Tucked in among the restaurants and fashion stores of Peregian Beach is a shop called Antiques & Possibilities.
And the name sums it up well.
The coastal vibe, the beachy feel sprinkled along the Peregian walkways, spilling out from the boutiques, and the scent of the seaside swirling up with the wind – it’s a contrast to the interior of this special store.
I stepped through the door and I felt I had entered a whole new world of possibility. It reminded me, in the best possible way, of visiting my grandparents’ home as a child. I remembered moments feeling wide-eyed at their crystal and glass; the beautiful old furniture that drew me into its wonder.
Those same pieces caught my attention in this store. That, and the silver plates, stunning jewellery, wonderful sculptures, artwork adorning the walls (including that of a giant peacock), and my favourite piece – an old Hollywood bar complete with crystal decanter set. Mesmerising.
And that’s kind of the point according to store manager Mark Kerr.
“This store is filled with antiques, but it is all about the possibilities,” he says. “And if you’re willing to allow it and see something magical, the things in here can create a totally different possibility in your life.”
A self-proclaimed “Aussie bloke”, Mark spent 15 years as a bricklayer and underground driller before an opportunity to travel the world and create his own new possibilities came about.
“I ended up travelling all across the globe doing audio and visual stuff for a self-development company,” Mark says. “One of the presenters was part owner at the Antique Guild in Brisbane and said she had always wanted to set up a shop in Peregian. Next thing you know, there is an opportunity here. I did some of the floor work and she invited me to become the store manager, and here we are.”
Mark says this opportunity brought a multitude of other possibilities for him, as does this store for most who walk through the doors willing to look for them.
“I grew up drinking beer out of plastic cups and whisky out of cans but over the last few years I’ve also really come to enjoy drinking a good wine or champagne out of cut crystal, cut glassware or a silver goblet,” he says. “It changes the entire experience. But unless you’re willing to try something new you won’t experience these things.
“Antiques are not just a thing for the rich folk; you can create a new reality for yourself no matter who you are and that’s very evident in our clientele too.”
Undoubtedly those in their fifties and sixties are the most attracted to the character of the store, but the range of customers is becoming as diverse as the pieces in the store.
“There has been a huge property boom on the Sunshine Coast recently,” Mark says. “People are building or renovating and of course the Noosa white lines beach look is popular, especially around this area.
“But what I’m noticing is the home owners then come here to buy a piece or two as a talking point, to add some character and break up that beachy style. People are searching for something special and unique for their home.
“Then we have a lot of younger clients coming in for the jewellery – the natural beauty of the pearl and coral pieces, or the bling and excitement of the antique pieces. Younger people are also loving the Venetian vases, which are so beautiful and colourful, plus they are all authentic and signed by the masters in Venice.
“We have found too that due to COVID, people have this extra money they would have spent on travelling that they are instead putting towards something unique, like an antique piece with its own glorious story to tell,” Mark says.
“The crystal and cut glassware has been hugely popular, as is the jewellery. But we also have some exquisite pieces of furniture over 100 years old – at one point we had a Louis XVI lounge setting over 200 years old. You can’t believe the different craftsmanship of that time.
“We aren’t just a shop where old people go,” Mark says. “We are a place where you imagine what possibility you can create by enjoying the beauty of the store, because there is something here for everyone.”