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Sheila-Rose Antiques and Collectables, Stonham Aspal, finds itself a permanent home

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The owner of an antiques business has decided to remain in Suffolk after falling in love with the county.

Back in August, Mandy Mansell opened Sheila-Rose Antiques and Collectables, selling an eclectic mix of antiques and collectables, from Georgian glassware and 19th century sporting guns to upcycled furniture – all out of Stonham Barns Retail Park in Stonham Aspal.

The 60-year-old had spent the five years prior living on a wide beam barge, which she built herself, before settling down in East Anglia in October last year.

Mandy Mansell, in her new store at Stonham Barns Retail Park. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.
Mandy Mansell, in her new store at Stonham Barns Retail Park. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.

She had initially planned to briefly run her store out of Suffolk before finding a full-time home for the business in northern England, but was won over by the region.

She said: “We had originally intended to use Suffolk as a short-term staging post during the Covid crisis, before moving to Cumbria and opening my shop there, but, after living here for a while, I fell in love with the place and decided I would rather continue my business here.”

The store, which is named after Miss Mansell’s late mother, has arleady become a go-to destination for antiques collectors across the county in the nine weeks since it opened.

“It’s gone really well,” said Miss Mansell. “I didn’t expect it to take off like it has, because of the times we are living in with the pandemic.

“But we have all taken stock of our lives recently and are more discerning about how we spend our time and our money.

“You can get whatever you need online these days but there is still nothing better than browsing the things that interest you and finding something that is an expression of your personality that you can keep forever.

“That’s what the business is all about. It’s about having fine, quality things that make you happy.”

To find out more about Sheila-Rose Antiques and Collectables, and the other stores at Stonham Barns Retail Park, click here.

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