Tag Archives: Newberry South Carolina

Vintage Life: The Mystery Behind the Sign

EuroLux Home Antiques GalleryWe often tell you stories about the renovation of our 1920s vintage bungalow, but I’ve got a vintage story to tell you today about our buildings on Main Street, Newberry, SC.

In addition to the EuroLux Home gallery at 1409 Main Street (left) we also own 1407 Main Street. This is where Greg fixes computers and cell phones in his business, The Computer Doctor. (The EuroLux gallery is the drop off and pick up point for The Computer Doctor. We’re multi-talented here!)

That building has an upstairs loft which has never been renovated, nor used as anything other than non-air-conditioned storage space. When we purchased the building years ago, we planned to renovate, like our near-neighbors the Millers did in my post about Historic Newberry Main Street.

Loft2Here’s the loft. The photo is a bit dark because the windows are boarded up and all of the light bulbs were burnt out. I lugged a ladder up and changed them all but it remains pretty dark. It’s still is a very cool space and it has a neat story.

We intended to convert it into an upstairs loft apartment while expanding our business into the downstairs.
BUT! The best laid plans… We ended up finding our little vintage bungalow that we’re renovating and since it had a yard for the dogs, we decided that would be a better way to go than the loft. We still plan to renovate the loft in the future but for now let me just tell you the great old story about the building.

Back in the 1930s, Main Street in Newberry was a busy place. I shared some old-timey pictures in this Vintage Life blog post. It was the county seat, had the court house, and was the place to go shopping for all the folks that worked at the three cotton mills in town.

Nails marking 40 feetThere were actually two hardware stores in the same block on Main street, owned by two competing Lominack cousins. Those were Lominack’s Hardware (where EuroLux Home is currently located at 1409 Main Street) and Frank Lominack’s Hardware at 1403 Main Street.

You can still see the numbers on the floor in the EuroLux Home Gallery marking the number of feet for the hardware store’s measurements of rope and chain. (The photo at left shows the 40 feet marker.)

Old sign on EuroLuxHome buildingWe’ve also left the Lominack Hardware painted sign on the back of the building.

The story that I’ve heard said that the two cousins were always trying to one up each other in order to get more business by offering different products and services.

Frank Lominack’s Hardware decided to open a shooting range in the basement in order to corner the market and draw more folks into his hardware store. So the story goes, in November of 1934 a stray bullet hit the dynamite that was also stored in the basement and blew up the building!

You can see more about it in this old article in the Gastonia Daily Gazette.  There was $200,000 of damage. That’s a lot of money today but in 1934 it was a huge amount of money!

Loft of store with vintage signWe currently own 1405 Main Street and rent it out to our tenant, Expressions, a hair salon.

That previously 2 story building was occupied by a business called Livingston & Son General Merchandise at the time of the explosion. It was so damaged by the explosion that it had to be rebuilt, but the owner decided to only build it as a one-story building.

Our 1407 Main Street building was built after that business had opened, so the interior wall of 1407 Main Street actually shows the original painted advertisement that was on the exterior of the Livingston& Son building’s 2nd story.

That sure was a long explanation, but otherwise you wouldn’t understand how the advertising came to be on the inside wall of our building!

Today things aren’t quite as dramatic in our EuroLux gallery. Even all our cats and dogs play nicely together rather than competing with everyone within our fuzzy family. And I’m very relieved that Greg’s other business in the building is The Computer Doctor… NOT a shooting range!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: Building a Cat Porch

BowlOGreensWe didn’t intend to have eight fuzzy babies, it just worked out that way. We know we have a cat overpopulation situation, so as we worked on the renovation of our 1920s vintage bungalow, we made sure we created a special space for the cats too. This is how we ended up building a “cat paradise” screened porch for everyone to enjoy.

Here are four of the cats. I keep them supplied with a pot of cat grass so they can happily graze all day!

 

Before we built the cat porch

This shows our porch after we hung new exterior siding, but before we screened it in.
We thought it would really make the porch look nice to tile it…

Tiling the cat porch

…and of course we needed a great vintage screened door, which we found at the Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville, NC, where we also have a booth.

vintage door for cat porch

Then we added a very interesting oyster chandelier. We have oyster chandeliers for sale in case you like it as much as we do and are interested in buying one!

OysterChandelier in cat porch

There are two cat doors on either side of our front door leading out to the screened front porch so that everyone can come and go as they please – which they do all day and night. We constantly hear “flap, flap, flap” from the cats going in and out.

cats on the cat porchWe built steps up to corner platforms on each side of the porch and then more steps up to walkways along the top of the porch and over the screened door, so that there are plenty of spots for all six cats to enjoy the porch at the same time. We also built a fireman’s pole out of sisal rope so that they could climb up and down it like a tree and use it for a scratch post.

Sunset on the cat patioMinkey and Fozzy take their perches to enjoy the view at sunset.
Fozzy cat on the cat porchFozzy knows we can’t reach him up there.

Evening on the Cat PorchLenny, Fozzy and Minkey checking out the neighborhood after the sun has set. Everyone really enjoys “cat paradise” on the patio – even Greg and I like to kick back on the porch with a couple beers after a long day.

Have you “spoiled” your fuzzy babies with something built especially for them them? Tell us about it in the comments or show us with a photo on our Facebook page.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: April Showers bring May Flowers!

Greg and I love to putter in the garden – we find it so relaxing to be outside, digging in the dirt. I like to call it yard yoga. As soon as spring starts, we can’t resist working on the landscaping for our vintage 1920s bungalow, even though we still have so much to do inside! When the weather turns so hot we can’t stand to be outside, we’ll turn back to our inside projects. We’ve come a long way over the past few years.

Here are some photos from when we first cleaned up the front yard…

FrontYardCleanedUp

…then created beds, planted baby plants, and put down grass seed in the Spring of 2012.

Yard Spring2012

The following spring in May 2013, the roses were in bloom, the grass was starting to fill in…
Spring 2013 Front Yard…and the jasmine and climbing roses were taking over the trellis. spring 2013 rose trellis

Last spring, we worked in the back yard. We hadn’t done much since 2012 when we cleared it, put up a fence, and planted baby trees:

BackyardAfterCleanup2012

In the Spring of 2014, we tore down the old dilapidated shed
and built a pretty, new shed for garden tools:

building a new shed

This is the finished shed – it matches our vintage 1920s bungalow!
Shed to match vintage bungalowWe also built two raised garden boxes and planted peach trees and fig trees: Planted garden boxes

We’ve been busy this year planting more flowers in the front yard…
Spring2015 planting the front yard…and in the side yard:
SideYard planted Spring2015We added four planters on the steps – two of which belonged to Greg’s great grandmother – family heirlooms for blooms! We also added hanging baskets, bird feeders and a couple bird baths, and I built a rose bed around the mailbox out of vintage bricks.
MailboxRoseGardenSpring2015In the backyard, we built two more raised garden boxes.
Raised boxes EarlyGarden2015We have strawberries in one bed; corn, beans, peas, and cucumbers in another; watermelon, cantalope, and zucchini in a third, and tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers in the fourth.

Raised bed garden 2015

I think we’re going to have a bumper crop of tomatoes this year!
Raised garden vegetables
Do you love to garden? Tell us about it in the comments!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: We Love Penny Tiles!

Greg and I knew from the start of our 1920s bungalow renovation that we wanted to place penny tiles in the bathrooms to keep the vintage look of our home.

Penny Tiles in Half BathroomWe started with the smallest room first: the half bath located off the living room/dining room. We chose all white tiles with a dark grey grout to emphasize the shape of the tiles.

The beadboard trim was created with original beadboard from the ceilings and it is painted a bright white while the walls are a rosy lavender – I love it! I just can’t get a good photo because the room is so small, but I’ve added a beautiful Italian vintage Capodimonte chandelier complete with pink drop roses.

Next came the upstairs guest bathroom and small side closest, where we also chose all white penny tiles.

Penny tile vintage look

I’m concentrating hard, here! This was our first experience with penny tiles and we have to say that they are a little more difficult to lay than large tiles. Penny tiles come on square sheets, but the sheets stretch, which makes it a bit difficult to get the spacing exactly even.

FInished upstairs bathroom penny tiles

Our floors aren’t perfect, but I think they show vintage charm! This is the finished upstairs bathroom. We carried the beadboard trim motif upstairs too but we had to use new beadboard sheets as we had run out of the original old beadboard. The trim is painted a bright white while the walls are a pretty green tea. It isn’t installed yet, but this is where my restored pink claw foot tub will go! What do you think?

restored pink bath tubFor the master bath, we chose marble penny tiles featuring varying shades of grey and white with hints of blue and yellow. We set it off with a dark grey grout.

MasterBath with penny tiles

We used the last of the original beadboard, painted bright white, in the alcove where my restored yellow claw foot tub will go.

yellow bath tub for vintage bungalow

We also added a bling-y vintage Rococo chandelier with sparkling crystals. Ta-da!

Master Bath with crystal vintage Rococo chandelier

Although it is not installed yet as we haven’t finished tiling the large walk-in shower and the adjoining wall, we have converted an antique Louis XV sideboard into a double vanity by removing the top and replacing it with Alabama white marble with grey veining to complement the tile floor.

Converted vanity antique French Louis 15

We’re considering placing a pair of the new Ambella Home Star Mirrors over the vanity. Here’s a photo of the mirror – let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Ambella Home Mirror Star

If you just can’t get enough tales from the tile side, our last Vintage Life: Time To Tile! blog post talked about our adventures with the pretty Mexican tile in the kitchen, sun room and utility room. Grout on!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: Time to Tile!

Greg's FancyTileSawIn the continuing story of our 1920s vintage bungalow renovation project, now that the walls were up and painted, we needed floors! Greg and I have completed several tiling projects together so we knew we could tackle this project too. Besides, Greg really likes to use his fancy tile saw.

We started with the largest area first – the kitchen, sun room and utility room – which would all have a pretty Mexican tile that complements the warm Creamsicle color on the walls.

Kitchen and Sunroom before the tilesThis is the kitchen and sun room before the tiles are down. AimeeTileFirst we lay out all of the tiles and I mark where the cuts need to be made,
while Greg cuts the tiles.

Greg applying mastic for tilesGreg then puts down the mastic in sections….

Greg laying tiles…and spreads it evenly.
Yep, we’ve got to be extra careful to keep all our cats and dogs out of the room at this point!

Tiles with spacersFinally, I lay the re-lay tiles on the mastic, press down firmly and get them aligned with spacers. It isn’t difficult work but it does take time to get it right. We spend so much of our time in front of the computer on a daily basis that it is actually fun to work on a project with your hands that requires your total concentration.

Grouting the floor tileIt took three full days to put down all the tiles in the kitchen, sunroom, and utility room, which we did over a long holiday weekend. The next step is to fill all the spaces between the tiles with grout, which makes a great big mess. I actually think cleaning up the grout at the end is the worst part of tiling!

FinishedSunroom

But it’s all worth it in the end. Above is the finished sunroom floor.
And below is the “before” photo of the utility room…

Utility room before floor tileAnd now here’s the “after”…

Utility room with tiling floor finished

Quite a difference, huh? After the tile was finished in the kitchen, sunroom and utility room, we hung two vintage chandeliers

Vintage chandeliers and new tile

One has a brass finish and the other is a Flemish chandelier with a copper finish – to give an interesting mixed metals effect. I recently wrote a blog post about the trend for mixed metals in home decor so it seem we are all the rage!

Next up is tiling in the master bathroom, guest baths and the front porch. I’ll tell you about that next month. If you love vintage penny tiles then stay tuned…

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: Bungalow Renovation HVAC, Insulation & Drywall

As we are about to move into our 1920s vintage bungalow, I’ve been updating blog readers about the renovations we’ve done since we first saw the house for sale in historic Newberry, SC, in 2011. It was in desperate need of love, as you can see from my two recent posts about the first stages of the vintage bungalow renovation and the second stages of the vintage bungalow renovation.

This is how it looked in summer 2012, soon after we’d done all the landscaping and also added beautiful new siding.

vintage bungalow summer2012

Looks pretty, doesn’t it? But the inside was a whole other picture! Then we took about a year off from working on our little bungalow. Life got busy and home renovation funds ran low. Also, Greg’s carpal and cubital tunnel syndrome in both hands reached the point where he couldn’t hold tools without his hands going numb, which obviously put a damper on progress. Three surgeries and a re-financing later, by January 2014 we could get back on track with the bungalow!HVAC

The first order of business was HVAC. We had ripped out all of the old ductwork, so we ran new ductwork throughout the house and up to the new upstairs space that used to be the attic.AC-Unit for vintage renovation

Luckily the existing AC unit looked to be in good condition, so it just needed to be serviced.

insulation

When we originally pulled down the walls, we were surprised to find that the house did not have any insulation whatsoever. We debated doing foam insulation, but in the end we found a great deal on Craig’s List for enough roll insulation to do the whole house.

radiant barrier in vintage bungalow renovatoin

We did add a foil radiant barrier and foam board behind the insulation for a little extra warmth.

insulationupreadyfor-drywal

Here’s the insulation up, and ready for the drywall. Soon it WILL look wonderful!

Install drywall 2Greg is amazingly accurate with materials calculation. He figured we needed 202 eight-foot sheets of drywall, but all of the contractors who came to quote the drywall job thought it was way too much.

installing drywall7

We hired a company to hang and mud the drywall for us in order to speed up the renovation. With the walls going up, we finally felt we were making progress toward finishing this project. In the end, Greg totally nailed it with his calculations.  It took exactly 202 sheets of drywall to put walls up in the entire house!

upstairswithwalls2

This is the upstairs with the walls in place. Next up is painting inside and out and a new roof!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: EuroLux in the News & Talking Business

EuroLux Antiques Newberry South CarolinaWe were delighted when The State newspaper in Columbia said we are one of the reasons to visit Newberry! The article Five reasons to spend a summer Friday evening in Newberry suggested trolling for antiques in the number one spot. The journalist said: “Head to EuroLux for fine European and Asian furnishings.” Yay! Of course, if you can’t come and see us in person, you can still visit our EuroLuxAntiques.com online gallery.

Greg and I have also been doing the speaking circuit. We were recently invited to speak at the South Carolina Municipal Association Annual Meeting of all of the mayors in South Carolina. Our session was called Clicks Supporting Bricks. It was about how even small family-run stores and mom-and-pop merchants like us can harness the power of the Internet to run their businesses.

EuroLux Antiques online sales

Greg and Aimee (front left and center) talk about Clicks Supporting Bricks

You can read some of what we said in this article about Clicks Supporting Bricks. We talked about how EuroLux Antiques switched to e-commerce soon after opening our bricks and mortar store 10 years ago, even though fine antiques are one of the hardest things to sell online. As the article says about us: “At one point, they had 2,000 items for sale, and one piece might have 70 accompanying photos to highlight its details and intricate handiwork.”

Now 95% of our sales are via the Internet because we worked hard to build an excellent reputation as a trusted seller of high-quality European antiques. We pride ourselves on our customer service. (If you are nervous about shopping for antiques on the web, read my tips on How to Buy Antique Furniture Online.)

Aimee and Greg (center) talk at USC Moore School of Business

We also spoke to students in the Professional MBA program at the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business about entrepreneurship and what it’s like to own your own business. Dr. Richard Robinson has followed our story for the past 10 years since I wrote the original business plan for EuroLux in his Entrepreneurship class while I was working on my MBA at USC. We have spoken to his students several times throughout the years and I always enjoy encouraging folks to go out and chase their dreams.

Greg and I were at the University’s Columbia site, speaking to groups simultaneously and interactively in the Charlotte, Greenville and Charleston campuses. Some students who were on the road with their jobs in various spots around the country also tuned in live.

While it was very interesting to use the technology to reach so many folks in different locations, I definitely have to say it was a bit unnerving speaking via technology rather than being directly in front of an audience. I didn’t realize how much I depend on the non-verbal cues from an audience to feel comfortable while speaking.

I guess that even though our EuroLux business depends on web technology and Greg and I  are very familiar with that, even we still have to get used to other forms of new technology!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Historic Newberry Main Street in the News

We were delighted to see this TV news story about some friends of ours who just renovated a loft near our gallery on Main Street, Newberry, SC. Barbara and Franklin Miller are a very entrepreneurial couple. They also opened a “pop-up” retail space which featured local artists’ works including Franklin’s beautiful paintings. That “pop-up” venture is finished now but it’s another great example of the type of innovation happening here on Main Street!

EuroLux Antiques Gallery Newberry Main StreetIn my last blog post celebrating the 10 year anniversary of EuroLux Antiques, I explained how we’d moved to Main Street in Historic Downtown Newberry about a year and a half after we started the business.

I have always been a big supporter of the City of Newberry and we’ve been very happy with our move to Main Street. The City of Newberry is very progressive and super-supportive of local merchants. I’ve served on marketing committees where the City has openly solicited feedback from merchants and engaged in a dialogue in order to listen to our ideas.

Newberry OktoberfestThe City has also provided free Wi-Fi for the convenience of shoppers downtown, and it organizes quite a few festivals throughout the year. I’ve written before about how much Greg and I enjoy Newberry Oktoberfest. It’s just one of the events that draw people to our area. Visitors soon learn why we’re known as the City of Friendly Folks!

The City’s new initiative to provide a 90% grant for local business and property owners to fix up their buildings is fantastic in my opinion. I believe more than 20 businesses have participated. Their plans have ranged from fresh coats of paint for peeling buildings to beautiful, colorful awnings that brighten up the street.

EuroLux Antiques on Newberry Main Street

Flower boxes outside EuroLux Antiques and The Computer Doctor

The City recently planted trees up and down Main Street and even started a flower box program, where large planters were placed outside of businesses up and down Main Street and filled with seasonal flowers. All we have to do is promise to water them. I’d say that is a great deal!

The City also prints a Shopping and Dining Guide featuring all the downtown merchants, and does extensive radio, television, print and billboard advertising to draw folks from surrounding areas to Downtown. Historic Newberry is simply a wonderful place to do business and a great place to call home!

Our EuroLux Antiques gallery on Main Street doesn’t have an upstairs that we can convert into a loft like the Millers did. However, we also own 1407 Main Street, next door to EuroLux Antiques, where Greg fixes computers and cell phones in his business The Computer Doctor. That building does have an upstairs loft. When we bought the building years ago we planned to renovate, like the Millers did, and convert it into an upstairs loft apartment.

Our Newberry antiques gallery

Squiggy in the window, welcoming people to the gallery!

We ended up finding our little 1920s bungalow that we’re renovating. Since it had a yard for the dogs, we decided it was a better place to live than the loft. We do plan to renovate the loft in the future though as it is a very cool space. There is a neat historic story behind our Newberry Main Street building – I’ll tell you about that another time!

If you plan to visit us in Newberry, SC, you’ll find lots of good information at the City of Newberry’s website, including all the local shops and restaurants, and the places to go antiquing. Come by and say hi!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: The First 10 Years of EuroLux Antiques

It’s been fun to look back over the past ten years of EuroLux Antiques as we celebrate our 10th anniversary and remember how far we’ve come. So much has changed – even our name and our location!

EuroLux Antiques original logoWe actually started our business as EuroLux Imports – meant to convey that we were importing hand-selected, high-quality luxury goods from Europe. Our logo was a rampant lion with our name in script lettering. The lettering was so fancy you could hardly read it.

We soon found out that most folks understood First EuroLux Antiques Building-June-2005the word “imports” as synonymous with “reproductions.”  We had a serious credibility problem with folks not believing that our pieces were true antiques. Inside of first EuroLux Antiques buildingSo we changed our name to EuroLux Antiques and that seemed to solve the problem. (Now we’re actually considering changing our name to EuroLux Home, to reflect the fact that we have started to sell much more than just antiques!)

We also originally opened our business outside of Newberry on CR Koon Highway in a large metal pole building. Here is a glimpse of the outside and the inside of our original building.

SignInstallation (9)
I still remember the day our sign went up, I was so excited! It finally felt real – we really had our own business!

After a year and a half, we decided to move to Historic Downtown Newberry and we purchased our current gallery, a two story building at 1409 Main Street. All of the other antiques shops in Newberry were concentrated on Main Street, so we increased our walk-in traffic. And Downtown Newberry is so cool, we love being part of the neighborhood!

EuroLux Antiques Newberry Main Street stores

 

Also, the new gallery was much more convenient for receiving containers of European antiques. In our old space, we had to move everything to the walls so that we could unload directly into the middle of the room. Then the shop was a disaster for a week or more while we sorted everything out. Now we just unload directly into the basement level so that we don’t mess up the gallery!

We also enjoyed moving to Downtown Newberry as we joined a thriving community of other small business owners.

I was honored to serve as President of the Downtown Merchants Association for three years and Greg served as Treasurer too.

There is quite a bit happening in Downtown Newberry these days, but I’ll tell you about that another time. For now, we’re just happy to look back over our first ten years and share our journey with you. Thanks to all our customers who bought antiques from us, and who made it all such fun!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Our Customers and 10 Years of European Antique Furniture

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!

Newspaper article just after we launched our European antique furniture business

Article in our hometown newspaper The Newberry Observer just after we launched.

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.

Our first European antique furniture buying trip

Aimee at a market on our first European buying trip.

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!

European antique furniture - armoire

One of the first armoires that nearly made us pull our hair out in frustration trying to figure out how to build it!

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.

At the launch of our European antique furniture business

This photo of us appeared in that first Newberry Observer article

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!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.