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Ask any antiques connoisseur in the Greater Houston area about Claudia Camp and you’re bound to get the same response. “She’s got great taste”, “She’s got a great eye”, “She really knows her antiques”. (They might also mention that her smile is like a beam of sunshine!)
We couldn’t agree more. Claudia’s seasoned point of view – more than 25 years of experience – captured our attention almost immediately after we touched down in Houston earlier this year. We invited her (read: begged her) to join Trove Market and, thankfully, she accepted! Here's a link to Claudia's Storefront so you can see for yourself all the cool things she's selling.
Here's what Claudia had to say to our Editorial Director, Kelly LaPlante.
KLP: How did you get started in this business?
CC: After my daughter Tiffany turned one, I felt like I could handle just a little bit “more action”, imagine that, so I opened a children’s resale shop. Tiffany and I would go to garage sales and find treasures that stay-at-home moms could afford for their babies, too. In an effort to always think ahead, I would buy a piece of furniture here and there, maybe a dresser or chest that would work in with the children’s resale shop. After a little success, the owner of the big antiques mall down the street asked me to join in as a dealer. Not knowing anything about antiques, I was definitely intimidated, but Veronica (the mall owner) said that she would guide me through my transition. She was my mentor and I will forever be grateful for her vision.
KLP: Did you have a different career before you caught the antiques bug?
CC: I worked retail sales at Sakowitz Clothing and other retail stores. After that, I spent the rest of my career in the banking business, where I gained my knowledge in the lending end of banking and worked in the real estate department (when interest rates were at 21%!).
KLP: Besides your own shop, of course, what is your favorite place in the neighborhood?
CC: My favorite place near my shop on Westheimer is the hide away little place that we all know and love as (the original) Berryhill Restaurant. I go every Monday for their half price fish tacos—I love those!!!
KLP: What’s the best thing about your job?
CC: My passion is my antiques business and the fellowship I have come to know through the years with all the wonderful and knowledgeable dealers that have befriended me and taught me along the way. After 25 plus years I still love what I do and the people that I meet.
KLP What’s the most unusual thing you’ve come across while searching for antiques?
CC: I was digging through this shed and a raccoon jumped out and scared me! I told it “shoo, shoo! I need to get to this painted cupboard!” And, of course, he’s just kind of sitting there, looking at me, like he’s interested too!
KLP: Well, of course he was!