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Vintage Horse Box giftware store finds itself a permanent home in Long Stratton



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A south Norfolk-based oil rig manager’s hobby for buying and selling giftware products continues to grow into a viable business following the purchase of a shop space in Long Stratton.

Mike Skelton’s Vintage Horse Box has found itself a permanent home in The Old Coach House, following years of selling items out of a mobile trailer.

His store sells everything from children’s toys to sustainably made rucksacks – tapping into the local market for quirky, rare gift items in south Norfolk.

Mike Skelton and Katrina Thompson at their new premises in Long Stratton. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
Mike Skelton and Katrina Thompson at their new premises in Long Stratton. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

An avid horse-rider, the 42-year-old began selling items out of a horse box less than two years ago, which he would take to Christmas festivals across the region before demand started to pick up.

“As a hobby, I started doing Christmas festivals and other things after lockdown,” said Mr Skelton, who runs the store with his partner, Katrina Thompson.

“We were just selling small gift items and niche products. A lot of the things that we have are sustainable – we have bamboo products, we are trying to do a lot of recycled stuff.”

The store has a variety of goods on offer, from children's toys to sustainably-made rucksacks. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
The store has a variety of goods on offer, from children's toys to sustainably-made rucksacks. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

It was not until demand started to explode that Mr Skelton began looking for somewhere to keep his goods.

“In April last year, I began looking around for more storage space – it was something I wanted to do but didn’t really envision would actually happen.

“I said ‘right, we’re going to have to get somewhere to simply put stuff in’, and when we were speaking to the agent, he said ‘I have got somewhere you might like’ – it all happened so quickly.

Six weeks ago, Mr Skelton moved to his new premises, which sits in the courtyard between The Swan Inn and Aldridge Lansdell Estate Agents off The Street.

“It’s all about creating the awareness that we are here,” added Mr Skelton.

“Every person that’s been in so far has said what a fabulous shop it is and that they will be back for more.”

To find out more about Vintage Horse Box, click here.



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