My name is
- Vivien Hilton.
My journey into the antique world has been amazing!
I have incredible colleges and friends who have supported me in my aspiration to step to the next level and the result is I am now a NAADA and SAADA (CINOA AFFILIATED) member, and I am on my way to do my first international fair at ‘OLYMPIA’ in London.
Keep your eyes on this website for the next exciting MOONSTRUCK EXPERIENCE.
When my parents got divorced I was 15 years old and my mom had no professional business experience so she started buy and selling all kinds of items from auctions.
1) She purchased at an auction 4 hessian bags of unknown contents which turned out to be coffee beans from the Ivory cost. We decanters them into smaller bags and put an add in the newspaper and sold them all for a nice profit.
2) Then there was a library that closed down and my Mom purchased all the books which took 11 Bakkie loads to get home, again we then advertised in the newspaper and people started coming to buy. Then they would phone and ask if they could come for an hour or two and look through what else they would like, till eventually they were arriving with picnic baskets and spending the afternoon.
There was no challenge too big or outrageous for my mom!
3) She bought and sold everything from cars, piano’s to sheepskins which we turned into coats and sold at the taxi rank in Melmoth (a small town in the mountains of northern Natal where my grandmother ran the town gardens).
My start was exciting and my mom was wonderful always encouraging me to follow my passion which was Vintage clothing, bags and accessories – Arts & Crafts ( amazing short period prior to Art Nouveau) – Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
PERIOD 20/30 YEARS OLD
My first big adventure stepping out on my own was hiring a barrow at the workshop selling vintage clothing and collectables. Then I got brave and hired a shop (converted garage) in Florida road Durban which I called ‘Pelvina’s Grunge”. It was painted Burgundy and midnight blue with stars on the ceiling.
“A suave Italian gentleman once drove right up to my front door in his beautiful Mercedes and asked what my best piece in the shop was. It was a beautiful full length green lurex dress which he purchased and asked me to wrap beautifully, he then handed it to me saying ” if you ever agree to go out for dinner with me promise to wear this dress”, and a few months later I went with him and a couple who were friends of his to ‘The Royal Hotel’ for crayfish and Champagne – it was wonderful and we remained friends for years.
Then I met an amazing man called Keith Bunyan and we had a shop together called ‘Bebop Deluxe’ specialising in 1950’s, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. I learnt an incredible amount from him on restoration, vintage Louis Vuitton and we had a wonderful few years together.
Then I moved to London and shipped over all my stock to start a business. My most important piece was an incredible ‘WMF’ planter which wasn’t even in the ‘WMF’ books it had been commissioned!
My then partner and I sent it to ‘Christies’ in London and it was eventually purchased by one of our prestige antique collectors in South Africa.
LATE 30’s/ 40’s/ 50’s
Through this collector I met my husband and we had a wonderful son ‘Kallam’ and I moved to Johannesburg.
Here I started “MOONSTRUCK EXPERIENCE’ in Northcliff – Johannesburg. I had always sold a few vintage furs, but now it became a serious part of my business and I invested in a fur cleaning machine and had beautiful fur covers designed and a website.
Why i sell only ‘vintage’ fur
i am an animal lover and i don’t just talk about it, i try and make a difference to our magnificent ‘living’ big cats and rescue societies. A portion of all proceeds from my fur sales go toward charities such as ‘ four paws’, ‘animals in distress’, smaller charities on request and physically rescuing, spaying and feeding animals in my neighbourhood and poor areas.
I started selling designer bags, accessories and jewellery more than the furniture and smalls and I became know for good designer vintage.
This continued for for 10 years until Johannesburg became flooded with lots of ‘fake’ and AAA copies of Louis Vuitton bags and other brands. I refuse to enter into this market passing these ‘fakes’ off as the real thing which dozens of people buy – some none the wiser.
So the result is my business has become harder as the real thing is scarce and expensive.