Importers of antique and reproduction pine furniture from Great Britain and Europe

Celebrating 32 Years

In the summer of 2015 we will celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the opening of the first Great British Pine Mine on Duke Street in Alexandria, Virginia.  We had arrived from England in April 1983, Linda and I, with our three small children, three suitcases and a plan to sell antique pine furniture in America.

We built our early clientele by cold calling interior designers, sometimes following up with a personal visit where we would show our album of photographs.  Many then visited us at the warehouse in Alexandria or, since 1984, in Kensington, Maryland.  During our first few years customers found us at antiques shows where they saw a sampling of the pieces we had to offer and then came to our store.  When we could afford it, we advertised in the local newspapers, showing our gorgeous honey-colored pine furniture in glorious black and white.

On the advice of a friend and supplier in Ireland, we bought our first thermal paper fax machine.  You could get lists or directions without transcription, receive invoices or send letters without mailing, you could even exchange photographs, of a sort, across the world.  These were great advances to a young couple in the business of importing furniture.  It was such a buzz when one hour film developing hit Europe.  We could go on a buying trip and actually bring back photographs of the things we had bought and which were yet to arrive in the store.  Amazing.

All this is to say that much has changed.

Our three small children are now all older than Linda and I were when we opened the Pine Mine.  They have all spent a good deal of time working at the family firm.  Our sixth grandchild was born in the spring.  We have been selling antique and reproduction pine furniture in Kensington for a generation.  During that time many of our phone calls became emails and our album of photographs became our first website.

In the last ten years there has been a transformation in the way people buy almost everything.  As the success of sites like 1stdibs clearly shows, and as we have found in our own business, people are prepared to make significant antique furniture purchases from online sources. High quality, inexpensive digital photography enables the customer to see a piece as well as if they were in a store.  In a very short time the area we serve has gone from, mostly, a one hundred mile radius from the store to anywhere with broadband, provided it's reachable by a white glove delivery service.

With this in mind we are launching our new website.  While we will continue to have a bricks and mortar store, it is our aim to present all our merchandise, which consists almost entirely of one of a kind pieces, on www.pinemine.com.  We still plan to offer the same personal service as ever so we invite customers old and new to call us with any questions regarding the items on the website or the best way of getting them safely and economically to your home.

Welcome to the Pine Mine online.

Alan Robson and Linda Sutherland

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