Sunday, February 28, 2010

A brief break from travel

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?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Back from Williamsburg...

Antiques Forum at Williamsburg is always a much-needed week in the midst of winter. Granted, this year, there was almost as much snow in Williamsburg as there is here in Ohio, but still...

Great lectures, including Janine Skerry talking about stoneware, Barbara Luck talking about folk portraiture, and a wonderful talk about the mahogany trade in the 18th century. It's always a great chance to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. And maybe Williamsburg is a bit "Disney" but we still love it. No better way to finish a day than enjoying a good meal in a tavern while listening to a Scottish fiddler!

Next week...Heart of Country in Nashville. We'll be hosting a reception prior to the preview party on Thursday night. If you're there, look us up!