Welcome to the Cheltenham Shop

Welcome to the new shop,

I have finally opened the shop doors to the streets and promenades of Cheltenham.
Nestled in the Suffolks, just around the corner from the bustle of Montpellier, this independent quarter, full of boutiques, bakeries and blooms has welcomed me with opened arms.
Here you will find me opposite the well known Restaurant and Cocktail bar, The Daffodil.
Inspired by my childhood in South East Asia, I have created a space that captures my soul. From the art deco signage, designed by the incredibly talented Becca Allen, to the tall shoots of bamboo climbing the walls, every last detail has come from a place of hope and incredible love.
The design of the shop tells a story of soft edges, and iconic 1930’s Indochine influences.

The rounded rails came to me as we were musing over antique hotel lobby luggage trolleys, how they glide so effortlessly and instantly create images of grandeur. It took months of careful planning, from measuring and finding the right materials, to hunting down a welder brave enough to take on the project. It was all a theoretical plan, with no option to make a mock up, so when we finally collected them, we knew we just had to make them work.
The breathtaking room divider, decorated with ornate flying cranes, was the first piece I acquired for the shop. As if by fate, it was purchased from a man in Cheltenham. If that isn’t a sign, I’m not sure what is! It wasn’t until we collected it that we realised that it is entirely covered in gold leaf, and has a Weeping Willow tree on the reverse side to it. The cranes are what lead to the next beautiful piece in the shop, a large Italian 1940’s Taxidermy Demoiselle Crane, a species named by Marie Antoinette for their ladylike plumage.
It was whilst on a buying trip in the Netherlands, that I found the beautiful 1930’s French smoked glass shelves that stand towering either side of a curved rail. These were bought from the wonderful Ard at Stokoud, who also happened to have the perfect mercury lights that are placed either side of the window, he even built the curved brackets they hang from.
Of course no shop of mine would be complete without an antique plant stand. For those of you who visited the shop in Exeter, you will recall my penchant for wild botany. The incredible Edwardian wooden plant stand, a piece from my dear friend Bert from Bert & Co Antiques in Nijmegen stands proudly by the window.
These incredible shop fittings would not have been possible without the patient and dedicated Lewis from Ottos Antiques, a must visit if ever you are in Gloucester. Lewis painstakingly built and put together my vision. From helping put down the foundation flooring to the finishing touch of lighting, to say there was blood sweat and tears involved, is the understatement of the year.
Finally, the collection of stock. This collection took me over 6 months to put together, from buying trips in Europe to private appointments, each piece has been selected for its authenticity and incredible design. I wanted to create a collection that showcases the best of each Era from the 1920’s to the very early 1960’s.
This reincarnation of Willow Hilson, a dreamlike vision, could not have been achieved without the help of friends and customers. So here is the most heartfelt thank you, you have allowed for dreams to come true, and I am eternally grateful. 
Here’s to many more years of great friendship, community and of course breathtaking vintage.
Love as always,

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