I’m too wacky for run of the mill – we re-purpose unloved beauties

Sharon, Paul and Richard Bennett
Sharon, Paul and Richard Bennett
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Among the fridges, washing machines and oven elements of Chorley Domestic Supplies, lies an “absolutely beautiful” shop within a shop.

Fanny Adams opened about five weeks ago, 
specialising in vintage items, upcycling and re-purposing pre-loved pieces.

Richard Bennett

Richard Bennett

And husband-and-wife team Sharon and Paul Bennett, who run the shared businesses, explain the thinking behind the new venture.

Sharon, 51, says: “Paul and I married when we were 17 and he was working here then for his dad.

“Since then, his dad Malcolm has died, and Paul has since taken over Chorley Domestic Supplies.”

Sharon, who used to work in a children’s centre, left work and then spent time with her sister-in-law, Jaki Carroll, who had terminal cancer.

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett

She says: “We were so close so I just spent time with her. I was devastated when she died.”

Sharon, who lives in Walmer Bridge, says she struggled to later find work after a two-year gap in employment.

She says she had enjoyed sewing while she had been at home, and had made monsters for friends and family.

She explains: “I had been pestering Paul for about six months for a little corner of the shop.

“He was worried it would look like a junk shop, but I said, ‘it won’t, it will be really nice stuff’.

“Then we saw a shop and I said, ‘this is what I want’, and he said, ‘yes’.

“We opened five weeks ago, and the name Fanny Adams is because my mum used to call me Fanny Adams when I was naughty when I was little, so it had to be Fanny Adams.”

The shop sells reinvented items, and Sharon says: “We’ve got some beautiful bunting up that I’ve made out of vintage linens that were my nana’s.

“It’s absolutely beautiful; it’s really pretty.

“There’s a table and four chairs.

“It’s my mum’s table, they were going to throw it away because there was glue on it, so I painted it in a beautiful aubergine colour with the pedestal a pale lilac, and on the top I wrote Shakespeare’s Sonnet 13.

“And I painted two chairs in each of the colours – two aubergine and two lilac.”

Sharon says business is increasing, and says she is getting commissions.

She says: “All my stuff is a little bit different.

“If you are looking for run-of-the-mill, forget it – I’m too wacky for run of the mill.”

Sharon adds: “It’s fantastic working with my husband.

“We are still completely in love after all these years, and I love spending time with him.”

The couple’s son, Richard, 29, also works with them at the Cunliffe Street shop.

Dad Paul, 51, explains: “We sell domestic appliances like fridges, washers, driers, cookers, and also spares like oven elements.

“We’ve been here more than 30 years – it’s tough but we’re going.”

Paul describes the new venture as “brave”, saying: “I’ve lost a quarter of my shop!”

He says: “I’m enjoying it because I end up serving as well, so I see new people and new customers. It’s usually males who are fixing things wanting parts, and now I’ve got 
ladies coming in looking at what Sharon’s making, so it’s a different shopper altogether.”