Meet Eddie Pyburn, owner of The Vintage Room in Schull, West Cork.
This is his story.
Eddie Pyburn has been on quite the journey since opening The Vintage Room three and a half years ago. What makes this shop so unique? West Talk finds out.
(Eddie Pyburn owner of The Vintage Room)
Would you like to own a once off statement piece for your home, office or living space steeped in history that will definitely become a focal point and catch the eye of any visitor? The Vintage Room sells an array of antique pieces. You will find items so unique and different here that you will have to have them.
Eddie’s love of collecting rare and unique pieces was always in him. From an early age, Eddie loved the craft of buying and selling. In the early 90’s, Eddie would make numerous trips back and forth to the UK where he would attend auctions and liquidation sales. It was in these liquidation sales that Eddie would find Industrial styled furniture from the offices of UK businesses and totally fall in love with collecting items.
“I always believed that there was a story to these pieces” he says. Eddie always looks for the pieces that are both rare and something you couldn’t find anywhere else. He goes on to tell me that he “loved mechanics and cars” during his youth and trained as a mechanic. From listening to Eddie it’s clear he is a problem solver. “I enjoy taking things apart and learning how they work and how to fix them”. He has taken this skill with him throughout life, from working in the NCT centre in Skibbereen for years, to now where he renovates and fixes pieces for his shop.
(A few of the items you will find in The Vintage Room, ranging from Betty Boop to a Jazz band all the way from New Orleans, USA.)
I went on to ask Eddie what made him leave his job in the NCT centre and open The Vintage Room. “A few years ago I decided that it was now or never, it was always in the back of my head that’d I love to open up a shop of my own. I decided to do it and I love what I’m doing now.” His passion for his craft is infectious and something noteworthy for other people who might find themselves in the situation where they are in a job that isn’t in align with their true passion. Eddie expresses “when you find something you enjoy doing, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
In the early days, The Vintage Room shop was above Barnett’s (a shop on Main street, Schull). The Vintage Room opened its doors on the second floor of the building. Eddie was enjoying doing what he loved but acknowledged the importance of one day having his store on the ground floor with a shop window to advertise his one of a kind pieces. He spoke to me about how the opportunity of getting his current store premises came about, “I got an opportunity to buy last December (’19), I was very happy about that, I got the keys around March of this year. Due to the lockdown though, I didn’t officially open til June.”
The question I think everyone has at this moment is, where does Eddie find all these one-off items. Eddie explains to me how and where he travels to get the pieces. “I do quite a bit of travelling, I go to the UK where I meet dealers and traders from all over Europe, I’ve visited Hungary, Germany and more Eastern European countries.” He has developed a wide network of contacts throughout the years whom he buys pieces from. Eddie stressed the importance that he never buys in bulk and that he must both love the item himself and it could be used as an interior design piece in somebody’s house.
Eddie describes the most interesting places he has ventured to, “The most interesting places I’ve visited would have to be when I was in Hungary and I hired a car and drove to the Ukrainian and Romanian borders. There are some unbelievable items from the Soviet War there”. He valued the quality of production and the craftmanship of the items which he found while on that trip.
The items that Eddie brings into his shop must meet his requirements. He wants an item that people can use to decorate their home whilst being something “different and unique that will catch your eye when you enter the room”. He mentions one of the most recent projects he has taken on, police lights from a 1990’s London squad car! Eddie bought these lights from an English trader that couldn’t fix the lights himself. Eddie bought the lights and rewired them. He can take items people wouldn’t look twice at and turn them into exceptional one of a kind pieces.
Quick Fire Questions:
1. Most interesting item he’s acquired? “A telephone from a Russian War submarine used in the Cold War”
2. All-time favorite item? “An American soldiers zippo lighter from the Vietnam War”
3. Where do you see The Vintage Room in 10 years? “I never wanted to have the biggest shop, I just want to be the best at doing what I do”
4. Favorite part of the job? “I love the buying trips, I enjoy going on a trip and not knowing what I will find”
(Above are a few of the most interesting pieces to enter The Vintage Room, The telephone from the War Sub and the American Soldiers Zippo lighter from the Vietnam War.)
The Vintage Room has really adapted well to the global pandemic. Eddie speaks about Social Media, “I’ve really had to push myself on Instagram especially. I get a lot of my sales through posting and reviewing the items on my page”. The Vintage Room has a loyal following on Instagram where people from around the world tune in to see what item Eddie will show. It is difficult for most people to press play on their phone and speak to hundreds of people, but Eddie is a natural and loves it because he can share his passion with his customers.
The Vintage Room can be accessed through Instagram, their website and their shop on Main Street, Schull, West Cork. If people want to purchase any product from The Vintage Room, it is very easy to do so. Contact The Vintage Room from the above platforms and talk to Eddie. It’s a simple as that. Eddie will run through the item(s) you are interested in and answer all the questions you might have. The Vintage Room will post your products directly to you. Eddie is friendly and loves speaking to customers about the pieces. From the brief interview I’ve had with Eddie I can tell you that he is a top quality person and someone you would want to speak to because his passion rubs off on you and you leave the conversation in a better mood. There will be links to The Vintage room across West Talks social media platforms so you can find The Vintage Room and browse all the products it has to offer.
The last question I asked Eddie was “What would you like to say to people reading this?” Eddie replied, “I’d like to thank everyone who has been with me on this journey so far. I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. I’ve some big plans in the works for The Vintage Room so stay tuned and I can’t wait to share it with you all.”
The Vintage Room in Schull, West Cork is a one of a kind shop. I can guarantee you won’t find anything like it in Ireland. There is a great range of antique pieces that have a story behind every one of them. Anything you buy from The Vintage Room is definitely a rare find. There is something for everyone at The Vintage Room.
The Vintage Room links: