News / antique store
We've been asked why this store sells in US Dollars given the fact that it's a Canadian store. The simple answer is....Pinterest. The majority of traffic to this site originates from Pinterest and translates into a large percentage of our sales.
Last summer when Pinterest announced the launch of Buyable Pins, one of the requirements for implementing their new initiative on Shopify stores was that stores had to sell in US Dollars. So, we converted this store over and at the same time, tried to convert our prices to reflect the change in currency.
The exchange rate from US to Canadian Dollars has jumped recently and it has been fluctuating between $1.31 and $1.35 in recent months. Rather than continually amending our prices to reflect the currency fluctuations, we've decided to offer free shipping on all orders over $50.00 shipped to a Canadian address, while the listed exchange rate is over $1.30. Hopefully this small change will help to offset the conversion shock.
Shipping charges will automatically be discounted from your order on checkout, when entering the discount code ´Ship Canada´ along with a shipping address in Canada.
I feel like a treasure hunter.
For the most part, I buy things that catch my interest and capture my imagination and I assume they will do the same for others. Sometimes they do. Not always though. My end goal is to purchase items I'll be able to sell and it seems I have the most success buying and selling what I like.
My approach is probably a little unorthodox but I buy what I can afford, what I like, and what looks a bit different. Usually in that order. The treasure hunter part comes in when I get my purchase home and do some research into what it is and where it came from.
The computer geek in me gets an enormous sense of satisfaction from solving the puzzle of what something actually is, where it originated, how old it is and what the value might be. The history buff in me is thrilled to discover a bit about the history of a specific piece, what it may originally have been used for, and a bit about the time and place it was produced in.
A few months back, I bought a sculpture from an online estate sale. There were only a few photos of the piece and they were not the best quality. The description of the piece was very vague, simply stating 'Stone Sculpture - Heavy' and the dimensions were incorrect. Something about this piece captured my imagination, in spite of the lack of detailed, quality photos. Very few people seemed to be interested, and I had the winning bid. It was fairly challenging picking it up and getting it home as I was very surprised to discover it was much larger and heavier than described in the listing. It weighs 137 pounds, to be exact. It was also much more beautiful than was evident in the listing!
The size and weight made it difficult to research and I was told, after sending photos to a few people for appraisal purposes, that likely its highest value was in my own appreciation of the sculpture. A kind way to say that it has no real value, I think. I was intrigued though and wanted to know more about the sculptor and where it came from. So, I did my own research and after many, many hours of searching, I've discovered the origins of the piece that makes me smile every time I walk past it.
It's a lovely example of Zimbabwe Shona sculpture, so named because they are created by the Shona of Zimbabwe. The Shona people have been hand sculpting stone into works of art for nearly a thousand years. The name Zimbabwe is derived from the Shona word which means 'house of stone'.
Even more exciting to me, was learning that the piece I wrestled to get into my house and struggled to research, was created by the one and only, Colleen Madamombe. Ms. Madamombe, who died in 2009, was one of only a handful of women sculptors in Zimbabwe, and often considered among the very best. Her sculptures are said to highlight the special qualities of Shona women, as well as to communicate the inequities that affect their lives and status.
The feminist in me is a bit in awe that one of her sculptures is at this moment, in my living room. How cool is that? Most certainly a treasure found!
Like many, I'm concerned about the affects of climate change and recognize the environmental impact of the dozens of small decisions we make each and every day. The benefits of reducing, re-purposing, reusing, repairing and recycling are clear and the decision to include previously owned for some of our home furnishings and decor is one of those small decisions.
I like brand new things as much as anyone, but I'm increasingly frustrated with our throw away culture. We each have the opportunity to reduce our impact on the environment with every purchase that we make. Quite simply, purchasing a beautiful, vintage, hand cut crystal bowl from the 1930's or 1940's, will have a much smaller environmental impact than buying a replica, which has been mass produced off-shore in a factory with questionable materials and labour practices, over-packaged, shipped and then trucked to your local big box store. My primary goal with this site is to give new life to some unique and beautiful items, while reducing the environmental impact of some of our purchasing decisions.
There is a simple beauty in each and every item listed on this site, that's embellished by its deep history. The products offered on With A Past were created by artisans and master craftsmen & women, in a time before mass production practices of today. Quality and workmanship are two reasons why these items have outlasted their generation. In many cases they have been lovingly collected and cared for by families through a generation when home furnishings and décor were expected to last a lifetime. All of the items you'll see in these pages have exceeded that expectation.