Before I get into it, I wanted to share that The Lucketts Store Blog is currently running a gift card giveaway through Saturday. If you aren’t close enough to shop at Lucketts (in Leesburg, VA), you can enter to win a “prize package” that will include one of my ornaments in addition to more shippable goodies from other vendors.
My life as an antiques dealer has been an interesting one. It’s all happened very organically…and a little by accident. I started my business as a “mural and decorative painting” business. It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t passionate about murals. I have dreamed about and talked about being an antique dealer for years, but I always assumed that was something I would do after my kids were grown or after I got some kind of official degree or after I was in the right house or after whatever… I tripped and fell into it and the more I got into it, the more I enjoyed it.
Now, I am a dealer in THE premium antique store in Northern Virginia (Dare I say… The region? The US? The world?) Painted furniture is still a large part of my inventory, but I’m hunting for, cleaning, tagging, moving and arranging more and more antiques…and I’m becoming more savvy in the business. I’m still a little wet behind the ears (I’m called “kiddo” at Lucketts), but I’m starting to get more aggressive in my purchases and more confident in my gut instincts.
So, what does the life of an antique dealer look like? Well, it’s not glamorous, I’ll tell you that. My space always looks better than I do! I’m always dirty or covered in paint. I dig through junk stores and frequent shady places to buy things from “interesting” people. I drive all over the map to find new shops or auctions or thrift stores. I know exactly how much furniture will fit in the back of a Toyota Sienna. Things are always coming and going from my house. It’s physical and tiring work.
So, why do it all? I really love it. I love having a room that’s just about the looks. I can stage and play and rearrange to my heart’s content. I can walk into a shop and buy what I like, not worrying about where I’ll put it. It’s also a really fun community of style mavens, strange birds and savvy experts. It’s ever changing and doesn’t get mundane. It challenges me and pushes me creatively.
I’m definitely not a “collectibles” or “fine antiques” dealer. I buy things for their decorative value, not because they’re in pristine condition or have the right mark on them. I just buy what I like. What I would want to use in my house if I had 100 rooms to fill…and it all sells, so I guess I’m doing something right…