Pensioner’s dream is ‘thymeless’

2015-06-23 06:00
Richard Northmore with one of the shelves he made.
Photo: supplied

Richard Northmore with one of the shelves he made. Photo: supplied

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“OLD or new, quirky, interesting, cute or cool, some things arenand#039;t about age, fashion or trends, theyand#039;re ‘thymeless’.” These are the words of Botha’s Hill retired principal Richard Northmore, who uses his free time to restore old furniture into beautiful pieces of art.

Northmore and partner Toni have opened a business - Back in Thyme - where he uses his talents to earn a living.

Northmore said his passion is woodwork and vintage and collectibles.

“I’m inspired by people who make things and people who, despite all odds, get up and do it - persistently and consistently - zero excuse. “I’m 63 but refuse to act it and if I live to 90, I hope to still be doing what I do now. My hobby is my work, so it is great to be making things, doing what I love and making a living from it,” said the go getter.

Northmore says it is spelt “Thyme” because it started as an extension to a restaurant. “Eventually we dropped the food and purposely moved into vintage and collectibles, and as we made shelving etc., for the shop, people wanted to buy them as quickly as I could make them,” he said.

“So we split and Back in Thyme focused on woodwork. So it came about, almost by accident, by everything being in the right place at the right time.”

He especially focuses on the stressed and shabby look, hand-made and with hand-finishes. “Our range of items for children is growing and we are especially known for items such as our toy kitchen sets (heirloom toys - made for one specific child at a time), toy boxes, craft tables and more. Also now doing our special unique ‘Red Barn’ range of rustic hand-made furniture which is unique and a lot of fun,” said Northmore.

Describing himself as “consistent” he said his role models are “Prof Sam Zondi - an exceptional man - small in stature, a giant every other way. Samson Makhado of ACSI is also one whom I learnt a lot from and my partner Toni, too, a role model of note. She has great wisdom, is an amazingly gifted and skilled lady with a beautiful, forgiving and generous nature.”

He is willing to use his skills and train others in the community. “I am a teacher by heart - always willing to teach and work with communities.”

His future plans for Back in Thyme are to get to a more sustainable and stable position by building the business, quality and client base as well as product range.

His message to the youth is to get a quality education, read critically, think deeply, independently and clearly. He said that one should always believe in oneself. “Don’t wait for a job, create one. I did at 60, from a base of nothing. You can do it and accept that you will fail, but the only shame from failure is not to learn from it,” he said

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