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A Community For People Who Buy, Sell or Collect Antiques, Collectibles and Art
My love of antiques started at a young age. I grew up in a home filled with them, and with a family who incorporated frequent trips to antique shows and markets into our routine. Now, at 26, I have entered the antique realm professionally and find it a great fit for me. Not everyone my age is interested in antiques, but I think they can work for everyone, especially the younger generations.
With high storefront overhead where I live in New York City, I started my own on-line antiques store where I sell furniture and accessories. I see the trend moving to Internet sales and that it is a platform many younger buyers are very familiar with. We have mastered the use of search engines and can pretty much find anything we’re looking for. Well, antiques are no different. I find it fascinating to connect with people all over the world. I have done shipping quotes to places such as England, Germany, and as far away as Brazil. I think it is the younger generation reaching out—we are comfortable buying on the Internet.
Many people I meet, who are around my age, are surprised when I tell them my profession. They find it unlikely. Maybe others haven’t been exposed to antiques as much as I have growing up, but they are warming up to them. Up and coming professionals, aka: my peers, are out on their own, renting or buying for the first time, and have a strong sense of independence. From my experience, they are looking to find their identity and often start with how they dress and how they decorate their homes. A lot of hip items in stores today are replicas of well-known designer’s antique pieces. People my age are being exposed to antiques and may learn that it would be even more special to have an “original” item and see the value in that.
Of course, younger people often may be on a limited budget. My advice for this is simple: start with accessories that can mix into what you have. Local antique and flea markets have great finds for any bargain hunter. Bigger furniture items are an investment. From my restoration work, I see the quality in the way older furniture was made. My projects have ranged from stripping a stool, refinishing and reupholstering an arm chair to a whole dining room set. I pick pieces I want to work with, and I visualize their transformation. I sell mostly American furniture that ranges in style from industrial to traditional to Art Deco. A lot of styles are sturdy, well-crafted and made to last. Even younger buyers should be able to appreciate this and pick items that have been tried and tested, and are still in style. There is something for everyone out there.
One thing that attracts me to antiques is the hunt. I bring a fresh perspective and a new vision to the forgotten treasures of yesterday. I have a lot of fun with this. I can picture how they’ll fit into today’s world and work to restore them to functionality. And some things don’t need any work, so I leave them alone. There is charm in the bumps and scrapes, and I want my peers to see this too and learn to appreciate things from the past. I see them as an important part of today’s design scene and want to encourage more young people to explore the diverse world of antiques.
Collections are another great way for people to start incorporating antiques into their lives. My parents have always had ongoing collections that change with time—entire cabinets in their home are dedicated to them. My own collections include Wonder Woman memorabilia and old cameras. I am always looking for something to catch my eye. A tip I share with new collectors is to pick something that makes them smile or evokes a pleasant memory and start from there.
Antiques are a special part of my heritage and I see them as having an important role in the future. My goal is to work directly with people, of any age, to show them how they can incorporate antiques into their style. I think there is a place in every space for antiques and more young people are gaining interest and discovering the wonder of antiques.
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