Love is in the air in the month of February and it reminds me of how much we love and appreciate our customers who trust us to provide them with fine European antique furniture and home décor accents. Greg and I are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our EuroLux Antiques business this year. Time sure flies when you’re having the time of your life! However, we truly understand that we wouldn’t be celebrating this momentous occasion without the patronage and support of you – all of the many wonderful customers we’ve been lucky enough to meet over the past decade!
Ten years ago, in January 2004, we jumped out of the corporate world and decided to launch this crazy business venture. We were passionate about European antique furniture so we quit our jobs. Greg was Controller/MIS Director of a manufacturing plant and I was a Global Marketing Manager at another manufacturer.
We were willing to gamble our life’s savings on the idea that regular folks would love hand-selected, high-quality European antique furniture as much as we did, and would be willing to buy it online. My dad thought we were definitely nuts. But we felt down deep in our toes that if we didn’t try, we’d always wonder what might have been. And so we jumped off the cliff into the free fall of entrepreneurship.
It took us nearly six months to get all our ducks in a row. We had to incorporate, get insurance, find and renovate a space, get a marketing plan in place, and then we flew overseas to hunt out the best European antique furniture for our inventory.
Owning your own business isn’t glamorous, as any small business owner knows. Folks that don’t work for themselves think you can set your own hours and just take off whenever you want. I always say you do have the freedom to choose which 12 – 14 hours a day you work! But I didn’t have to put on stockings, high heels, and a suit every day, and I was thankful for that, although I didn’t realize how much heavy furniture lifting would be in my future.
We sold our house in order to raise capital for the business and moved in with my in-laws, which we thought would only be for six months or so. It turned out to be nearly three years. I am so grateful to John and Kathy for keeping a roof over our heads while we passionately pursued our dream. EuroLux Antiques would not have been possible without their emotional and financial investment. Right as we were launching the business, they were retiring, so we convinced them to come work with us too. This small family business venture has truly been a labor of love!
Our first container of the European antique furniture we’d bought arrived in July and we were so excited. That excitement soon turned to utter frustration as we learned that all of the pieces of furniture came apart in what seemed like about a million pieces. Luckily they were all numbered as to which piece of furniture they belonged to, so we made piles of pieces and then tried to put them together. We look back and laugh now, but we had no idea how to reconstruct some of those French armoires! It seemed that no two went together in the same way. Greg and I remember staying up until the wee hours of the night wrestling with that furniture. After ten years, we probably haven’t seen it all, but we sure don’t get stumped much anymore.
Before we went online with our European antique furniture store, we started doing the antique trade show circuit during the summer of 2004. The Metrolina antique and collectibles show in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Scott’s antique market in Atlanta, Georgia, were our first shows. I’ll share stories with you from our early shows next month.
But in the meantime, I just want to thank each and every one of you who has helped make this “American Dream” possible. We have worked so hard and put our hearts, souls, blood, and tears into building this business. But we have always known that we couldn’t do it without you. I always try to sign each email with “Thank you for your patronage – we appreciate you!” Those aren’t just words here at EuroLux Antiques – we mean it!
We are still passionate about European antique furniture, even though we’ve expanded into Asian antique furniture and high-quality reproductions and home décor accents too. And truly, madly, deeply – we love our customers!