing from her own wardrobe and it just grew from there.
“She used to put adverts in The Star for people’s clothing and things and myself and my dad would take her to people’s houses to buy things off them.”
All these years later, Jane has continued to stock the shop in a similar way - but these days people bring the stock to her as the shop has grown in popularity and is well-known to many.
“I buy everything in the shop from local people who have once worn it or used it. I still go to people’s houses to collect things, or I will buy over the counter if people bring things in.
“I always ask people where something has come from, sometimes they have stories and sometimes they have no idea. It’s often things that have been boxed away for a long time or that may have belonged to their parents. It’s often very emotional, but people like to know it’s going to go on and be used again.”
The shop caters for people of all ages; Jane’s youngest customers are school children and her eldest are ladies in their eighties.
“I think nowadays people don’t want to look the same as everyone else, they want to be individual and look different.
“I think people also appreciate the workmanship that goes in to the items, and also the quality of materials. You just don’t get things of the same quality now.”
Jane intends to keep the shop running for many years to come.
“There’s never any shortage of stock. I’ve got things in boxes everywhere, waiting to be on display,” she added.
For the full feature on Sharrow Vale Road shops see today’s Star.