Retro shop born from a love of collecting

Nicola Payne turned her love affair with the 50s, 60s and 70s into a beautiful shop in Frankleigh Park. Taranaki Community News caught up with her to find out how she fell in love with the retro world.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Hi, my name is Nicola Payne, I am 45, and the owner of Mid Century Found.  I sell, buy and source mid century and retro furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics and other collectibles. I set up my shop in 2018 in the Frankleigh Park shops to share my love of the 50s, 60s and 70s.  I try to stay true to this period of design and the shop is always changing. 

Mid Century Found is filled with super interesting things. Where do you find all of those wonderful, eclectic things?
I have always been a collector.  I have a small house and can’t fit everything in so as much as I would love to keep everything I find…I can’t.

I find treasures on road trips, in op shops, garden sheds, auctions and so on. I have my secondhand dealers licence so am able to buy from people wanting to downsize, they can come into the shop with items to sell and I am alway happy to visit people in their homes.   

Can you tell us about the best thing you’ve ever found and how you came about it? 
My favourite and probably best find was my beautiful MacIntosh 1960s teak sideboard found in an op shop for $80! It was a good day!  I have had many good finds and I think it has a a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time.

Why do you have such a love affair with older things?
My love affair with mid century furniture started when we moved into our 1950s house.  I started researching the style and aesthetic of that period, and I was addicted. 

I have always enjoyed finding out about the history of items and when and where they were made.   I love the stories that come with these pieces and the way they are beautifully crafted and not mass produced.  

A lot of my customers enjoy the walk down memory lane when they come into my shop and I enjoy hearing their stories. It’s also great when young couples come into the shop looking for furniture to set up their new home and purchase classic, New Zealand made vintage furniture.

Mid Century Found owner Nicola Payne

Do you have any top tips for people out there hunting for vintage treasures? 
My top tip for finding vintage treasure is to know what you are looking for.  I research designers and brands and recognise them by a certain style or maker’s mark. However, if you find something that you really love, buy it regardless of who made it. 

I love finding items for people and am always happy to try to find those hard to find special pieces.  

You can find Mid Century Found on Facebook and Instagram