Sunday, November 14, 2010

The future of collecting (or NOT collecting)

You'll see in our upcoming column that we are not confident in the future of collecting. Well, there will always be collectors, and they will always be an integral and crucial part of the marketplace. And there will be large numbers of collectors again...someday, just not in the immediate future. So, where does that leave the next generation of the marketplace? We need to focus on the users, the decorators, the folks who might just buy one or two antiques, or who might even fill up their entire house, but not as collectors, but as folks who just want to decorate with antiques.

The new Magazine Antiques just landed in our mailbox and it was great to see editor-in-chief Elizabeth Pochoda agree. "I'm not sure that collecting per se is the right focus for the campaign," she says in her discussion of a new trade organization that is forming. She further suggests that going after collectors might not be the best use of our resources, but "it is...possible that numbers of people will simply consider furnishing their lives with something old if they see it in a new light."

That's our make the wider public see this stuff in a new light. Antiques are green, they are good value, they are timeless design, they are so many things. Let's move away from focusing on collecting them and refocus on simply living with them. That, folks, is the future of this marketplace.