EAUX talks to Johnny, owner of vintage homeware and gift shop Cromwells, in St Nicholas Street, as part of series on The Saints area of Ipswich

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  1. You haven’t long opened; what made you pick The Saints area in which to open a shop?

I’ve been open for just over a month, but I was here for a few months beforehand restoring the inside and outside of the shop. There was a chocolate shop located here before I occupied the space, and the interior was covered in plastic for hygiene reasons; however, this covered up all the old features that made the shop so unique, so I removed it all and now it’s almost back to its former state.

I chose this area because the street itself is beautiful; my uncle has a shop here too, so it really made me appreciate the area from the beginning. Everyone is very friendly!

  1. What made you go into antiques and vintage wares?

It’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time; I used to work in a school, so it’s a nice change of scenery.

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  1. Have you had a good reception from customers since opening?

It’s been really positive and I’ve had lots of nice comments. Also, lots of the other shop owners have come in to say hello, and are even commissioning my furniture painting services!

  1. Have you got involved in any of the street markets taking place in The Saints?

I haven’t yet as a shop, but as a musician I’ve played in this area before, specifically at the Thomas Wolsey pub in St Peter’s Street.

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  1. What have you got planned for Christmas this year?

I’ve got a few local arts and crafts available for the Christmas period, as well as decorations and gifts.

  1. If a person had never visited The Saints before, how would you describe it to them?

Warm, friendly and unique – there are lots of little shops here full of very interesting things. You could spend all day shopping here.