Heather+karlie+vieira75x80

20th Century by HKFA - To the Trade

Heather Karlie Vieira

20th Century by HKFA

Heather Karlie Vieira is a dealer in decorative furniture and furnishings with a showroom on the South Shore of Boston.

Fun stories about flea market finds, antique shop treasures and yard sale exclusives! Oh, and then there's the research!

Time for a Change and Changing for the Times

  • A Regency style table and chairs set with a Mid Century style

    A Regency style table and chairs set with a Mid Century style

    Heather Karlie Fine Art and Antiques

  • The 'Alex' coffee table in reclaimed Jacaranda by Mid Century designer Sergio Rodrigues, circa 1960's

    The 'Alex' coffee table in reclaimed Jacaranda by Mid Century designer Sergio Rodrigues, circa 1960's

    Heather Karlie Fine Art and Antiques

  • Hommage to Isadora Duncan, an oil painting in the classical style by Maxwell Simpson, Circa 1933

    Hommage to Isadora Duncan, an oil painting in the classical style by Maxwell Simpson, Circa 1933

    Heather Karlie Fine Art and Antiques

It had to be done.  Re-invention is the stuff that keeps us young.  In the moment.  Fresh.  And in doing this, just how do we keep our feet on the ground?  How do we build on our foundation?  How do we grow?  We hold steadfast to our traditions while always looking to the future.  This is the new 20th Century Tradition.  

 

Many of my colleagues have agonized over our business and the direction in which they perceive it to be heading.  Where is the antiques buyer of today and tomorrow?  These dealers simply cannot understand how today's client is not interested in antiques.  I'll tell you how.  Today's client thinks of antiques as old and dusty.  Things their grand mothers collected.  Things that were in the house and could never be touched.  With every visit to grand mom's house an exercise in walking on eggshells, who could be happy thinking of buying such things?  Well, for me it is all in the presentation.  Antiques are old.  20th Century is now.  Seems like it's time to re-package our business.

 

And the chain store retailers have done just this.  They have taken the best design of the 20th and 19th Centuries and turned it into mass produced furniture lines.  Have you heard the old saying that there is nothing new under the sun?  Sure you have.  And I'm also sure that you've seen that in our business.  You look around at the chain retail stores selling mass produced lounges, consoles and the like.  You shop at the big box retailers and see furnishings, carpets and lighting for $19.99.  You wonder how to compete.  Quality.  Originality.  Knowledge.  Today's client is just that, a client.  Someone to be taken by the hand and educated in our fine business.  The twenty, thirty and forty somethings of today have a disposable income to furnish their homes and apartments, but they need some direction.  In our fast paced internet world we are bombarded on a daily basis by coupons, web only offers and every type of social media you can think of.  Where in all of this can an antiques dealer fit in?  Right in the thick of it.  

 

Use these tools to your advantage.  Put your inventory on line.  Build an email list.  Build accounts, followings and subscribers on the social networking media.  This is how we can re-invent our business while maintaining our same inventory.  Show your soon to be clients how your amazing 19th Century sideboard has great Modernist lines.  Allow your clients the opportunity to become collectors.  Quality is always in style, it's up to us to show our clients how our inventory is in style.  

 

I like to think that I am one of the lucky ones to do what I love.  To surround myself with beauty and to make a living at it.  To have a hand in bringing tradition into today's society.  This is the stuff that dreams are made of.  And sure there have been ups downs, slow months where sales have been off.  But that is the nature of the business.  These ups and downs can be seen as a constant motivation to analyze our business.  What is selling and why.  What isn't selling and why.  Maybe you'll find the answers, probably not.  More likely you'll refine your taste and your clients will notice.  You will grow and in turn they will too.

More posts from 20th Century by HKFA - To the Trade

The Poltrona Leve by Joaquim Tenreiro
  • July 20, 2011

When people speak of Cidade Maravilhosa, Rio de Janeiro, they are generally speaking of the lush tropical natural beauty that is rivaled only by its inhabitants.  They generally are ...

Read More

Saint Michael painting, Circa 1550, Italian
  • July 27, 2011

Have you ever been absolutely compelled to buy something?  To where the piece spoke to you?  Drew you in.  Took hold of you and wouldn't let go.  Well, it happened to me.  This is a story ...

Read More

A painting by Anatoly Belkin, Circa 1991, 36" x 36"
  • August 3, 2011

I always seem to be getting myself into situations that need an incredible amount of translation.  Whether it's hopping on a plane to shop for antiques in Brazil (no, I didn't speak much ...

Read More

The Woman and the Soldier
  • August 10, 2011

Have I mentioned that I am quite good at buying unsigned paintings?  Yes?  Oh, wonderful then you know already.  For those of you who are new to my blog, here's a little backstory: I am ...

Read More

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire