As a young designer, my practice is based on composing pedigreed interiors. Living in New York City, I have access to quality antiques, but every other New York designer has seen the inventory. Instinctually, I knew shopping abroad would provide the differentiation from other designers I was looking for. I consulted books and could not find an insider’s perspective as to how to shop for antiques in Europe and manage the logistics.
The Antiques Diva & Co changed my practice in 2011 after a chance introduction on Twitter. With The Antiques Diva & Co, I now source antiques exclusively in Europe. The Divas pre-shop ahead of my trip, making sure time is best utilized. If I can’t make a trip, the Divas are able to source and provide buying services for acquisition. My clients benefit from her insight and team by having unique antiques in their homes. My benefit is having a colleague who guides me through the logistics and continually introduces me to exciting and new antiques that inspire my work.
Interior Designer NYC
“Knowledge is power – The Antique’s Diva & Co has developed a powerful network of knowledgeable guides and antiques’ experts over the years creating valuable buying tours and services for designers, antiques dealers and enthusiasts. Identifying the best sources takes time and a lot of ‘hands on’ experience. Over the years of knowing founder Toma Clark Haines – I watched her and her team build trusted relationships with clients and vendors, identifying the best antique sources in Europe and sharing them with her clients. The company’s success and growth speaks for itself.”
founder, Modenus – The Design Source
Originally from Scotland, I’ve worked as an antiques dealer there and in New York for 20 years. I never thought I would need the help of an antiques tour guide sourcing for the trade. I’ve been around the world and around the block resourcing fine, unusual objects for collectors, decorators and museums. Then, when I decided to expand my business with new sources, I signed up with The Antiques Diva on one of her Berlin tours. It was a wise decision which still stands me in good stead today with continued relationships and contacts generated on that trip. In addition, there is the lovely and lasting memory of the successful buying trip with The Antiques Diva! It is rare to find someone who consistently shows insight and excellence in a business setting and even more unusual when these same qualities are combined with fun and originality. Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, is that person. I whole-heartedly recommend any-one thinking of taking one of her antiques buying tours with she or her guides to jump at the opportunity.
New York NY 10128
There are just no words to describe how awesome The Antiques Diva & Co is! You made the entire process of buying antiques abroad easy from day 1 with: your info-packed email answering our questions before our tour about buying abroad, to taking us on a choreographed tour, to the final process liaising us with our international shipper. Our entire antiques buying tour has been seamless and perfect and I really can not thank you enough. You are a gem! I can’t wait to do this again and wouldn’t consider buying antiques abroad without you by my side.
ashley gilbreath interior design & parish
As this was our team’s first trip to MercanteinFiera in Parma, Italy, we were naturally apprehensive due to our limited knowledge of the Italian culture and language. The first night we arrived The Antique Diva & Co (Toma Clark Haines and Susan Pennington) put our minds to ease. Their knowledge of the fair, the culture and general operations of the event were invaluable. They prepared us for what to expect and helped us navigate the labyrinth of aisles when we arrived at the show. Their guidance completely changed this experience for us….from one of intimidation to delight!
U.S. Antique Shows
Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co, and her team of locally based Diva Guides are the ONLY people I recommend to anyone antique shopping in Europe. They know everyone, know where to find the best antiques for the best pricing and, most importantly, they KNOW antiques. They can recognize a fabulous find in a crowded room and then tell you what it was used for, the period in which is was made and where you can use it in your home today. Shopping with The Antiques Diva & Co will be the best time you will have ever had learning about design and history. Sophisticated, witty and so easy to be with, The Antiques Diva & Co is altogether a delight! I high recommend putting ‘shopping with The Antiques Diva & Co’ on the top of your bucket list!
Cynthia Bogart – The Daily Basics
You are not in the antiques business or the tour business – you are in the life-dreams completion business.
Colleen – USA
Thank you for all of your help and for the experience and knowledge of your team. We had a great time and met some amazing people in each of you. The cognac experience was fantastic and one of those “once in a lifetime” events that only happen when you have completely flexible plans and are willing to take a chance.
Nashville, TN USA
Just wanted to say thank you for a fantastic experience with you and your Diva ladies, it was an experience I could never have even imagined could be. All the places visited left me astounded and wishing I could take it all back with me! I definitely hope to be intouch once I have my side of things all setup. Will always be speaking highly of the Antique Diva crew Caren, Gail and yourself. Thanks again for such an amazing antiquing experience.
Thank you for introducing us to your Paris Diva Guide Danielle. Not only was she extremely helpful in narrowing down the stores that had the best quality mid century pieces of furniture, hence saving us a lot of time, but also her skills at negotiating the best prices and arranging shipment for us were outstanding. The whole experience was seamless and enjoyable and we would recommend her and hence your company to anyone. We are really looking forward to receiving our purchases soon.
Along with being an author and a journalist, I manage online platforms for global companies in design-related arenas so when it came time for me to select a set of tastemakers for one client’s new web site, the first person I reached out to was Toma Clark Haines because of her savvy outlook, global following and high-quality objectives for herself and her brand, The Antiques Diva & Co. I’m over the moon that she agreed to participate, and this made me realize the most fabulous thing about Toma is that though she is way too young to have cut a legendary swath in her field, she embodies the essence of success so well it is a thing of beauty to watch. You might say I have a touch of #DivaEnvy!
Thank you so so much for arranging our tour with Paris Diva Guide Danielle. She has been such good company, a great adviser and marvellous help. We thought we only wanted one or two pieces but then the Marché had us ensnared. I could readily become an addict were I living in Paris. Thank you for everything – especially for choosing your staff of local guides so cannily! Wasn’t I lucky to stumble across you in cyberspace? We booked a one day tour and ended up touring for 3 days – and could have continued had we not been time constrained. Danielle knew so many of the dealers at the flea market and her knowledge, established relationships and charm undoubtedly helped us find quality pieces and purchase them for very reasonable prices. We have an old Victorian terrace which we are renovating and now can look forward to having some beautiful pieces in our home that we simply could not have found without your help. Merci beaucoup!
Belinda and Alan – Melbourne, Australia
I am an antique dealer and auctioneer that has spent decades driving the roads of New England and eastern Canada, knocking on doors, attending shows and auctions, and making estate calls in order to find inventory to support my business. The time needed to establish and maintain good contacts is significant. Imagine my surprise when I found out about The Antiques Diva & Co. Knowing that antique buying trips to Europe can be pre-arranged with guides that understand my taste and style, that can take me to the best suppliers, translate, and suggest good shipping solutions is an invaluable service. The Antiques Diva & Co offers a concierge level of service, whether the client is buying for their own needs or inventory to support their business.
John D H Bottero CAI, AARE, GPPA
V.P. Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Dear Homes & Antiques (this was a letter written to the UK magazine by a reader regarding columns written by Toma)
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for providing the vintiquing guides in each of your issues. I have just come back from Berlin where the guide and I were inseparable! The torn out pieces of paper became crumpled and dog eared through continual use as I wondered the streets of the German capital. Without the guide I never would have ventured anywhere near the best places for antiques in Berlin and, as a result, bagged myself some bargains. I purchased an Art Deco era propelling pencil, a fabulous glass tankard and a solid marble writing set from 1936 – the last one for the bargain price of 33 euros. The biggest challenge was getting everything back without going over the baggage allowance! I will be honeymooning in San Francisco next year and you can bet I will be vintiquing too with the guide from the August edition of Homes and Antiques (just confirm; the husband-to-be is also in on this plan)!
Many thanks once again,
Beckie – England
What a testament to the type of company The Antiques Diva & Co is. Being from Australia, it’s not easy for me to simply “pop over” to Europe in order to buy antiques for my my little shop. A little “Googling” later and I discover Toma – after some email exchanges where she tried to clearly understand what type of inventory I was seeking and to nail down an approximate on the dates, she completely surprised me with a full-blown PowerPoint presentation of my trip, customized to fit my various requests. Together, we shopped several warehouses in Belgium (where I now have some great sources, thanks to Toma!) and also up into the English coast. What an amazing trip and what an amazing company. Looking forward to my next shopping trip with The Antiques Diva & Co in the Spring!
Judy – Australia
I must tell you how impressed I am with the outstanding professionalism both you and your company consistently display. Even with everything you are dealing with, your immediate response and follow through exemplify your company’s work effort, service, contacts and validate your outstanding reputation.
L.K. – USA
As we prepare to leave Provence we wanted to thank you and Caren for our delightful two days shopping in the South. We gained such an education as to the various markets and Caren could not have been kinder in shepherding us all over the South of France!
As we gather our things together to return for one last night in Paris before heading home we find ourselves reflecting on our absolutely wonderful day in the Paris market with Danielle. She was amazing and far exceeded any expectations we may have had. Not only was she knowledgeable about antiques and what we were looking for, she also knew what was a good price and negotiated heavily for us. Her guidance to us as first time buyers in France was immeasurable and we just can’t thank her and you enough for such a wonderful experience.
My mother and I had an absolutely fabulous time with Gail. I could easily see why you named her the most knowledgeable woman in Antiques in England. Gail took us to some truly fantastic shops and we were able to purchase even more than we thought we would. This has been above and beyond our expectations and we’re so happy we did this! I hope to be back again soon.
All the best,
We cannot sing Danielle’s praises enough! She was WONDERFUL! She was patient with us and did anything we asked her to as far as antique hunting. We were successful and are so excited to start planning our retirement home full of gorgeous French antiques.
If you EVER need my recommendation of your company, especially Danielle, I would be pleased to offer it. We have been married for 44 years, and I was so happy shopping for beautiful things that I felt like a teenager again! Ha!
Thank you, and Danielle, again for a fabulous shopping experience in Paris.
L. & D. Sumpter
I really had a wonderful trip with Gail and Toma. What was really special for me is that I liked you both so much and I hope that we meet again. The service you offer is really fantastic. It was a pleasure from beginning to end. I can’t thank you enough.
Will be in touch sorting out paperwork once I am home. Flying tonight.
V. – South Africa
I am starting to put my treasures from my Diva shopping out into the garden. The chimney pot looks amazing in the center of my garden and I’m sure my sweet peas in a couple of months will love the tree guards as trellis. I just put the soil in my pair of iron pots out on my balconies, waiting to plant the herbs when the weather warms. My rose tree has spent the winter in the garage in the dolly tub. France & England shopping with the Divas was so fun.
C.O. – New York
A note to say thank you, Danielle, for a truly remarkable day at les Puces. I appreciated your friendly and enthusiastic disposition and considerable negotiation skills, not only at navigating the busy and picturesque traffic laden cobblestone avenues in Paris, but also extending to negotiating prices of antiques with les Puces vendors. Your ability to create a win-win outcome on the items I purchased I suspect was grounded in your many years walking the alley ways at les Puces, together with your background in real estate. The day delighted the senses, from the amazing sights of an unimaginable range of antiques, touching and handling 17th, 18th and 19th century treasures, to dejuener at your favourite restaurant at les Pusces. The confit au carnard was delicious. I am delighted to have purchased the two 18th century pieces that I have been seeking for several years. The 18th century Gustavian sofa is a timeless piece with superb carving, patina and an attractive well proportioned shape. The 18th centure table la boucherie has remarkable patina and cast iron fret work and will enhance my home immeasurably. It would display superbly as a stand alone piece or could be used effectively as a console table. Our delightful time spent with the charming artistic interior designer, Sophie Atlan, was an unexpected bonus. Sophie’s hand-made chandelier light shades capture the Parisian artistic flair perfectly and will certainly bring life to my home, as will the cushions she makes. I would not have attempted to undertake the purchases and arrange shipping without your assistance. Their service was attentive and efficient. Thank you again, my visit to Les Puces may be the first of many to come.
Chris – Australia
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you that hubby and I had a FANTASTIC time on our Antiques Diva Tour. Paris Diva Guide Kim was absolutely terrific…and hysterical…and beautiful! I bought a few things that I obviously needed to fulfill my life (an alabuster bust, a dentist’s tooth powder glass bottle, a 19th century prayer book). Does anyone really need any of this stuff??? Having said that, I absolutely adore my Parisian items!!!!
Dinna- Los Angeles
I wanted to send you a quick note of thanks and praise. Thank you for your Antique Diva service which provided an opportunity for me and my traveling companions to experience the National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham and the amazing Puce de Saint Ouen. The praise is for both the professional way everything was coordinated and for the awesome Kim! Kim is smart, funny, lovely, unflappable and makes everything so easy. Kelly, Carol and I really had a blast and were able to see parts of Paris that we wouldn’t otherwise have ventured. A great time was had by all!
Kendall – Virginia
We received the first box from your Online Shop and we are in love! The items are simply stunning. I think my favorite item might be the antique camisoles, but how to decide…
Vanessa – San Diego
So much energy, and always smiling. I was very pleased to have you and your nice clients in my shop. If you come with the american ladies I’ll buy some cakes and belgium chocolats ! We could organize something in my shop.I really appreciate you a lot! Thanks for bringing me new clients!!Sweet regards, see you!
K in Belgium
The Antiques Diva has helped me shop the world, and furnish my home with memoried treasures. She helped me purchase a massive silver champagne bowl (originally from the Hotel de Paris bar in Monaco) at the Bastille Fair in Paris; multiple crystal flower “frogs” in a remote spot of The Netherlands; a pair of elaborate vintage brass candlesticks in Amsterdam, a vintage long mink coat in Berlin (well actually the coat AND a fur wrap since she negotiated such a good deal!) and at least five pieces of large furniture at Chatou in Paris (one is a gorgeous marble topped Louis Philippe commode she wants me to leave her in my will).
I had never even heard of the Green Flea Market until I went to NYC several years ago on a girls’ trip to shop with The Antiques Diva. The weather was chilly, but after a hearty breakfast with Toma and bundling up warmly, we hit the outdoor booths. When I shop alone, here is what happens: I wander aimlessly, dazzled by everything, but unable to visualize how anything will look in my own home. So, I rarely make a purchase and instead get frustrated for wasting several hours of my time. When I shop with Toma, she remembers what types of things I am looking for, points out pieces of interest, and notes how they could be used in a modern home. Transactions actually occur, and I end up with a gorgeous home.
Stacey – USA