If you’re an ardent shopper with little self-control, then by God, steer very clear of Charlie Porter. This charming Londoner with beautiful taste—she got her start as a decoration stylist for House & Garden—is now offering her favorite antiques and vintage finds up for sale. (Outrageous.) Tat London, Porter’s recently launched e-commerce site, is stocked with an embarrassment of affordable riches—embroidered tablecloths, amateur oil paintings, mirrored sconces, and 50s lemonade sets. If one were foolish enough to peruse the site while sipping a martini and enlisting the services of Apple Pay, well, perhaps it’s time to take on some freelance work.
“I started off buying very odd pieces,” says Porter, who sources her wares from far-flung corners of the Internet, as well as “car boots,” pop-up markets around London where vendors unload merchandise from their vehicles. “I got very into figurines for a while, which I still love, but they didn’t sell well, and I hadn’t really told people I was setting up Tat, so I looked as if I was going a bit mad.”
Porter “went to school at St. Edward’s Oxford, a mixed boarding school, and grew up in West London. Which makes me sound like a bit of a dweeb,” she says. She founded Tat following the closure of Kids Company, the charity where she had been working as a corporate fund-raiser. “I felt like I needed to be in charge of something in my life,” she says. “At least if Tat fails, it’s completely down to me. And although that’s a horrid thought, I’m fine with it if I know I’ve worked hard and done my best.”
That outcome is highly unlikely. Sales are sufficiently brisk that one of Porter’s main challenges is restocking her inventory. Recently departed favorites include wooden column candlesticks—“they were not detailed, but their form was quite powerful,” says Porter—and an Arwid Karlson drawing, Portrait of a Woman. “She just looks so fed up,” says Porter. “I’m quite in love with her.”
Ashley Baker is the style editor of AIR MAIL.