Irita is an exciting new on-screen antiques dealer. She has a particular passion for porcelain items and you will often find her at antiques shows around the UK as well as her regular appearances on BBC1’s Antiques Road Trip and Celebrity Antiques Road Trip. She is one of their newest antiques experts to join the BBC team and is creating quite a stir with her flaming red hair, wonderful humour and ability to spot a bargain.
Irita was born in Latvia in 1984. Her early years were very humble and far from plain sailing. She lived on a country farm that was fully self-sufficient with her numerous siblings until she was 6 years
At school she wouldn’t describe herself as studious and she remembers an English teacher saying to her “You will be a no one! You won’t make it in life without English”. So, she applied for an au pair job in the US and set off on her way to New York with barely any English language knowledge at all – just an English dictionary in hand. Being thrown in the deep end worked and 3 months later she could speak and understand everything around her.
After two years in the USA, she decided to visit her family back in Latvia planning to return to the US straight after… but life had other plans. One thing led to another, and she ended up on a bus to the U.K. She was just 20 years old and has never looked back. Her first job was as a temporary Christmas worker in a garden centre where she soon worked her way up to run the department. She also became a buyer which has come in handy in her current work as a dealer.
After meeting her husband, she moved to Derbyshire and that is when she found her new passion and desire for a career in antiques. Prior to finding her vocation in antique dealing she had never knowingly handled an antique (!) so was really throwing herself into deep end. To help get a fuller understanding of the business she took a part time job in a local auction house as a salesroom assistant where she had an opportunity to work with a huge variety of antiques and learn on the job. She stayed at the auction house for 7 years whilst dealing independently on the side. She started with a few car boot sales and small antiques fairs but very quickly realised that she wanted a wider audience for her purchases and sales, so she expanded into international fairs and has built a client portfolio from all around the world.
Irita is ambitious to do more television as she absolutely loves working in front of the camera and she aims to encourage others to try their hand at antique dealing and follow her footsteps into this exciting area of business.
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