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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interview with Jon...

I was recently interviewed by Kim Leggett from the blog rescripted. This is a great opportunity for all of us to get to know each other a little better. If you would like to be interviewed by me, follow the instructions at the end of the interview. It's fun! Let's keep it going.

1. Jon, we all know that many retail buyers today, especially the younger generation, shop at stores such as Pottery Barn, etc. If you could speak directly to one of those buyers what would you say to them to convince them to buy an antique instead? Do you think antiques will hold their value even in today's market?

The answer to this question is fairly easy. Take two examples - couple A goes to Pottery Barn to furnish their first home. They purchase several thousand dollars in contemporary furnishings. Couple B goes to a quality antique show and purchases a similar dollar value of well selected antiques. Ten years later both couples are moving into a new home and re-decorating. Couple A has a garage sale where they just hope they can get someone to haul their used furniture away, while couple B should, under worst case scenario, be able to get a significant portion of their purchase price back. If market conditions are positive, even show a profit. People shop at retail stores because of convenience. That is the struggle we have, to make what we are doing as an industry easier and more accessible.

2. Why do you think the antique show venue is the perfect place to shop for antiques?

Antique shows provide customers to a large assortment of dealers in a single location. A show gathers a great number of vendors with a huge inventory, a large base of knowledge and the ability for customers to shop, learn & compare. It allows access to a much larger amount of great material than a customer could see going to shops, malls or auctions.

3. Name some of the ways that you see the business of selling antiques is changing, or will be changing for dealers in the near future. And, what do you, as a show producer, feel that antique dealers can do to make their business stronger in this weak economy?

The only constant in this business is change. A tough economy forces vendors and customers to deal with a changing market. I think dealers need to try to visualize how potential customers might live with antiques. I am relatively young for my profession (38) and my friends seem to respond to the antiques in my home. We still struggle to market to this group in ways that make our business seem welcoming, affordable and accessible. Attracting a new generation of customers is our biggest challenge, but attainable with effort.

4. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

My dream dinner table would be:

Bono(huge U2 fan)
Elmo (would help entertain Graham)
Nixon and Clinton (the parallels are astounding- brilliant but flawed)
The Statue of Liberty (hear she has great stories after a second glass of wine)

5. Are you a collector? And if so, what do you collect?

Having grown up and being surrounded by the business, I actually collect nothing specifically but a lot generally. I tend to respond to color, form, texture and affordability. I was reading Sotheby's catalogs before I was 10, so my taste clearly is beyond my ability to buy. So the key is fun and affordable. Kelly (my wife) really likes Moorcroft and sterling jewelry with a Southwest or Mexican influence.


1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview
someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

(please send me an email when your interview is posted, along with your blog name and URL...thanks!)

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