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Friday, December 31, 2010

Last few hours of 2010.

Happy new years to our several loyal readers. Here's to a prosperous 2011 for all.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A few of my favorite things.

One of the perks of the job is having access to a lot of cool stuff for the house. The jelly cupboard came from Springfield, the totem pole from Farmington and the painting is from Nashville. Beats the heck out of Pottery Barn any day of the week.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The travel season begins.

One of the first changes of the New Year is a dramatic increase in travel to shows to recruit dealers- between now and February Nashville, somebody will be in:
Hudson, Ohio
New York
Springfield, Ohio
York, Pa

Gas up the car and see you soon!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Awaking from the holiday slumber.

I guess people begin to suffer some sort of holiday fatigue after Christmas. The phones were active today as we booked 5 vendors for our February Nashville shows today. Things should really heat up next week after New Year's Day. Time to get back to work.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Off topic, but on topic

Graham has hi-jacked the blog to post his final Santa Claus list for this year. Graham submits the following requests to Santa for tomorrow:

Radio Controlled Helicopter
Bouncy Gym
Dinosaur (didn't specify alive or toy version)
Rocket Ship(again no specification)
Pair of Clothes
Box of Pills(for Mommy's cold so she feels better)
A Tree
Forest with Animals
Makeup for Mommy

Dear Santa- please grant as many of our 3 year old's requests as necessary.

Graham's Mommy & Daddy

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Joe Cardetti, Game On

What were you doing 43 years ago? Joe Cardetti was buying and selling antiques. So, when he told me that he’d seen lots of fads (in decorating and antiques) come and go and that he’d weathered the economic highs and lows of the business over those years, I believed him. The owner of Kracker Barrel Antiques, he’s from St. James, Missouri, “right in the middle of the state”. Joe deals in American Country and his specialty is folk art with an emphasis on silhouettes, lighting, portraits and great handcrafted smalls and “that tell a story”.
Joe’s a twelve year veteran of the Tailgate Show and he’s quick to share his thoughts about the upcoming Nashville Week. “Knowledgeable”! In a word, that’s how he describes the customers the shows attract. “You get a quality of buyer you don’t find at other shows”. Of course that means you’ll also find a quality of merchandise you won’t find at other shows. He explained that 80% of the shoppers who come to the Tailgate and Music Valley shows drive for more than two hours to attend. “That makes it a destination” and they come to buy. Because of this, he believes the dealers will be bringing some of the very best antiques the country has to offer. Cardetti proclaims that as far as dealers are concerned, the upcoming Nashville Week “is gonna be game on”.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Morning Thoughts

Random thoughts on a Saturday morning:

1. Happy Holidays to everyone who visited the blog this year. If you like it, pass it along to a friend, new blog followers make a great present.

2. Here's to a prosperous New Year for the business. Let's hope that major shows in the first 2 months of 2011 kick off strong.

3. Snow is pretty for the first few hours, but spring cannot arrive too soon.

4. Working on a lot of new blog content, dealer interviews, photos and the return of the popular "up on my soapbox" feature.

5. Toys R Us is not a good place the week before Christmas, a lady was actually taking things out of our cart when we weren't paying attention. Savages!

Happy Holidays,


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Preview of Coming Attractions

Part of the excitement of Nashville Week is wondering what you’ll find. Here’s a peek at a few of the great things you’ll find in Tom Delach’s booth at Music Valley.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Whole Nashville Experience. Oh Yeah.

Wow. It’s contagious. After talking with Music Valley dealer, Karen Buckingham, I’m more excited about Nashville Week than ever, and so is she.
Although she’s lived in Texas for nearly thirty years, her accent will tell you she grew up in New England. Karen has an interesting background. “As a kid, back in the 60’s” she began going to the markets in Brimfield, Massachusetts to carry her mom’s purchases. Before she knew it, both she and her sister had become dealers. She told me, “I collected myself into the business. Once your house is full, you have to sell”. Sound familiar? Although her home’s in Texas she maintains her membership in the New Hampshire Dealers Association and she does shows across the map from New England to Texas.
Her taste in antiques is high country. In her booth you’ll find an elegant mix of American antique furniture in paint or original surface, early wallpaper boxes, pewter, great primitive hooked rugs and wonderful landscape paintings and portraits. She’s especially drawn to early portraits of children because she finds them to be a bit more colorful. And about her painted furniture, which she usually finds in New York, New England and Pennsylvania, she does her own dry scraping. She’ll find a great piece that’s been “over painted” and she scrapes it down to the original paint, all by hand. It’s very time consuming and labor intensive but, she says she found out while raising teenagers that it’s cheaper than therapy. You’ve got to visit her booth….she’s a hoot and her inventory is amazing.
Karen was quick to point out that the talk at antique shows is all about Nashville Week. Folks are just plain pumped about the shows being back together again. She loves the idea of running a shuttle between shows. “That’s going to be great for customers who fly in to shop”. She’s emphatic, “Customers want the whole Nashville experience. They want to shop all day, go back to their rooms to rest and hit the restaurants at night”. Yep, that’s what we want, The Whole Nashville Experience

Monday, December 13, 2010

Antiques Week In Nashville Preview

Over the course of the next two months we will use the blog to preview our upcoming Antiques Week In Nashville- February 17-19, 2011. In addition to Tailgate and Music Valley at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, we will once again correspond with Heart of Country at the Opryland Resort. In order to make the Antiques Week Experience as enjoyable and convenient as possible, we will be running a shuttle service between the Fairgrounds and Opryland. Stay tuned for details.

The blog will feature all current information about the shows, dealer lists, profiles, news & photos of what you can expect at the shows. Check back often as we will try to update daily.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Managing Change

We are told early in life to expect change. Some of our youngest lessons involve the change that growth brings. "The only constant is change". For something that appears to be so inevitable why are we for the most part horrible at managing change? Let's face it, we live in a world that most of us would have had a hard time imagining 20 years ago. The Antiques & Art business has been affected by a difficult economy, globalization, changing consumer tastes, behavior and trends and the fact that we no longer have main-stream media doing our marketing and pr for us. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase "good old days" in reference to the business, I would be in French Polynesia on my own private island instead of blogging on a cold Sunday morning listening to Blue's Clues in the background.

I am taking a personal pledge to strike the phase "good old days" from my vocabulary. The good old days by definiton (old days don't come back- if they did, I would like a do-over on my 21st birthday) are not coming back. I would like to replace the phrase with "good new days". I encourage others to adopt a Good New Days Policy. We can impact Good New Days. How can we embrace the challenges presented to the business and plan for the "Good New Days". I relish the challenge and hope you do as well.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A needed reminder

Leave it to Randy Farmer at Artifacts in Nashville to shine the light on a much needed reminder. I need a haircut.

Harwinton Update

This is an update on the growing list of dealers for the June Harwinton Show. Shaping up nicely-

Andy's Antiques
Anne Hall Antique Prints
Arlene Rabin
Art & Antique Gallery
Back Roads Antiques
Bill Scott's Antiques
Bob Kretchko Antiques*
Chelsea Hill Antiques
Classic Touch
Collection Agency Antiques
Colophon Books
Country Peddler Antiques
David Zabriskie*
Dennis & Valerie Bakoledis*
Diane Belford
Dee’s Antiques
Don & Marta Orwig*
Dudley Hill Antiques
Hartman House Antiques
Hawkins Quilts & Antiques
Higganum House Antiques
J & G Antiques
J & J of Tuscon
John Gould Antiques*
Judith & James Milne*
Kevin Walsh
Kim & David Leggett
Lepore's Antiques
Mad River Antiques*
Mario Pollo*
Nancy & Craig Cheney*
Nancy Hagen Antiques
Noble Peddler
Nook N’ Cranny Antiques
Old Lamps & Things
Otto & Susan Hart*
Paul & Karen Wendheiser*
Peter Moses
Phyllis Pasternak
Richard DiFillippo
Richard & Carole Pleines
Ryan's Antiques
Schoolhouse Antiques
Steve Smoot Antiques*
Storb Antiques
Strawhat Antiques
Stu Magdefrau
T & F Trunks
The Jewelry Lady
Thomas R. Longacre*
Thymes Remembered*
Tither & Sears
Tom O'Hara's Easter Hill Antiques
Two Of A Kind
Two Sides of a River
Vee Kausel
Victor Weinblatt*
Victorian Rose
Worden Select Objects
Yesterday's Dreams

*-new vendor

What's Coming Up

Getting ready for the holiday's as well as beating the drum for upcoming shows. Look for more in our dealer profile series as well as news, notes and photos to entice you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Passion For Pewter

It’s irrefutable. Dr. Melvyn and Bette Wolf are the ultimate authorities on all things pewter. This Flint, Michigan couple has been collecting pewter since the 60’s and began exhibiting at antiques shows in 1975. They’ve served jointly as President of the Pewter Collectors Club of America and authored hundreds of articles for the organizations bulletins. Mel has been serving on the organizations board of governors for the past thirty-nine years. Most importantly, his articles on American pewter porringers, candlesticks, chalices, measures and lamps are considered the industry standard by which pewter pieces are evaluated. They are not only experts in American pewter but British pewter and Continental pewter as well.
Mel and Bette don’t have a shop and they aren’t set up in an antiques mall. If you want to see the most amazing and definitive display of pewter you will ever come across, you’ll have to visit them this February at the Music Valley Antiques Market in Nashville, Tennessee. As they’ll tell you, “We display more pewter at an antiques show than any other dealer”. You’re sure to enjoy dealing with Mel and Bette. They’re an interesting and engaging couple and they generously share the incredible knowledge they have gleaned from forty years of collecting and handling pewter.
And, if a visit to their booth peaks your interest in pewter, you’ll want to pick up a copy of their book, An American Pewter Collection: The Collection of Dr. Melvyn and Bette Wolf published by the Wolfs in April 2006.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So, What The Heck Is A Sniktaw????

That’s the first thing I wondered about the name of Jerry and Luan Watkins’ antiques business, Sniktaw Antiques, LLC, a.k.a. Sniktaw Trading Company. I’ve been around the antiques business for more years than I care to admit and I have a nodding acquaintance with most Native America Tribal Art so I wondered why I wasn’t familiar with this word. Hmmmm. Turns out it’s their last name spelled backwards… clever, creative, whimsical. That’s their style.
Jerry and Luan began collecting their eclectic mix of antiques in the early 80’s and by 1991 they had turned their passion into a business. They left their home in Houston, set up shop in Gurnee, Illinois, and have never looked back.
Luan has a great eye folk art. She stocks fascinating collections of hand carved cookie boards, sewing and textile items, handcrafted hearts of all kinds, amazing antique handmade toys and lots more. Jerry’s collection of fun, colorful and completely unique carnival and shooting gallery items will absolutely blow you away (pun intended). How cool would a colorful antique game wheel look hanging in your family room? Make sure you check out their booth at Jenkins Management’s Antiques at Music Valley Show, this Feb. 17-19. It’s sure to be a show stopper. And, if you want to see one of the best web sites in the antiques business go to

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Meet Bobbie Pries

Bobbie Pries is a 35 year veteran of the antiques business. During this time, she’ll tell you, she’s seen plenty of changes in the business. One thing however, has remained constant and that’s the extraordinary quality of her inventory. Bobbie is known for offering the best in 18th and 19th century American antique furniture in original paint or original finish as well as appropriate “smalls” from the same period. She and her husband Roger currently do only six shows a year. Doing so allows her to always have “fresh inventory and new things for each show”. Customers must agree because she’s certainly developed a following.
Bobbie feels strongly that “Hunting antiques is physical. You need to be able to touch them”. Unlike museums, antique shows allow her customers to touch and pick up items that strike their fancy. “If they pick it up, they’re less likely to put it down”. You just can’t get that buying on line. One of the things she most enjoys about doing antique shows is visiting with old friends. This includes fellow dealers and long- time customers. She graciously gives credit to those who taught her the finer points of antiques and helped her hone her eye for quality back in the early years. “I learned from wonderful dealers”, and she certainly joined their ranks. Bobbie believes that when it comes to learning about antiques, books are great, but visiting an antique show is best.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The early results are in- and they're impressive

Just getting started on selling the Harwinton Show for next June and contracts are coming in at a brisk pace. Below is the rapidly growing list of dealers who have already committed to joining us next June at the Harwinton Fairgrounds. Asterix denotes new dealers(not with us last year).

Andy's Antiques
Anne Hall Antique Prints
Art & Antique Gallery
Bob Kretchko Antiques*
Chelsea Hill Antiques
Classic Touch
Collection Agency Antiques
Colophon Books
Country Peddler Antiques
David Zabriskie*
Dennis & Valerie Bakoledis*
Don & Marta Orwig*
Dudley Hill Antiques
Hartman House Antiques
Hawkins Quilts & Antiques
Higganum House Antiques
J & G Antiques
John Gould Antiques*
Judith & James Milne*
Kim & David Leggett
Lepore's Antiques
Mad River Antiques*
Mario Pollo*
Noble Peddler
Otto & Susan Hart*
Paul & Karen Wendheiser*
Phyllis Pasternak
Ryan's Antiques
Steve Smoot Antiques*
Storb Antiques
Strawhat Antiques
T & F Trunks
The Jewelry Lady
Thomas R. Longacre*
Thymes Remembered*
Tither & Sears
Tom O'Hara's Easter Hill Antiques
Two Of A Kind
Vee Kausel
Victor Weinblatt
Victorian Rose
Worden Select Objects
Yesterday's Dreams

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A firm grasp of the blatantly obvious.

A research team at CalTech recently published the results of a study that indicates people are will to pay significantly more for an item that they can touch. The premium, which was an average of 50% higher for objects that were present as opposed to photo or text descriptions of the same item was reported in the American Economic Review. This simply re-inforces my long held belief that an antique shows are the best place for dealers to maximize return, and that internet based platforms while useful, do not allow the best results for selling merchandise. People still need the tactile experience of touching, looking and inspecting in person.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tailgating- Really

Went to Jennifer Sabin's fall edition of Heartland yesterday in Richmond. Great dealers, good crowd and good food made this short jaunt to the eastern edge of Indiana well worth the short drive. Picture of Dan Freeburg's booth which you will see at Nashville in February. The other photo is a picture of customers enjoying "Tailgating at Tailgate" except they were using the front end of the car for food service.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Everyone loves a slideshow!

Nashville Photos for you to enjoy.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Postcard is born!

New cards for February Nashville are on the press. Hope they excite the masses.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New York and Springfield

Just getting back into town from the Pier Show in New York. Hats off to our friends at Stella Show Management for the hospitality and as always- a great show. Crowds seemed to be buying as a random survey of dealers seemed to indicate good sales. On another good note the dealer response to the Harwinton show continues to be strong. We are continuing to sign up new and returning dealers and the buzz is beginning to build for next June and September.

Our last Springfield show of the year is next weekend featuring the Merry Makers Folk Art Show. Should be a great way to wrap up the year.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What's up next.

In two weeks, the final Springfield show of the year featuring the Merry Makers Folk Art Show in the Youth Building. Click here for their site.

Next week is also the Stella Pier show in New York- trying to see if I can get out there for dealer recruiting for upcoming Nashville and our new Harwinton,CT show. Also going to take the time off to work on new marketing and advertising material, creating new websites for Nashville and Harwinton and taking some time off.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mostly I'm just tired.

Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in our fall Nashville show. Please take an opportunity to view the photo gallery-

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nashville in progress!

Check out the new photos from the Nashville shows this week on the slideshow on the right hand side. Lots of great things so join us this weekend.

Monday, October 18, 2010

CSADA show and Gearing up for Nashville

Spent yesterday visiting the CSADA Fall Show at Fox Valley just outside of Chicago. Saw a very nice selection of both familiar and new dealers. I highly recommend this show as it has a very good cross section of merchandise, from affordable & decorative to high end. Visited with old friends and made a few new ones. Looking forward to going back in the spring. Last few days to prepare for Nashville- might not be blogging much this week. Colts win! Stop the turnovers guys.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Springfield this weekend featuring:

Hope to see you at this weekend's Springfield show featuring the Mid-Country Holiday and Paper show in the Youth Building. Great fall weather awaits. Might also be heading up to the Fox Valley Show in suburban Chicago. Happy hunting!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Harwinton, Deerfield, Rhinebeck

Wrapping up our jaunt to the Northeast for Harwinton work, meeting in Deerfield and two days in Rhinebeck. Great trip! Productive talks in Deerfield regarding forming a trade group, got the layout done for our show in Harwinton and wonderful two days in Rhinebeck. I had always heard rave reviews about the show, setting and community- and they were correct. Great responses from dealers on the Harwinton move and good response for Nashville as well. Fun to travel when you meet engaging, excited dealers. Thanks to Johanna at Antiques & Fine Arts for the hospitality at Deerfield. Didn't have enough time to do the Museum justice, but exceedingly impressed and look forward to a return.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

This week at "The Insider"

Taking a trip to New England for the Rhinebeck and Deerfield shows. Also taking some time to do some layout work at the Harwinton Fairgrounds at our new location. Promise to take the camera and maybe even post a few photos along the way.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Show News!

Jenkins Management is proud to announce a new home for their long running Farmington Antiques Weekend- The Harwinton Fairgrounds. The dates will remain the second full weekend in June and Labor Day Weekend.(June 11-12 & September 3 & 4, 2011) Located the same distance of much travelled Route 4, the new location will provide a significant upgrade in facility and infrastructure for dealers and customers. The Harwinton Fairgrounds will feature over 100 indoor spaces with electricity, as well as plentiful room for outdoor vendors also with electrical service. “We fully expect our new home to capture the essence and spirit of the Polo Grounds, but with a significant upgrade in creature comforts for attendees and vendors” according to Jon Jenkins. “I know everyone raved about our clean port-a-potties, but I think we can all get used to the inconvenience of clean, modern, indoor restrooms.”
The decision to move to the new facility was “not made in haste” according to Steve Jenkins. “But the ability to offer a better facility, with more amenities for dealers and customers at a much lower price point was simply too much to pass up.” “The facility change will dramatically increase our ability to utilize resources for advertising and marketing. The costs of our old home along with the dependence on expensive rental tents were financially suffocating the business model for both the dealers and the promoter. Every effort will be made to insure that our customers will find our new home. The Harwinton Fairgrounds is also just a few miles from Rt 8, a main thoroughfare for customers travelling up from Fairfield County, Westchester County and the rest of the New York City area. This should cut over 40 minutes one way off the commute from New York.
Contracts, Cards and a new website are currently in production, with an expected mailing date by November 1. For information, please contact Jenkins Management at 317-598-0012 or

Sunday, September 26, 2010

At our core.

Between Ronald McDonald photos and bad jokes, many of our tens of readers will recognize that one of my focus on the blog is trying to tackle some of the big picture challenges that the industry faces. Last Monday I attended a meeting with others concerned about the same thing. While on the way home from the meeting, I picked up Jim Collins' new book about struggling companies/industries to try to see what I could find that would apply to us. One of the points he made was that in difficult times, companies often get away from their core. I've spent the last few days trying to figure out "what is the core/focus of our business'?

What I've come up with is that the business essentially revolves around two things:
1. The Stuff (art, antiques, vintage & design
2. The people (customers, dealers, auctioneers, promoters,etc.

All of the other things are just distractions from 1 & 2.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Out of Control

Okay- Extravaganza was good. I don't want to brag, but at one point we had to call in extra help. You know, the Riot Clowns. When you call out the Riot Clowns, and they send out Ronald, you know it's serious. When Ronald brings out the boys, the most serious response the have is the gas, when they deploy the gas, you know it's off the hook.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Plan-

Kicking and Screaming or How to Drag the Antiques Industry from the 18th to 21st Centuries- A Manifesto

Ladies and Gentleman,

Like all good nutcases (Marx & Engels, Ted Kaczynski) I sit here today composing what might be considered lunacy by much of its intended audience. I have observed the complete unraveling of our industry over the past 15 years. I feel the frustration at our inability to adapt, change and compete in a very different world than we could have envisioned. The need to act dramatically has become overwhelming. Our industry faces significant challenges that cannot simply be dismissed as being caused by the “bad economy”. Rather than sitting by as we collectively re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, perhaps we can use the current circumstances as motivation to embrace necessary radical change. To start with, we need to put down the swords that we have been using to beat each other over the head with in the name of competition.

The time has come to cast aside the traditional labels that have divided our industry since the beginning: dealer, auctioneer, promoter, collector, appraiser, picker, door knocker and preservationist- and unite under the concept of “one industry- the Antiques Business”. The very nature of our fractionalized industry- a few large entities (large auction houses, museums, EBay and a few other players)- show promoters and larger regional auction houses- dealers( from high end retail shops and show dealers down to flea market participants) has led to a serious inferiority complex to the industry as a whole. As tens of thousand of small businesses, we fail to grasp our importance, scope and impact on local and national economies. Every group has reasons to dislike and view with skepticism the others, but in reality we are all passengers on the same leaky ship.

Step 1- Start talking and acting like a significant Industry.
Without taking the time to add up what numbers are available, it is clear that the antiques & art business represents a multi-billion dollar industry. Any ability to solve our big picture challenges will require cooperation on a near industry wide scale. Lobbying anyone? Media Campaign? We need to start acting collectively otherwise we will continue to flounder towards irrelevance. We need to realize our perceived competitors are actually our closest allies. A broad based industry group dedicated to addressing our collective challenges is an immediate necessity. We need a fundamental change in the way we see ourselves in order to change how others see us.

Step 2- Use our collective knowledge to fill the most gaping hole our industry has- the internet.
Now before you start screaming “I have a website”, that’s not what I’m talking about. The problem is that you may have a website, but “we” don’t. The lack of a cohesive, definitive industry internet presence is in my opinion, the key obstacle to attracting the next generation of customers. This may seem like one of our biggest challenges, the ’big question” so to speak, but solving this the easiest part of the equation. A definitive knowledge based website, to educate, entice and inspire actual and potential customers is simply too easy not to do. Many in the industry love to bemoan the “young people don’t like antiques” or “all they do is sit in front of their computers” arguments until they are blue in the face. When many of my 30-45 year old friends encounter the antiques in my home, the almost universally enjoy them. Yet when I try to explain where they can get them- shows, auctions, out of the way shops, malls, the excitement fades and they are out the door to Pottery Barn to buy knock-offs of what we collectively sell. The knock-offs are for the most part significantly more expensive and are destined to be part of a garage sale or landfill trip in the next 10 years. Part of turning this enthusiasm in action is making our industry more accessible. A cohesive industry presence on the internet is the key step in getting this ball rolling.

Step 3- Big Picture Industry Marketing and Advertising.
Now that we have our industry association and website problems solved, it is time to get to the problem of marketing and advertising. Individually, we market and advertise to get the attention of people already on the boat. We are spending precious resources fighting over a shrinking and aging customer base. Collectively, we need to allocate the resources to attract a new group of passengers. The industry association would be the natural body to do this, but think about a “Use Antiques” campaign. The arguments that we all recite ad naseum to each other about the reason the buying antiques and art make sense (Green & Recycle, Retained Value, Uniqueness, Etc.) need to be exposed to a broader audience through an Advertising and Marketing campaign on a scale never imagined or possible. Time to pull out all the stops. I would propose a one tenth of one percent of gross sales as the membership fee (with a cap) to the national association, to cover association costs and to create the necessary resources to “make some noise”.

Step 4- Change the Image & Message
One of our large challenges is changing the perception of the Industry. See if any of these ring a bell.

1. Grandma’s dimly lit Victorian home with her oak china cabinet and “special” dishes.
2. Hipsters clad head to toe in black at a gallery opening of a recently discovered photographer.
3. The Country Club set at a $500 per person preview party for a charity antique show.
4. The “Antiques Roadshow” phenomenon, where everything is worth a great deal of money.

To sum up these 4 images- boring, unnecessarily hip, elitist and unrealistic. The message and image needs to reflect, fun, accessible, relevant- Think antiques for Main Street. Antiques can and will be sold to younger customers, how many of them is the challenge.

Step 5- Reaching out to important media and publishing entities in an unprecedented PR campaign. We need shills. Shill is a bad word in the Industry, but not in this sense. Reaching out and identifying publishing and media types to help get the message out is key. We don’t have enough style makers in the main-stream media on board. Oprah, Martha anyone? Advertising puts your commercial on tv, PR gets you on the news. Advertising buys a newspaper ad, PR makes you the story. Both are important and necessary.

Step 6- Compete with our real competition- Our real competition isn’t each other, it’s Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware and every other store knocking off our looks, raising the prices and essentially beating us at our own game. Time to take off the gloves when it comes to the reality of the scam they are running. Under the right circumstances, most of us would buy back sold inventory at 50% of sale price, a new furniture store wouldn’t dream of that. Exploit their weaknesses!

Step 7- Educate and Integrate- We need new customers at every level of the business. It takes years for a customer to mature from first time show, shop or auction attendee to Winter Show preview customer. We need to spend more energy being active participants in this crucial process. The National Association should reach out to schools from elementary to college and offer the wealth of knowledge that we posssess as educational resources to re-kindle interest in decorative arts starting at school age.

Step 8- Remember that the business is driven from the bottom up- as I mentioned earlier, the first time show, auction or shop customer needs to be inspired, educated and nurtured. Much of this process starts at simple flea markets, small auctions and in one on one conversations between dealers and customers. Although the headlines in our trade press often focus on the million dollar object, the $20 first purchase of a customer is really more important to the industry as a whole.

Step 9- Look outside our Industry- There are many examples in business of industries or companies that face challenges the scope of our current predicament. What can we learn from the classic story of the buggy whip industry who went from relevance to obsolescence in the blink of an eye. Should we be inspired by Apple Computer, who went from a dynamic industry leader, faded to nearly nothing and re-invented itself to have perhaps the most devoted group of customers in the world today.

Step 10- Be Happy- The challenges faces by the Antiques Business have left us puzzled, confused and in many cases depressed and contemplating a career as a Wal-Mart greeter. The economic situation that many of us find ourselves in can certainly be blamed as being a major cause of our “collective bad mood”. We are engaged in the attempt to sell discretionary income products (antiques) in the most difficulty economy our lives. The long faces I see in shows and shops are well earned, but customers pick up on this, the mood is contagious. The desperate guy never meets the girl, the unhappy salesperson will sell less. This is supposed to be fun, and if it isn’t, fake it for your own good.

Ten Steps, just my opinion, let the debate begin. But let me close by saying, insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

Appraisal Fair at Springfield

Trying something new for us at Springfield this weekend. We will host an Appraisal Fair this Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Two items may be brought in with paid admission to meet with our panel of dealer experts. Nothing new in the "Appraisal Fair" concept, just new to our Springfield Show.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cheap vs. Value

John Fisk recently wrote a column in New England Antiques Journal tackling the current fascination of "cheap". One of the challenges we face in the antiques business is a price competition with new. While cheap may be in vogue, value usually costs less in the long run. Buying five cheap disposable consumer products when one slightly more expensive model might outlast the 5 disposable ones. In many cases, buying value=cheaper in the long run.

Friday, September 10, 2010

In the Middle of Crazy.

Sorry for nothing in a while. Just so you understand, August 1-November 1 is a crazy time. The schedule looks like this. New Hampshire, Maine, Home, Springfield, Home, Farmington, Brimfield, Home, Springfield, New York, Home, Texas, Home, Springfield, Nashville, Home. Getting ready for Springfield Extravaganza next weekend. Looks like it should be about 250 vendors larger than last year. Good job team. Photo is from Farmington- kind of hard to mess up a perfect day weather wise. More thoughts later on the Farmington/Brimfield trip.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Better than I can say it.

Lifted from the Young Antique Collector's Blog- by Andrew & Holly. Link to their blog on the right. This is a more refined statement of rage.

The real competition

Recently, I've been having a riveting, albeit blood pressure-raising, conversation with an Indiana friend in the trade. He received the newest Pottery Barn catalog where they are hawking bad reproductions of 19th-century printer's chests and other things very clearly based on antiques. It's almost like they look through auction catalogs or go to shows to get inspired, and then send the plans to China to cheaply manufacture knock-offs.

And then the new Restoration Hardware catalog landed in both of our mailboxes. Hoo-boy...have you all seen this? Gary Friedman, the CEO, states, "No longer mere 'retailers' of home furnishings, we are 'curators' of the best historical design the world has to offer."

Um..excuse me? Seriously? I don't know what's more offensive, the fact that he described himself as a curator or that he claimed to have stuff that's better designed than the originals that his company has so poorly imitated.

I'm terribly sorry to inform you, Mr. Friedman, but if you want to find the curators of the best historical design, you need to look at places like Winterthur, the Met, and the MFA-Boston, as well as at antique auctions and shows around the country. Additionally, your customers would be better served by going to auctions, shows, and flea markets, where they will find better design AND better quality, all for a better price and in objects that will be worth something in 10 years.

Folks, you want to know where the (potential) young collectors are? They are at Pottery Barn, Target, Ikea, and they are shopping via catalogs like Restoration Hardware. They may not be as interested in history or art as you are or we are, but they are interested in style, quality, and price...and they aren't finding the best at those places, although they think they are. We need to get their attention and draw it to our business. So next time you see a Pottery Barn catalog on the coffee table of a friend or relative, surreptitiously swap it with an auction catalog or a copy of Maine Antique Digest, The Magazine Antiques or Antiques and Fine Art.

(And to my museum friends, you need to raise a stink with American Association of Museums...they need to protect the title "curator" the way that the American Library Association protects the title "librarian.")

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just when I thought I was done vomiting.

Yesterday's mail produced the new "Restoration Hardware" Catalog. The are "no longer mere retailers" but now consider themselves "curators of the best historical design the world has to offer". The are re-inventing themselves as a faux antiques superstore with much higher prices. Would you please tell everyone you know to stop buying this crap.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I've had all I can take, and I can't take any more.

Up on my soapbox. Received the new September 2010 Pottery Barn yesterday in the mail. The featured item is their new "Printers Collection" which features a series of modular furniture that you can configure to fit any need, Storage, TV's, electronics, bookcases- if you can imagine it, you can build it. "Modular" media furniture, inspired by antique printer's cabinet's. Seem innocuous enough, until you read how they describe it "Heirloom Quality Collection" & "Beautiful Hand Finish You'd Expect to Find on a One of a Kind Antique". My three year old yet to be potty trained son stands a better chance of producing something "Heirloom Quality" in his next diaper. Later in the catalogue, I notice antique tie-ins, like their "Gee's Bend" Quilt Collection, and items licensed by the Museum of American Folk Art. Now these things may seem harmless, but think for a second. These items, being sold as faux-antiques and heirloom quality will be relatively worthless when they walk out of the door. Pottery Barn features a $699 Starburst Quilt, I just purchased a 1920's Amish Quilt at a show for $225. Chances are- the quilt I bought will retain value, while the Pottery Barn version has a good chance of being worthless in 5 years. Spend your money wisely.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bring me the head of Ronald McDonald

I like to think that in all the seriousness of the business, sometimes we need to have fun. Ronald's head now resides in our basement, his body-unknown. A fun find at this weekend's Springfield Show.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Springfield This Weekend

Join us at this weekend's Springfield show. The Show features over 250 vendors along with "A Country Gathering" a specialty show held Saturday in the Youth Building. Great stuff for everyone to be sure. I'll try to get some photos, video and other items of interest for El Blog.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Insider now features Video

John & Doug from Praiseworthy Antiques have always been viewed as creative forces in the business. They are also the first to utilize this groundbreaking sales technique to spur customers into action at the Manchester shows. Voice-over provided by the Insider.

Manchester, Union and other ramblings.

Just completed the annual pilgrimage to Antiques Week In New Hampshire, followed by the Union, Maine show. I will try to cover them in order, but good luck with that.

1. Alexander the Great's Army travelled lighter than we do. Six adults plus one three year old for 10 days- yikes.

2. Sunday at Northeast Auctions provided some interesting observations. While most of the usual suspects were in attendance, many dealers seemed to be active buying for inventory. Prices on Sunday were by report not as high as the Friday or Saturday sessions. I saw more than a few smiles from the audience after winning bids.

3. Monday at the Barn Star Pickers Market- decent crowd and reports from dealers all over the map. Great looking show as usual with a few notable additions among participants.

4. Tuesday at Nan Gurley's Deerfield Show- spent the better part of the day at the most relaxed of the New Hampshire shows. If you haven't had a chance to attend, the ambiance and dealer mix make this one a favorite. Humidity thinned out the crowd in the afternoon, but dealer reports were good.

5. Wednesday- Midweek at Manchester- Frank Gaglio's second show which features 112 great dealers. Although a few high end dealers were not there, the show remained a visual masterpiece. Also noticed a few exhibitor's offering a wider range of items, not so firmly entrenched in high end as the past. Those adjustments were much appreciated.

6. Wednesday- Start of Manchester. New venue- the show returned to where it was started, the JFK ice rink and added air conditioning. Only got a quick glimpse on the second afternoon of the show, but a good collection of professional dealers with nice presentation value.

7. Thursday- New Hampshire dealer's show- the one that started it all. From reports, good dealer sales and as always as beautiful show. Wished I could have spent more time, but going in late on Thursday seems the only way to really talk to dealers. Show seemed to exceed most expectations.

8. Friday- pack up the fam and off to Maine. Arrive late afternoon for the end of Union early buying. This show has the best food in the country- bar none. The seafood and ethnic offerings make this a food lovers/antique paradise. Got good/mixed response from dealers. Crowd strong, but as usual not buying quite enough to make everyone happy.

General Summary:

As a general observation, these shows seemed to fall in the pattern that we have been seeing lately- some optimism, sales slightly exceeding realistic expectations. Dealer sales are still below what I would call a 5 year average level and clearly not consistent enough. Running into a lot of extremes- dealers selling great next to someone struggling. Did see a lot of encouraging signs, more affordable items at the higher end shows and prices adjusted to tempt customers. Crowds appeared to be strong at most venues, with the NHADA show and Union both appearing strong. Still getting the sense customers are hesitant to pull the trigger. Overall- encouraged but we still have a long way to go. At the New Hampshire shows, I also noticed an almost complete lack of shoppers under 40- this problem only seems to be getting worse, and it's time to start to get to work on it.

Photos next

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Off to Manchester

Heading out this weekend for the Annual Pilgrimage to Manchester and Union, Maine. Will report back with photos and details?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Missing the point.

An article in the month's Maine Digest brings up a perceived conflict in the concurrent running of shows and auctions. Click here for the story

While I understand the historical friction between the two concepts, there are many examples where they peacefully coexist. (New York, Manchester). The upset dealers in the articles view the auctions as competition, and thus a bad idea. You're missing the point. The competition you should be fearing is the people outside the industry who are trying to make what you are selling irrelevant. Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Williams Sonoma Home are busy stealing customers every day. Stop complaining about people who are trying to make a living selling the same types of things you are, they are your allies whether or not you realize it. The competition isn't the booth next door or the auction house, but the shopping mall and the internet, where we have no cohesive industry presence.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From our friends Andrew & Hollie at the Young Collector's Blog and Maine Antiques Digest:

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Antiques
1. Save money. Really live better.
Antiques are often reasonably priced and can be found in any price range.
2. Buying local does not just apply to tomatoes and kohlrabi.
When you buy an antique, you are supporting a small, locally owned business.
3. George Washington did not sit in your La-Z-Boy.
Antiques are tangible pieces of history.
4. There is no such thing as a McBlanket Chest.
Antiques are unique and offer nearly endless variety.
5. 100% post-consumer content.
Antiques are the most environmentally responsible choice for home decorating.
6. There are enough ten-year-old futons on Craig’s List.
Antiques retain significant resale value.
7. No allen wrench required.
Antiques offer solid, quality construction, and durability.
8. Industrial cable spools and pilfered milk crates do not
constitute a living room suite.
Antiques are stylish, and can accommodate anyone’s decorating tastes.
9. Forty cents per hour was a fair wage in 1940, not 2010.
Antiques are socially responsible—none are made in sweatshops.
10. If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!
Antiques can be a source of ancestral or regional pride.
Courtesy of The Young Collectors at Maine Antique Digest.

Gearing up for New Hampshire and Fall Shows

It's the middle of the year here at Jenkins Management. Gearing up for the annual pilgrimage to New Hampshire and Maine in early August. Preparing for the second half of our show schedule which kicks off with our August Springfield show featuring a one day specialty show. The Farmington show follows Labor Day weekend and September Extravaganza. The first half of the year offered encouragement. Dealer and customer counts were up with a few weather based exceptions. Looking forward to some exciting news in the next few weeks regarding upcoming shows (Nashville anyone).
I sure hate keeping a secret, but good things come to those who wait.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Springfield Antique Fest next weekend!

Getting ready for next weekend's show. Our July Antique Fest is a three day format. Finally getting a break from the heat. Hope to see everyone there.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Farmington article in Antiques and the Arts

Click here for story and photos

Farmington Photos

Here are a few photos from Farmington. Had clever captions all written, but formatting issues have exhausted my efforts. Humor me and pretend they were very witty or submit your own.

When you're 2- antique shows can be a big turn-off.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Up on my Soapbox

As long time readers will remember, every once in a while I feel the need to get up on my Soapbox and let it fly. Today's target is our friend - the weatherman. As most of our shows are at least partially outdoors, my love/hate relationship with the weatherman is a complicated and twisted affair. My gripe today is the sensationalism with which they deliver the most benign forecast. Every weatherman at one point had dreams of a career as a sportscaster or even as the anchor. At some point in their career, someone took a long hard look and suggested that they simply didn't have the looks or chops to end up as the next Ron Burgundy. But work hard, go to weatherman school and perhaps you can craft a nice career attending block parties and interupting regularly scheduled programming to pass along a thunderstorm warning.

What these failed anchors soon learned was that the more dire they made the forecast, the more important they become. Forecast a thunderstorm, bumped up before sports, Tornado, Hurricane or Blizzard- you open the newscast and for that night- you are the anchor. Let's check back with Brick with his Annaconda 9000 Radar for an update.

Every weather forecast is full of outrageous adjectives- blazing, torrential, insipid and too many other word of the day calendar entries to mention. Please remember there are people who are trying to make a living outside. Any outdoor event can be scuttled by the mere mention of lightning. Please explain to your listeners that a 40% chance of rain means there is a 4 in 10 chance that it might rain where you are living on a given day for a certain duration, be it 4 minutes or 4hours. You are not telling them it is going to rain for 40% of the day. All I am asking for is the removal of crazy hysteria from the airwaves regarding the forecasting of weather.

I feel better already.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Better than I could do.

Once again the Antique Show Wanderer captures the essence of our shows better than I ever could. Click here to see the Farmington report.

We've won!

After laboring in relative anonimity in the blogosphere, we have finally received some recognition. While this recognition will not go to this blogger's head, which literally speaking is quite large, it is a tribute to our readers and followers.

My name is Stacie from “”. We wanted to let you know that we featured your blog in one of our recent articles on our own blog. (50 Best Blogs for the Avid Antiquer), is linked below and could be a fun way to share this announcement with your readers. Your Feedback on this article will be greatly appreciated.

Mired in the dog-days of late spring in Indiana, we are ready to kick off our annual Humidity and Mosquito Festival this weekend. More details on Farmington and the upcoming July Springfield to follow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Farmington this weekend.

A few photos today from Farmington set-up. Hope to see many of you there. Great show-great stuff.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Heartland Antique Show

Just got back from Jennifer Sabin's Heartland Show in Richmond, Indiana. This one day show boasts a lineup of national dealers. Absolutely great stuff! Three photos- Massage Sign from Thompson's Antiques of Illinois, booth photo from Michael Whittemore and the bat rack is now at home with this blogger.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend in Indianapolis always revolves around the race. Went and had a great time. Thanks to all those who served our country and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Farmington then a break-finally.

Farmington is coming soon (June 12 & 13). Looking forward to our Connecticut show as it means getting to spend some time in a really scenic part of the country. Busy booking vendors. After Farmingon, only one show until Mid August (July Springfield). Looking forward to some down time and gearing up for the busy fall schedule.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Photos and Videos from Springfield

New photos from Extravaganza on the Springfield website:

click here

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Graham Jenkins- Artist- Age 2

Title- Angry Red Lines over Yellow
Artist- Graham Jenkins
Medium- Sharpie over latex and drywall

I believe the young artist might be making a political commentary. Is this the red line (tea party movement) striking a blow against the perceived yellow menace of big government?? I was able to google a method to remove said marker before mommy got home, lessening the penalty for both of us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It was GREAT!!

Had a wonderful weekend at Springfield. Great weather, crowds and sales. Probably our best show in 5 years. Photos and more to follow. Exhausted. New website is finally up. Click Here to see the new Springfield site.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nashville Articles in Maine Digest

Articles on our February Nashville Shows for your enjoyment:

Music Valley


See you in Springfield this weekend. Weather forecast improving-looks like we will have good weather.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Birthin' websites is hard work.

Happy Mother's Day,

Hope all Mother's are enjoying a well deserved day of rest and appreciation. I will never experience childbirth from any other perspective than spectator(unless you believe those "Men Give Birth" headlines on the tabloids) but must pass along thanks to all of you who did. Job well done! I am currently in labor (bad pun) trying to deliver a new website for Springfield prior to next weekends Extravaganza. There are currently 4 people (me, developer in Las Vegas, programmer in Vietnam and another in Russia) trying to deliver this website on time. Working in 4 time zones also makes it fun. Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thoughts in Nashville

As most of you know, we have produced antiques shows in Nashville for over 25 years. The flooding and devestation have our thoughts with friends, dealers and customers who call Nashville home. Please keep them in your thoughts and we certainly hope for a speedy recovery and healing for one of our favorite places.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Good Sign

In the past 24 months, we all seem to have been looking for a sign that there is light at the end of the tunnel on the economic front. I know there have been some positive numbers reported in the press, but those numbers are all very abstract. Improvement in the economy is very personal. Unless you have a house for sale, or are a real estate agent, the fact that home sales are up may be nice, but doesn't directly affect your pocketbook. I am happy to report that it looks like our May Extravaganza might come in at around 200 more vendors than last May. Our website traffic is also up 43% over the same period last year. I hope both these things mean we might be turning the corner.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Antique Show Wanderer at it Again

Our friend Michael has posted some great photos and his usual unique perspective on the recent Botanical Garden show in Chicago.

Click Here for post

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Placing Ads, Booking Dealers

Okay folks- Springfield Extravaganza is a little more than two weeks away, and Farmington is just about 6 weeks out. Currently busy placing ads, booking and invoicing vendors, writing press releases, updating websites, perfecting my green salsa recipe, mowing grass and chasing a rambunctious 2 year old around. Getting closer to introducing the new and improved Springfield website, which will be followed by Farmington and both Nashville sites. For those of you who are on Facebook, join our fan group for Springfield, Farmington or Nashville. Hope those of you coming to Extravaganza have booked your hotel rooms by now. If not, you are probably looking at Dayton or Columbus at this point.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Take time to learn something.

Was reminded of something yesterday while clearing out spam from my email(not spam from the refrigerator). Stumbled upon a website for event producers and actually took some time to read a few articles on event management. Got some nice info and the articles also reminded me of a few things I needed to be reminded of. I guess the point is that in our busy lives, it probably is a good idea to occasionally take some time to learn new things. As adults, we seem to overlook this most of the time. Gearing up for Extravaganza- placing ads and getting things ready. Hope to see many of you there.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tractor Jam on the Farm

Here is a photo from the April Springfield Show. Thanks for those of you who joined us. Shame on those of you who missed a great show. The weather forecast was much worse than the actual weather. It was a little brisk, but a new technique called "layering" took care of that.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Country Living May 2010

Seems to be a good month for getting mentioned in the press. Country Living has us listed in their May issue as well. Their website also links back to a feature they did on Springfield a few years back. Click to enjoy:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Very cool banner link on the Gooseberry Patch blog promoting their appearance at the May Extravaganza. Also on their Facebook page as well. I haven't been blogging much as we are re-designing our websites. Look for a whole new batch of bells and whistles coming soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Martha Stewart Living May 2010

File under "You can't beat free press": page 42 of the May issue features our May Extraganza. Hope the increase in web traffic doesn't crash our server.

Gooseberry Patch Book Signing at May Extravaganza

Join us at the May 14-16 Springfield Extravaganza. Vickie and JoAnn from the Gooseberry Patch will be doing a book signing on Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

All over the place this weekend.

Lots of activity this weekend. Scotts in Atlanta, Ohio Country in Wilmington, Ohio and Bardstown, Kentucky. All in preparation for Springfield next weekend. Forecast looks great.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Round Top Report

Our friends at Antique Show Wanderer files this report. As always, unique perspective and great photos:


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Springfield Show features Spring

Our April Springfield show will feature "Antiques in Bloom", a specialty show in the Youth Building featuring 35 antique dealers. Visit for details. We will also feature the "Lawn and Garden Kickoff". Spring is approaching and your lawn and garden are waiting. Below is the list of exhibitors for Antiques In Bloom. Be sure to visit us April 17 & 18.

Judd and Karen Fults
Buggy Seat Antiques- Freda and Ed Rutter
Miller House Antiques- Ralph and Linda Miller
Ohio Country Furniture- Jeff Walton
Hancock House Antiques - Jill Tabor
Kelley Elliott Antiques
Gracie’s Antiques- Sue and Don Gipe
Linda Pastori Antiques
Pusecker Antiques
Gary Promey Antiques & Folk Art
Log Cabin Antiques- Ronnie and Darlina Dunlap
Dave Morton Antiques
Dick Anderson Antiques
Mike Christy Antiques
Keystone Antiques- Richard and Jan Wilkes
Mootispaugh Antiques
Marilyn Haley Antiques
Eastman Antiques
1830 Bowyer Clark House- Karen Shellabarger
Period Antiques- Tom and Rose Cheap
Jerry Beckley Antiques
Deborah Howard Antiques
Anita Windle Antiques
Pat Hershey Antiques
Bob and Danni Mencer Antiques
Alberta Ashbaugh Antiques
Schaaf Antiques
Vicki Huffman/ Mila Schlichter Antiques
Dan Freeburg Antiques
Lock 147 Antiques- Danny and Vicki Dennis
Mustard House Antiques- Debbie and John Schlichter

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thoughts turn to Texas, Taxes and Final Four

Many of my friends in the business are busy this week in Round Top Texas. I would love to be there as we usually go, but you flip the e and a in Texas, it spells taxes. I am stuck in front of a stack of excel spreadsheets instead of enjoying the great Spring Texas weather, the bluebonnets and some great food. Hopefully some friends will shoot photos and get back to me as to how the shows are going. Busy working on advertising and marketing for upcoming Springfield and Farmington shows.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's the weather.

Just got back from Springfield yesterday. It was an illustration of what good weather can do to an early spring show. Great crowd, great weather and our best March Springfield show in a few years. As much as we like to analyze marketing/advertising and sales, it simply comes down to the type of day that people want to get out and do something after a long winter. Let's hope the good weather keeps up this show season.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thoughts turning to Spring

As we have seen our first glimpes of warmer weather in the middle part of the country recently, it's time to come out of our winter cocoons and think about the upcoming outdoor show season. Come see us this weekend in Springfield.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why Antiques Part 3- they're personal

Why Antiques Part 3- They’re personal
In part three of our Why Antiques series, we are going to talk about the personal nature of antiques. In an increasingly impersonal world, the unique factor about antiques is that they are unique and personal. The decision to buy an antique is one of the few decisions that we can make as a true individual. That particular piece is either completely unique or in some cases unique compared to mass produced stuff. You have been drawn to an object and the decision to buy is yours. You have not been told to buy it by a multi-million dollar marketing campaign. The decision whether or not to buy it simply comes down to your personal decision. Would you like to buy it? Would it work in your home/life? Does it fit in your budget? If you don’t buy it, can you find another one? Do you want to add an object to your home/life that contains both style and value?

Unlike most of the other stuff we buy today, antiques are unique in the fact they come with built in memories. As I look at the antiques in my home, almost every object has the story of the acquisition built into my memory. The grain painted jelly cupboard bought at Springfield from a friend, the Moorcroft piece that was a gift when Graham was born and the fireplace screen bought at an auction are more than simply objects. They will always have those personal memories attached. I happen to think that in today’s world that is not such a bad thing. Maybe it is remembering who we bought them from or a funny story. I know that I don’t have any such attachment to that barrel from Crate and Barrel. Have you noticed their barrel selection is pretty lame?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

And the recovery progresses

About 10 days post Nashville and I've started to turn a corner. Actually got out a cookbook sent to me last week by dealer Jim Hirsheimer. His wife has published two cookbooks which were recently mentioned in either Esquire or GQ. The recipe was for a great hearty Ragu. Any recipe that contains three different meats is a winner in my book. Served with gnocchi and parmesan. Lunch was very good. Starting to plan for the outdoor season in Springfield and travel to Texas for Round Top week. Thanks for the vigorous feedback on Why Antiques-Part 2-Style. Working on Part 3 in my head now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Experimenting with blogger layouts-any suggestions.

Trying to give a fresh look to the blog with a new layout. Will be trying a few different today to see what looks best. Any fellow bloggers have any suggestions??

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why Antiques? Part 2-Style

In the first installment of the Why Antiques? series, we tried to build a coherent argument that our first reason to try to compel people was value. Today we tackle another component- Style. In our consumer culture, we all tend to fill our life with what I will categorize as “stuff”. I am clearly guilty of falling in this category, maybe owning 2 laptops, a desktop, a netbook and currently utilizing my 5th IPhone (2 upgrades, 2 dropped and another in the dog bowl) might be a sign. The stuff I am talking about is the disposable mass produced trinkets that we live with. The nic-nacs from the mall. the coffee cup we just can’t seem to part with or the reason we keep buying more storage devices for the closet, attic and basement. The utilization of antiques in our homes and lives gives us the opportunity to replace some of the stuff in our lives with style. Imagine a world without this conversation-”Gee Jane, I just got the same picture frame at Pottery Barn, how exciting we now have the same frame.” Replace it with “Jane- where did you get that picture frame, I love it.” Antiques and vintage allow people to explore and develop a passion for the things in their homes and lives. They also allow an opportunity to stand out in the world of sameness and stuff. “Jane always has such cool stuff in her home, maybe I should go shopping with her next time”.

Style is another underutilized marketing concept in selling antiques. We tend to try to market items based upon the object themselves, rather than how they might fit in someone’s home. The business tends to try to focus too much emphasis on the collector and tends to ignore explaining to the larger group of consumers who might like to add the style that living with antiques can bring into their lives. People who have the collecting gene are a significantly smaller group than people who have homes to fill.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Slowly recovering and gathering my wits

For many customers, an antique show ranges from a pleasant afternoon experience to an all consuming passion. Even the most passionate collector only spends a day or two at a show (with exceptions). For dealers and show managers, often times feels like giving birth. Not to offend those who have actually gone through the birthing process (including my wife), I do concede there might exageration involved in my previous statement. Needless to say both childbirth and antique show particpation and production do require recovery time. Part of this process involves stepping away for a little while before making observations. I always feel it takes the better part of two weeks to figure out what really happens. I will certainly be sharing a lot more information from all three Nashville shows soon. I also am thinking about part 2 of the series "Why Antiques?". The first post which focused on the topic of "value" got quite a bit of reaction. Michael has added a lot of new flickr photos of the show which can be accessed throught the slideshow on the right. This photo is titled "crowd control" and is not security screening, just a good old fashioned ticket line.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Check out the Flickr slideshow!

Some of you may have noticed the Flickr slideshow that I've added to the blog. It already has photos from last weeks show, and staff photographer Michael will be adding more in the next few days. It was truly a whirlwind week in Music City. On my end, the normal anxiety of event management was increased by the series of storms that were plaguing various parts of the country in the days prior and during set-up. Tales of mamouth snows and treacherous journeys were common. But low and behold, most dealers and customers were successful in there treks.

Our first photo

The booth of Mario Pollo at Music Valley featured a outstanding selection including this Odd Fellows ceremonial arch. Something you don't see every day. Stuck in Nashville one more day as it is snowing at home.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shortest post ever.

Nashville is over. Photos to come- I'm tired.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Usual Suspects.

Although the Antique Show business is a lot of fun, sometimes our vendors cross the line. In these instances, we have installed our own system to handle these violations. During set-up yesterday, these three vendors were charged with the
following violations:
1. Melby, John- intoxication via paint fumes.
2. Young, Monty- picking without a license.
3. Leggett, Kim- flaunting her wares.
All three have pleaded quilty and have been sentenced to do another show.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A show is born.

I've often said that the process of putting together a great booth is often like abdominal surgery. As the patient, you really don't want to see the process, you just want to hope everything comes out good in the end. Looking forward to a great show, the early pictures are encouraging.