February was spent mostly on the road, it seems. Eight days in Virginia and vicinity with pickups visits and, of course, Antiques Forum at Williamsburg. Then home for 3 days and a trip to Nashville for Heart of Country. We hosted a VIP evening and led some tours of the show. It was a good time, though we need to work to get young folks there next year.
Nashville isn't what it use to be. The three shows (Heart, Tailgate, and Music Valley) are now separated by a week (or more) and several miles. We couldn't get to the Jenkins shows, unfortunately, since they conflicted with Williamsburg, but word is that the shows were strong with good selling. Heart is a much smaller show these days, but with more geographic diversity than before (dealers and stuff from farther west, which is great), but it was still a good show. We saw lots of red stickers, even on some higher-priced items. We continue to be buoyed by shows and auctions...the market seems to be back on an upswing.
That being said, I (Andrew) am really starting to think that this market, if it really wants to become attractive to younger folks, needs to really shake things up. As an industry, we've been on cruise control for some time. We continue to provide the obligatory young collector events and we continue to pay lip service to being green and affordable, but I have yet to see anyone really embrace some of these youth-friendly concepts and really put them out there (and I don't mean just in the trade, but in the non-antiques world.
Anyone out there seeing an antiques business doing things differently?