Collector Karl launches new antique and decorative item business

PUBLISHED: 09:48 02 November 2015 | UPDATED: 09:48 02 November 2015

We provide prop hire for TV production, shop window displays and events

We provide prop hire for TV production, shop window displays and events

A Soham man who started his own online antique and decorative item business says it is booming – despite only being launched a week ago.

Karl Rutterford, founder of Ralph & Co, launched his online venture last Monday, and is overwhelmed at the response it has received.

Mr Rutterford came from humble beginnings – working in the Ely branch of Tesco – but his passion for collecting and branding recently saw him leave the company and start a business of his own.

Karl, 38, says his collecting obsession began with glass Coca Cola bottles, then progressed to toys and finally antiques, which inspired him to begin his own business.

“When I was 16, I started off working in Ely Tesco and playing football for the county,” he said.

“We travelled to Germany and other European countries and that’s where I was given my first Coca Cola bottle.

“That’s where I really caught the collecting bug and got into branding and it’s something I’ve always been interested in since then,” he said.

Karl’s company specializes in antique and original decorative items, such as fairground-style signs and mannequins which can be bought or hired in the Cambridgeshire area.

Ralph and Co’s website was launched last Monday and amassed an impressive 3,000 page views in its opening week, with orders being made on its very first day.

“We’ve had amazing levels of interest,” said Mr Rutterford.

“We took orders on day one and we’ve received lots of publicity.”

Karl is aiming for his company, named after his one-year-old son, Ralph, to branch out in months to come, but is aiming for success closer to home in the business’s early days.

“I would love to branch out eventually, but for now I’d like to get going in the Cambridgeshire area. We provide quite a unique service and I haven’t seen any other websites like it, so I’d like to become Cambridgeshire’s number one destination for original decorative items.”

For more information on Ralph and Co, visit their website on www.ralphandcovintage.co.uk.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ely Standard. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ely Standard