Toma Clark Haines is The Antiques Diva
American expat Toma Clark Haines launched The Antiques Diva & Co in 2008:
Toma Clark Haines is an entrepreneur, writer, international speaker, global tastemaker, lifestyle consultant and the founder and CEO of The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe and Asia’s largest antiques touring and sourcing company. She is recognized for her antiques sourcing expertise by design experts including Newell Turner former editor of House Beautiful and current Editorial Director of Hearst Design Group, Michael Boodro Editor in Chief of Elle Décor and Dominique Corlett deputy editor of the English publication Homes & Antiques magazines (the official magazine of The Antiques Roadshow). Clark Haines has been endorsed by Adam Jabko, CEO of Esteem Media and Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, Editor in Chief Elizabeth Ralls.
An authority on how to buy antiques in Europe and Asia and ship them to the buyer’s home country, Clark Haines is an in-demand speaker at international conferences, trade shows and events for interior and architectural designers, design bloggers, and antique resellers. Her intimate knowledge of the European antiques market makes Clark Haines a sought-after speaker and “cool hunter” to forecast interior design trends. She speaks often on the subject of mixing antiques with modern furnishings, the history of European furniture and the business of antiques; and is a popular speaker on entrepreneurism and women in business.
Toma Clark Haines has been featured in 4 books:
- DesignHER by Julianne Taylor (October 2015) – Inspiring female entrepreneurs shaping the home décor industry
- STERLING & SLOANE by Malena Lott (December 2013) – Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, is a fictional character in this novel
- CRAVE Amsterdam – Celebrating Stylish Women Entrepreneurs (2013) – top 150 female entrepreneurs in Amsterdam
- The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad (2008) – tips for Americans moving abroad
Women in Business Q&A:
Toma Clark Haines, Chief Executive, The Antiques Diva in The Huffington Post
When this Global Tastemaker is not taking some of the top names in the design industry on buying tours, Clark Haines is also a freelance travel and design writer, an international public speaker and a social media guru. She is a champagne connoisseur, a vintage Chanel addict and her hobbies include driving fast cars and gourmet cooking. Traveling extensively for work, she divides her time between her home in Berlin, Germany, and each of her companies tour countries as well as quarterly visits to the USA. Her long-term goals include expanding her company into Asia. Her greatest challenge in life is remembering when she wakes each day whether to greet the day with a Buongiorno, Bonjour, Guten Tag or simply Good Day.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
As a child growing up in Oklahoma my mother had a cross stitch that hung in our living room which read “There are Two Lasting Gifts You Can Give To Your Children. One is Roots. The Other Wings.” I was raised to be empowered. I believed I could fly. Early in my marriage after living in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Ohio my husband was offered an opportunity to move overseas. We moved first to Paris for 5 years with his job, and later to Amsterdam for 5 years and then to Berlin where I’ve been for 6 years. When we moved to Paris the French government denied my work visa telling me I was not allowed to work in France. Giving up my career in marketing and advertising I embraced Parisian life… learning the ways of the Europeans. I took cooking lessons at the Ritz Escoffier and became a certified French Picture Framer and took art history lessons at the Louvre. I pursued my passions with a purpose never taking my time in France for granted – I considered it my finishing school. When my husband and I moved from Paris to Amsterdam I discovered a wonderful little glitch in the Dutch work visa status that if I created my own company I could bypass the traditional work visa regulations. This loophole allowed me to pursue a career again. While I’d loved my prior career I knew I was ready to make my mark on the world. Having been given the opportunity to pursue my passions in Paris I had clearly defined where I wanted to be spending my time – I understood what made me tick and was self-motivated enough to tackle the bureaucracy involved in starting an international company. Living abroad opened my mind to new ideas and new ways of thinking, while at the same time it helped me cement my own belief system. And most of all it nurtured a tenacity to always find a solution. The French are known for their first answer to any question being “Non, C’est Pas Possible.” But I learned that in reality in France, “All Things Are Possible” if you ask the right question.