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Newly opened The Retro Room brings vintage flair to Norwich Market

PUBLISHED: 17:52 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 19 March 2019

Caryn Louis at The Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Caryn Louis at The Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

The Other Curator started life in the front room of Caryn Louis’ home and three years later she has extended her thriving market stall with The Retro Room.

Caryn Louis at The Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodCaryn Louis at The Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Ms Louis, aged 60, began the business as a pop-up shop after her mum Dorothy passed away and she moved into her New Buckenham cottage.

Dorothy had previously worked as a potter and used a room in the house as a shop so Ms Louis decided to sell her mum’s pottery and other quirky items to people in the village.

Despite not thinking it would be very successful, and just opening it for fun, on the day it opened there was a queue outside of local people all waiting to come in and get something to remember Dorothy by.

The other Curator Stall, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe other Curator Stall, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

As the shop started to sell out, Caryn began to gradually replace the stock with local art, jewellery and bohemian clothes and The Other Curator was born.

Caryn said: “I have got my mum’s habit of buying clothes and I brought items in that looked interesting and I got quite a following as the village was glad to have something to liven up the place.

“However there was a limited number of people coming from outside the village and there weren’t enough customers to sustain it so opened a pop-up stall at Norwich Market in summer 2017.

The Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“My friend Kim, who was one of my customers, worked with me in exchange for dresses when I wasn’t earning much at the start.

“We couldn’t believe how popular it was compared to the village and there was such a wide demographic of customers as vintage dresses look lovely on all shapes and sizes.”

Miss Louis took on the neighbouring stall permanently in autumn 2017 when it became available and sold bohemian clothes with a few vintage rails.

The Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

She has now opened The Retro Room as an attachment to her stall, in the former home of the pop-up shop which had become available, and it is devoted to vintage-style new clothes.

Despite plenty of friends asking Ms Louis why she doesn’t open a shop instead, she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

Ms Louis, who has a background in art, said: “One woman once asked me if I could bring my clothes to her flat as her friends wouldn’t come to a market.

Caryn Louis at The Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodCaryn Louis at The Retro Room, Norwich Market. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“People have the wrong idea of what a market is, especially with Norwich which has completely raised the bar.

“It’s a real community here and a lot of people say why don’t you get a shop and I can’t think of anything worse because then you’re stuck in and don’t get the characters.

“We are family and all look out for each other - if wind blows your clothes rail over then everyone turns up to help.”

Norwich Market was recently named the best outdoor market in the country beating hundreds of entries in The Great British Market Awards 2019.

The Other Curator and The Retro Room are open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to late afternoon at stalls 138 and 139 at the top of the market.


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