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The Modern & Vintage Shop Owner: Julia Grant

Julia Grant is a Chichester-based designer and owner of Winter’s Moon, a design studio selling a beautifully curated mix of vintage and contemporary furniture and handmade homewares. She is also the co-founder of Design Collective Chichester, a group that supports design professionals through gatherings, skill-sharing and raising the profile of design in Chichester and the surrounding area.

Can you give us a bit of background about yourself and your own creative journey?

My background is textiles. My mum had a dress fabric shop and was, and still is at 88, an avid seamstress and knitter, so I grew up surrounded by fabric and making. I did a constructed textiles degree and then worked for a couple of high-end upholstery fabric houses in London in their showrooms.

I then worked for Sofa Workshop for 14 years starting in their showroom and ending up in marketing producing their customer communications, so my work involved, branding, styling and writing. I was really lucky to work with a great team on great products, and I learnt so much about how to make a product look its best, about PR & graphic design (though I’m still crap at Photoshop!) and about writing for the customer.

When and why did you set up Winter’s Moon?

When I was working on the shoots for Sofa Workshop I would buy vintage props from car boot sales to use in the shots. This led to friends asking me to find them pieces & Winter’s Moon grew from there. I did it alongside the day job for a couple of years, and then the financial crisis hit, most of us at head office were made redundant and I decided to concentrate on Winter’s Moon.

The mix of old and new at Winter’s Moon works really well – is there an overall theme or ethos behind the products you choose?

I truthfully find it really hard to describe what I look for in a product. I think it’s the inherent individual ‘eye’ that we all have that makes us create what we create - almost like an accent, we can’t hear our own, but it is obvious to other people. I would say the factors that dictate are the colour - I definitely restrict what colours I buy, the quality and the functionality. I have always felt the new pieces freshen up the vintage, and the vintage ones give the new pieces and bit of depth and uniqueness, I would find it so hard to not be able to offer both.