One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
This rings especially true for French-born Mehdi Sanssar. Growing up on the outskirts of Paris, visiting the antique markets every weekend was a ritual not to be missed. Days were spent rifling through antiques for exotic curios or selling his own wares. “There are markets every weekend in almost every town in France,” says Mehdi. “I still remember taking my toys to a market as a child and setting up a stall trying to sell them.”
Collecting antique treasures is still in Mehdi’s blood, except these days he can be found in Te Awanga in Hastings, where he and his New Zealand-born wife, Korreen, run the So Vintage showroom. “As a New Zealander landing in France for the first time, I was mesmerised by the brocantes (markets),” says Korreen. “I wanted to bring that same experience of those markets to our store in Hawke’s Bay.”
They specialise in vintage and industrial European antiques. Sourcing the antiques in person means Mehdi and Korreen can learn the provenance and history of each item.