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Inside Snoopers Paradise: Brighton’s eclectic vintage haven

“You never know what you’re going to find”

Everyone's seen Snoopers Paradise, Brighton's biggest antiques and vintage emporium. Some of us may have even ventured through the turnstile entrance, which feels like stepping in to the past as you're engulfed by the old clothes, jewellery, bizarre knick knacks, and so much more.

We spoke to Chelsea, a Snoopers employee, who told us a little bit more about the shining diamond of Brighton's vintage scene.

How did the shop start out?

"Snoopers Paradise is 27 years old. The owner, John Thompson, bought the shop back then and now runs it with the main manager, Nick.

"Upstairs we have Snooper's Attic, which is an independent collective of designers and makers who sell their creations as well as vintage clothing and accessories they have found elsewhere." 

Where do you get your stock from?

"Here's how it works here: basically, we have separate dealers, such as Invisible Books for example, who go out to house and shop clearances, markets, or even abroad to bring things back to us.

"Then, each section and cabinet of the shop is run by a separate person. The staff responsible for each section sells the things on behalf of the dealers."

Why is it not allowed to take pictures in the shop?

"When the shop is busy, there is a lot of traffic so if everyone is taking pictures it only make things worse and also for security matters."

Tell me about about the atmosphere in the shop, the rewards and challenges of working here.

"The shop can be very busy, especially on weekends but it can also be very dead so we adapt our pace to the environment. Everyone here is pretty chilled out, a lot of staff members are very interesting people who also do lots of different things outside the shop.

"What's really interesting about working and shopping here is that if you actually spend time snooping around you will see objects that you might never see anywhere ever again, we think that's really cool."

How do you make sure that the very rare items in the shop don't get stolen?

"Most of the staff are in plain clothes so you wouldn't know they're working here, we also have an alarm system and cameras of course. The more valuable things tend to be locked in cabinets that customers can only access through us."

What makes Snooper's Paradise special in your opinion?

"You never know what you're going to find, I think that's the main characteristic that makes the difference here. There are thousands of items of all kinds and there is definitely something for everyone here."

To make the shop your own snooping paradise, visit Snoopers Paradise on Kensington Gardens for vintage furniture and clothing, antiques and collectibles, records and books, and other unique items.