We have noticed that many people who visit our showroom are interested in the process of sourcing items, and given that our latest container is due for arrival any day now, what better time to shed some light.
Firstly, there is a delicate balance between having too much and not enough stock as an antique dealer, and this usually determines when its time to do a trip overseas. We travel to Europe, mostly to France and Italy, to do our buying once or twice a year and these trips are timed to coincide with various trade fairs, markets and supplier warehouses that we visit. Generally we do go to the same places to revisit the trusted contacts we have.
The antique and vintage industry overseas is much larger than here. It’s a given that everyone in Europe will have an item that has been passed down through family in their home. This results in plenty of stock for us to buy. We would honestly struggle to supply our showroom if we relied on buying in Australia.
As we buy our pieces we alert our transporters, who collect our purchases on our behalf and take them to a central depot. When our trip has completed those items are collated, packed into a container and shipped. This whole process takes a couple of months.
It does sounds very glamorous, yet there is a lot of driving from country to country, early mornings, extreme weather and language barriers. Sorting through a lot of potential stock using imagination and vision in an attempt to see the merit in many pieces that are piled up, dirty and in need of restoration, is a great skill. However the reward when a piece is home and presented properly and then finds its way into a persons home who has a similar passion for all things beautiful is immeasurable.