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Saturday, January 29, 2011

When you find the best word- use it.

There is a hubbub in the Antiques business over the uses of the words antique and vintage. What is antique, what is vintage and why does the word vintage scare the be-jeeeesus out of people who love the word antique. (Full disclosure)- I grew up with the word antique and in fact, we were childhood friends. Like many childhood friends, you are friends simply because of the fact you grew up together. Being drug to nearly every show, shop and auction imaginable made me comfortable with my friend. But now, 30 plus years later, the friend I have had all these years has changed. My friend hasn't kept up on style, trends, marketing and now seems to be kind of a drag. Other people in my age group have become friends with words like vintage, design, art, repurpose & recycle. Although I'm familiar with those words, they make my friend antique feel scared. I need to have a talk with my old friend and tell him that those new words shouldn't threaten him. He should get to know these new words and make friends with them. Those words might help him connect with a whole new generation of actual real young people friends. One of the definitions of the word vintage is-a period of origin or manufacture. Everything produced is therefore of a "vintage".

In business we strive to frame ourselves in the best possible light. If my old friend antique is keeping potential customers away, then we need to find a better word. Not exactly sure what the word is, jusk asking for the license to use it when needed. Antique- I'm not leaving you, but just want to add some new friends.


  1. I use the vintage and I love to re-use, upcycle, and recycle the antique's. One can share the love of them when done themselves.

    Good Post Jon!
    Smiles, Cyndi

    PS: I would love the free tickets to the Nashville show as I have never been there. I did enjoy the Texas Spring week a couple of years ago in Round Top, TX! Awesome show!

  2. There are wonderful dealers who sell only "pure" antiques that should be preserved in their original state. However, most younger people can neither afford nor do they want the types of things that are sold only to be admired. I think those are the things that the younger generation thinks of when they hear the word "antique".

    To sell "vintage" items that people can upcycle, recycle, or re-purpose into something that they can use daily fills a legitimate demand in the marketplace.

    If you are running a business and not a museum, you need to supply what the buyers want or you will soon become irrelevant.

    (Ever been to an antique show where the only shoppers are old enough to be AARP members???)