Vintage Art Gallery founder reveals the inspiration behind her company

My lightbulb moment: Vintage Art Gallery founder Sara Allom reveals the inspiration behind her company

  • Sara Allom, 48, set up The Vintage Art Gallery online with husband and sons
  • Both Sara and her husband lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • The online business sells unique, vintage, original  paintings by post

Last year, Sara Allom, 48, set up The Vintage Art Gallery online, selling vintage paintings by post. She lives in Pirbright, Surrey, with her husband Dominic and their two sons, aged 16 and 13.

My husband and I both lost our jobs due to Covid-19. I’m a copywriter and was made redundant, while my husband works in the events industry which disappeared overnight. It was pretty dire.

I remember reading a poem about how lockdown would result in a rise in small businesses, because everyone would have moments of stillness and creativity at their kitchen tables.

As our money trickled away, I thought more about that idea. Suddenly, everyone was decluttering or redecorating, craving a new take on the same old walls. People didn’t have much money and there was a real interest in recycling and sustainability.

Sara Allom, 48, set up The Vintage Art Gallery online with husband Dominic and sons after both she and Dominic lost their jobs as a copywriter and in the events industry respectively during the Covid-19 pandemic

I’ve always been a keen eBay user going to auction houses and reclamation yards. When we redecorated our house a few years ago, I created my own interiors portfolio. Nearly everything was bought second-hand.

But, of course, it only was a hobby — until I lost my job. And so The Vintage Art Gallery was born, an online business selling unique vintage paintings by post.

All the pieces listed on the website are original paintings, not mass-produced prints. We sell a lot of work by female artists from the 1920s to 1950s.

I am mindful these paintings aren’t antiques or old masters. They are simple (and sometimes even slightly shabby) works.

The online business sells unique, vintage, original paintings by post

Despite their simplicity, though, I believe every single one brings something unique to the home they hang in — whether it’s amazing heritage paint tones that can’t be found in today’s oils and acrylics, or beach landscapes reminiscent of childhood adventures.

I put a Highlands painting on Instagram recently and a lady messaged me: ‘Oh my God, this is where we take my lovely 80-year-old dad on holiday every year.’

I have an eye for a bargain, which ensures prices are kept low (£80 to £250). In this latest lockdown, I was amazed how much interest The Vintage Art Gallery generated. We had lots of enquiries from the U.S. People can’t go off to car boot sales and find pieces themselves.

We’re all mostly working from home and there’s a real demand for something different to look at — something nostalgic that brings happy memories with it. 

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