New destination for antique huntersAntiques fans have a new emporium to scour for their favourite collectables as New Whittington sees the opening of ‘Jaxste’ on Stone Lane by local man Stephen Smith. He is building a new business from his long-term passion when other types of work had seemed impossible."I have been fascinated with antiques for over 20 years," Stephen said, "Handling a coin or object from Napoleonic or Victorian times makes history come alive for me. It gives a new slant on the historic costume dramas on the television when you have touched something that was an everyday item to them. I focus on china especially Japanese and Oriental porcelain such as the distinctive cobalt blue and oxide red Kakiemon pieces that can be 300 years old. On the other hand, I have an eye for the retro look that is so fashionable such as the chairs and bar stools from 60s American diners."Recurrent back pain meant that Stephen was unable to work for many years as he explained, "I was moving heavy bags of sugar so it wasn't easy to use all the right lifting methods. Over the last 13 years, I have tried to do different sorts of work because it's disheartening feeling that you are not contributing. It's difficult to find an employer who is flexible enough to understand that I may need time off work.""After four years not working,” he said, “My partner, Jackie, has been my inspiration and encouraged me that there is something I can still do. She's hands-on in the shop and brings all the retail experience while I focus on what we are selling. My condition meant that I have often been immobile for several weeks but it gave me the time for researching. It means that I recognise what I'm buying is the actual, genuine article.”Stephen has been supported by the Work for Yourself programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Bolsover District and Chesterfield Borough Councils. He enthused about his Business Adviser: "She's been amazing helping us take our little idea and turn it in to a business in which we have confidence." The completely refurbished shop will have two floors offering a changing and eclectic selection of pieces including Baccarat and Caithness paperweights, Coalport and military figurines, furniture and World War I trench art gathered by different exhibitors. "There's something for the classic antique collector to those looking for the authentic retro style," Stephen said.You can follow this new venture on Facebook or visit www.jaxste-collectables.com.