Monday, November 24, 2014

Preparing to haul furniture

Winter is fast approaching us in the South. I am already day dreaming of summer to be here again. I am preparing to haul furniture and accessories to Sweeten Creeks Antiques in Asheville, NC in the next few weeks and I hope and pray the weather will be nice. I have talked to many dealers that travel to Asheville and they all reassure me that I should have a great business there with my fair prices on unique custom painted furniture.  By the way, I base my prices on how much I have to pay for it and not the actual value of it.  I spend a lot of my time searching for good deals on quality pieces. I have, however, paid more for some pieces only because they are a rare find and I will probably never find another one like it.  I always gravitate to the unusual style of an old piece, ornate moldings and don’t forget the legs…. I love legs with rusty old castors. In the early 1900’s people did not have air conditioning so furniture had to withstand the heat. Can you imagine 98 degrees with no air conditioning and you have to cook too?!!!  These antique pieces have withstood many years of weather, a house full of children and everyday use and they are still in great shape.  It amazes and excites me to find a wonderful piece of our history that has traveled across the country and made its home in the South.  Here’s a great example in the photo's above……I found this mid-century modern chest which is a very popular sleek style and a designer told me to price it at $350.00.  It is solid as the day it was built, the drawers open and close like butter and it has the original pulls. It is painted in a pale blue chalk paint, lightly distressed and heavy waxed.....And best of all,  I am selling it for only $185.00.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Its up to YOU!!

I don’t crank out as many custom painted pieces of furniture as I should and some pieces sit in my garages for months until I have a vision of what I would like them to look like finished. That is probably not a good business practice but sometimes it’s not all about the money……it’s about your reputation as a designer.  I want my customers to be excited about buying a custom piece from me and know that it will look beautiful for years to come. All antique furniture has flaws….some more than others, so I take the time to make minor repairs, drill holes for new updated hardware, replace damaged castors, etc. so these pieces will last with everyday use for another 100 years.  I use the best chalk and milk paint I can find along with the waxes and glazes.  Trying to save money in products really shows in the finished piece.  I tried that years ago and it makes a huge difference in the durability of everyday use.  Does it affect your selling price???  Of course it does. I will pay more for a well-built piece and drop my profit margins, than to buy a piece of crap and cover it up with paint.  Don’t forget that old saying, “You get what you pay for”.  Would you rather spend a few dollars more and get a fabulous custom painted antique that will look great for years or would you rather save a few dollars and buy a painted piece that looks good for now.  It’s entirely up to you!!