Christmas Rush

There’s been a lovely buzz in the shop lately, with lots of excited children and even a Christmas wedding at St Bartholemew’s around the corner, church bells pealing in the gloaming. It’s been increasingly busy at Previous, with a high percentage of male customers buying jewellery in the last few days. We’ve almost sold out of Moroccan slippers, fancy French pants and specs, bath and beauty products and carnival lights and we’re getting low on stocking-fillers, but we’ve had new deliveries of our ‘winter scent’ candles, felt/suede slippers and cashmere. Plenty to cosy up with over the holiday period and beyond. Full of festive spirit, we loved giving one of our super-soft fur pompom scarves to the Big Issue seller in Corsham on Saturday.

Thrilled at the idea that we’ve passed the Winter Solstice and Summer is on its way, we visited several local hotels today to distribute our glossy new Previous flyers and have a cheeky afternoon tea – it would be rude not to. Seated in a narrow space behind the enormous fireplace at the Red Lion in Lacock, we were fascinated to see a panel of painted plaster, which may pre-date the advent of widely available wallpaper and which was presumably in a reasonably important space at one time. We found a smaller, less elaborate panel under layers of wallpaper in our own house (dating from 1604) a mile away in Lanes End.

Previous is open up to and including Christmas Eve, for last-minute goodies or just a good seasonal mooch, and open again on the 29th. From then, our opening hours will be 11-4 till New Year’s Eve. Closed on New Year’s Day, we return to our usual hours of 10-5 Monday-Saturday thereafter. And now we’re off in search of a Christmas tree.



It’s All About Cashmere

It’s been an even busier week at Previous Homewares, revving up fast for the festive season. We’ve welcomed lots of folk from surprisingly far and wide, as well as lovely locals and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt this week, it’s that Corsham ladies love cashmere! The super-stylish and super-comfy star jumpers and ponchos have been in (and out) of stock three times in ten days now; at £46 and £39.50 respectively, they’re a steal. I had to have one myself, in navy with a grey star and have been living in it. I might have to team it with one of our fur pompom hats, but which colour to choose?

Also very popular are the new Moroccan ‘Babouche’ leather slippers in gorgeous shades at £22: indigo, grey, pink, turquoise and mint. Maybe I need a pair of those too? Not to mention the hand-printed toilet bags and sequin baskets…We have just had our last delivery of Priddy Essentials all-natural bath/body products and stocking fillers before Christmas, including posable wooden robots and ballerinas, conjurer’s tricks, bows and arrows, clockwork dogs and cats, and never-not-funny whoopee cushions.

That’s not to say though that we’ve forgotten about vintage. We have lots of fresh, interesting gift ideas, as well as furniture. Choose from, for example, fabulous design icons by Gordon Russell (made in the Cotswolds workshop), Anglepoise (designed in a Bath garden shed) and Chaty Vallauris (of French starburst fame), quirky signage, beautiful oil paintings, toys and original drawings of 50s French Couture. Spoilt for choice? Pop in soon – Corsham is looking ravishing in its Christmas outfit.

Corsham Christmas Lights-On and General Party-Time

I had been warned: ‘It’s a bun fight!’ they said. In for a penny, we thought, as we opened the Previous doors for the annual Christmas Lights celebrations on Friday. There was a bit of car-clearing and walk-talky action mid-afternoon, and before we knew it, the mulled wine stall had very handily been set up directly opposite, the actual real-life reindeer were installed outside the post office, the ‘snow’ was falling and the lights were twinkling. Magical.

There was a wonderful turn-out, an almost tangible buzz in the air and the shop was bustling with young and old alike, (not to mention the middle-aged), which is how I like it. It was great to see so many friends in woolly hats greeting each other and so many smiling faces. Apart from all the stocking-fillers and the carnival lights, top sellers were the Parisian specs (from See-Concept) and the fur-topped bobble hats, which together is quite a look, if you can pull it off.

So thank you for popping in, thank you to our lovely staff, thank you to the organisers and thank you to Claire and Simon for the very welcome Xmas drinks afterwards. We never saw any buns though.

ps. Lots of vintage goodies, new stocking-fillers, carnival lights, cushions, slippers, baskets, jewellery and cashmere (wraps, jumpers, ponchos, jackets and hats) are coming in the next few days – the last ones flew out, so it’s worth coming by soon if you can. And the fancy French pants are getting low too, fna.