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.