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Hunt Vintage: Paul Murphy

Hunt Vintage is an online marketplace, offering antiques and vintage furniture from around the world

Name of founder: Paul Murphy

Location: Glasgow, UK

Date launched: 01/09/2020

Number of employees: 3

Age of founder: 34

Website: https://www.huntvintage.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/huntvintageuk/

What university, if any, did you attend? Glasgow Caledonian University

With an emphasis on quality and sustainability, Hunt Vintage offers a curated selection of antique and vintage homeware, sourced from boutiques across the globe. Founder Paul Murphy describes the experience of starting up…

Tell us what your business does:

HuntVintage.co is an online marketplace for one-of-a-kind vintage furniture and antique décor items. All of our unique and characterful pieces are sourced directly from the world's hottest professional vintage boutiques.

Everything for sale on the site is hand-curated and subject to strict manual checks to ensure only the highest quality of items are displayed.

Where did the idea of your business come from?

I'm a huge fan of vintage furniture and started collecting individual pieces when I was at university. The co-founders of the business also bring a wealth of expertise within the circular economy.

Together, we're keen to promote and highlight the benefits of circular shopping to new generations, as well as those already aware of the benefits (designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating, rather than degrading, natural systems).

How did you know there was a market for it?

You just need to look at how many independent boutiques there are here in the UK, in Europe and across the world – literally thousands. These businesses have thrived alone for many years, but with the transition from offline to online shopping, we're helping to get all of these professional dealers’ unique finds online and in front of the modern, and more tech-savvy, shopper.

What were you doing before starting up?

I've worked in the entrepreneurial sector for many years, having run other startup businesses and been through intensive startup accelerator programmes. However, I'm now working with passion on HuntVintage.co and excited to see its growth in the coming months and years. We've had great initial traction and support.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

In short, yes. I'm attracted to the startup lifestyle as it allows me to work on projects and businesses that I'm passionate about and make a real, tangible difference in the process.

How did you raise the money?

The business has been built through self-funding and utilising the teams existing skills across marketing, entrepreneurship and the circular economy to get the platform live and operational. However, we're in the process of exploring available grants and other funding methods.

Describe your business model and how you make money.

We're essentially the platform that connects the seller with the customer, and when a sale takes place, we earn an agreed commission from our dealers. There are no fees for customers to use the platform, and no other charges for our sellers.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

I guess with all startup businesses the greatest challenge is time. You need to wear a lot of hats as an entrepreneur – however, this is overcome by prioritising your day, and focusing on the jobs that provide the greatest returns.

What was your first big breakthrough?

We've had a lot of great support and early traction from our initial group of vintage boutiques. As a result, the HuntVintage.co website is currently populated with a fascinating array of items – from stylish Art Deco coffee tables to Regency bookcases dating back to the early 19th century. We have hundreds of unique products that are ready for a new home.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Build a business that you are passionate about, and sell products or services that you love to buy or use yourself.

I would recommend getting a well-rounded digital skillset, as this is key to having success online – and a strong online presence is more important than ever in today's climate.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

I'd like HuntVintage.co to become a household name in the online home furniture space. Within five years, it should be the genuine and sustainable alternative to the heavily-industrialised timber, décor and manufacturing brands we've all become so used to.

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Scarlett Cook
Scarlett Cook

Scarlett writes for the automotive, energy, hosting and website sections of the site. In addition, she promotes the newest small businesses by managing the Just Started profiles, and has also contributed to Tech Donut. Scarlett is passionate about championing equality and sustainability in business.