As we mentioned in our 10 Years of European Antique Furniture blog post last month, Greg and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary at EuroLux Antiques this year. It is hard to believe so many years have flown by! We’ve had so much fun over the years, and we can’t help but look back and laugh at some of our mistakes too. We thought you might enjoy chuckling at some of our follies along the way.
After we launched EuroLux Antiques and brought in our first container of amazing antique and vintage furniture from France and Belgium, we started out selling at antique shows. In the summer of 2004, our very first antique show was the Scott Antique Market in Atlanta, Georgia. What a bunch of green beans we were!
We arrived in the wee hours of the morning at our designated spot with our rented U-Haul truck slam full. Remember how I mentioned in the last post that we had to rebuild all of the antique furniture out of about a million pieces after our container arrived from Europe, and that we really weren’t very good at it yet? Well, we had the brilliant idea that if we took all the pieces apart again, we could pack more on the truck. But we didn’t realize that most of the potential buyers would be standing there while we unloaded the truck!
We discovered that frenzied interior designers who are running from one truck to the next don’t come back to see you hours later, after you’ve figured out how to put everything together again. There we were with our piles of pieces, watching as the other dealers around us sold armoire after armoire. I swear they were rolling their eyes at our mess. One of our armoires stayed in bits through the whole weekend of the antique show because we couldn’t figure out how to put it back together!
I will say the booth looked great though. John had designed the space ahead of time to show where each piece would go. I spent hours putting out box after box of decorative items, known as “smalls” in antique lingo. John, Kathy, Greg and I all had matching shirts with EuroLux Antiques embroidered logos too.
While we did sell a piece or two that weekend, it wasn’t the blow-out for which we had hoped. This meant that the only way everything was going to fit back in our U-Haul truck was to take it all apart again. Of course, we had taken our time over the week before the show to strategically pack the truck one piece at a time. We hadn’t considered that we’d only have a couple hours to load all of it back on the truck and clear out of the building at the end of the antique show.
All of the other dealers, shaking their heads at our “newbie” mistakes, were long gone by the time we finally got it all loaded again. The poor security guard had to wait until after midnight for us to get our mess together and finally get out of the building.
So although our first antique show wasn’t a smashing success, at least we had done it! We picked ourselves up and learned from our mistakes. Our next show, a month later, was the International Collectibles and Antiques Show at the Metrolina Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina. We had a great show and sold a bunch of furniture. We were on our way and so excited about it.
And then came the Atlantique show in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but that is a story for another blog post! Do you like to go to antique shows in your neck of the woods? Tell us about your favorite antique show in the comments below!