Situated on the main vein of Leeston, High Street Collectables are more than just your average op shop selling second-hand clothes.
Twin sisters and co-owners Jeanette Denis and Sam Taylor have a range of antiques that have been given a new lease of life.
Stepping into their store is like stepping into a museum, or going back in time, with shelves full of vintage bags, clocks, tables, chairs, mirrors, statues and many more rare finds.
“We try to find different pieces that other places don’t have, and we try to find more interesting things, we’ve got a lot of old stuff from Victorian times, as well,” says Jeanette.
The twins have a skill for finding these collectable treasures; rummaging through garage sales, vintage markets and even searching through people’s garden sheds!
“We had rats in a shed one day and I took off out the door and she [Sam] just stayed there!” recalls Jeanette laughing.
“We love going out and finding all the stuff. That is probably the most exciting thing about the job - the chase of finding all these nice things,” says Sam.
Jeanette and Sam say they get all sorts of visitors looking at what is new in their store.
“People come in here for little cups and saucers for their wedding tables and jugs and vases for their weddings. We take people’s numbers down in our book so if they’re looking for something particular, we’ll try find that thing for them.”
“We like finding things for guys, because they like to do up their man caves,” says Jeanette.
“A lot of wives are banned from coming in here because they spend money and a lot of them sneak in here when their husbands aren’t home,” adds Sam chuckling.
Sam and Jeanette moved into the empty store on Leeston’s High Street five years ago, after successfully selling pre-loved vintage items at a monthly shabby chic market in Opawa.
“This place came up for rent and my partner said, ‘You girls should go in a shop’ and I thought, ‘We don’t know anything about running a business’, but we sort of thought about it and we thought, ‘ah yes, we will give it a go…’ ” Jeanette explains.
“And we’re still here,” adds Sam.
Leeston is home for Sam and Jeanette, their family all live close by and Sam has lived in Leeston for 40 years.
“It’s a nice peaceful little town. We really like it here. We get a lot of locals coming in here, some say this is their favourite shop, so that’s really good. We try to keep our prices down so people can keep coming back.”
High Street Collectables are open from 10am-4.30pm every Thursday through to Sunday.