About Us

Anything In Particular was born out of a joy of finding things and seeing value in things that other people might not do. It came from a desire to do “something different” and have a different focus from what can sometimes be the struggle of day-to-day existence.

So, Anything In Particular came to be and means rummaging and scouring and otherwise seeking out good things, unwanted things or just interesting things. A happy side-effect of this is hopefully that a) there are customers who like and buy such items and b) that the cost of shoe leather and/or petrol (and the odd cream tea or toasted teacake en route) can be covered.

Why Anything In Particular? As a customer you can often be asked “Are you looking for anything in particular?”. The answer is almost always “no, not really”. It really could be anything in particular, as it’s often the case that the intended item is unknown, but will absolutely be known when it is seen. It could be anything, and specifically not something in particular or it very well might be! Hence, the name…

About the Products

Nicely designed and well made things. Things that aren’t reaching their potential either due to neglect or simply because people feel they are disposable, not repairable or just not worth bothering with. Things that are the weird, wonderful and quaint items of the past, whether that’s recent or otherwise.

So, you might expect some foraging for good items, whether that be jewelry, clothing, small items of furniture, curios, household objects, or whatever it might be. We really don’t know, and that’s part of the joy…

Most items are used, second-hand, pre-loved (pre-unloved, sometimes!) – whatever you wish to call it – and many are quite old, though more likely to be vintage (see below) rather than antique (see below again, if you didn’t already see below before!).  They will therefore have signs of use, minor wear and tear and other age-related deterioration. If you have any questions about the condition of a particular item, please get in touch. Otherwise, any defects or areas of concern will be described on each listing, good photos will be provided so you can judge for yourself, and any significant age-related marks will be pointed out so that you are aware before your purchase.

Refunds can’t be made on the basis of condition, due to the nature of the items. Your money will be happily returned in full if an item fails to function if described as working or it turns out to be incomplete if described as complete. That seems fair and reasonable and most people seem to approve of it.

We also create re-purposed and upycled items – using vintage resources and materials – which we have available in the Anything In Particular Etsy shop.

Other aims are to keep things interesting and fresh, have a bit of fun with presentation, and generally make it as enjoyable as possible.

Cleaning vs. Fixing vs. Renovating vs. Re-purposing vs. Upcycling (vs. “Shabby Chic”)!

This is a tricky area! The majority of the objects available for sale are “as found” and were bought because they were liked in their original state. In many cases, though, an item requires some cleaning and/or fixing just to make it presentable for sale and suitable to sit in your home (or garden or wherever).

Further along the continuum, an item is renovated if there’s a deficit or defect which renders it either unusable for its original purpose or which dramatically affects its original aesthetics. This doesn’t normally mean trying to return an item to its “showroom” state, but rather get it to the point where its functional and aesthetic qualities can be re-appreciated. Patina – the effects of age and use on an object – is often left “as is” as that’s part of an item’s story but there are times when it’s a distraction from that story, in which case it is sensitively dealt with.

An item is repurposed when it otherwise lacks these two fundamental qualities of original functionality and aesthetics. Technically, this is not upcycling, because for the most part the items offered for sale here have been bought. They are not generally recovered from a bin or saved from a bin! Finally, a solid, otherwise good, old item is not going to be artificially “shabby chic’d” by Anything In Particular. If an older item is already good enough to consider, then it doesn’t need that doing to it.  More likely, it probably needs a good clean, a bit of a tighten up, and a bit of careful attention. In that sense, it’s more likely for Anything In Particular to undo a “Shabby Chic” effect, because there’s something more appealing in the original object than its current “fashionable” state.

When an item is cleaned, fixed or renovated, an attempt is always made to be sympathetic to the item and sympathetic to the environment too. Where possible this means using natural cleaners, using environmentally-friendly products elsewhere, and where possible re-using materials instead of purchasing new.  This is also the case with packaging – we will always try to re-use packing materials where possible. It just feels better that way.

“Antique” vs. “Vintage” vs. “Retro” vs. …”-style”!

Another difficult area is the labelling of items. It’s generally accepted that “antique” means that an item is over 100 years old and holds some kind of artistic value above and beyond mere age.

“Vintage” (usually, though not always, applied to clothing or non-furniture items) is generally used to describe items which are representative of a general stylistic era but which are less than 100 years old. How old they need to be to be worthy of the name is debatable – you will find “vintage” applied to anything from 20 years to 50 years! The key thing is that “vintage” represents something more than age alone: it’s an aesthetic or social/cultural valuation too, which is why “vintage” is often appended with a year or set of years, e.g. “vintage 1970s” to indicate the era it is representative of.

“Retro”, on the other hand, usually means a comparatively new item paying homage to the styles of a former era. Confusingly, it can also be used for relatively old items (20 years-ish!) which have a geeky or nerdy character… you were warned that this was difficult!

Finally, adding “-style” to any of these preceding terms generally indicates it’s an item manufactured very recently, often very cheaply and in mass numbers, and intended to imitate a past style. It’s a reproduction.

It’s important to be careful about the terms used – there’s no wish to mislead anyone – but since the terms aren’t precise, please do feel free to comment about any item’s description or labelling if you think it is incorrect or potentially misleading. It is certainly a strong intent to use “antique”, “vintage” and “retro” as responsibly and accurately as possible!

Please keep visiting from time to time and please get in touch if you have any feedback!

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