Ep 1: How To Start An

Antique Business

The Business of Antiques

A Podcast By Toma Clark Haines, The antiques Diva


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How To Start An Antique Business

Show Notes 

You've heard me say it time and time again - Dreams Do Come True. But have you ever wondered How? What goes into making your dreams a reality? When I discuss the trajectory of my career from writing a blog about where to buy antiques in Europe to launching a 1-woman business to becoming a global empire with antique buying tours in 16 countries - I simplify things and say that the secret to my success was putting one stiletto clad foot in front of another. But what does that mean?  


Every day I took - and continue to take - one step forward. While that seems easy to say in retrospect - trust me - when you're in the trenches - it's difficult to even know where to start!  The first step is the hardest. It all feels... overwhelming. Okay, let me get real - I am 11 years in the business - and I still get overwhelmed! But what I've learned when I feel overwhelmed all I have to do is ONE MIT: Most Important Thing. 


It's my #LifeHack. Regardless of any situation - personal or professional - I can always do One Thing. And that One Thing leads to the next thing.


If you want to start an antiques business - Don't think about STARTING an antiques business. That can feel daunting. It can feel overwhelming. Instead, think about LEARNING HOW to start an antiques business.  


Make Learning About Starting An Antique Business your One Thing You Do until it leads to the next step. If you want your Dreams To Come True - I challenge you to set aside anywhere from 10 minutes a day, to 30 minutes 3 times a week to do research on starting your business. Set a date on your calendar with yourself and make it a priority to LEARN how to be an antiques dealer. Treat it like school. Buy a 3 ring binder. Buy a notebook. Save a folder on your laptop.


To get started on the 1st day you might simply want to google and read an article on how to be an antique dealer. The next day you might want want to read an interview with an antiques dealer on how he got his start. The 3rd day you could research local antique shops. One the 4th day look at your calendar and schedule visits to local antique malls and fairs. You don't have to go to the shops or fairs. Simply make a date to put them on your calendar.  


Day 5 and beyond I want you to start a Pinterest board with various antiques you would like to sell. Dream Big. I want you to start defining your style. If money were no object what would you WANT to sell? This is going to take more than one day - it will be a continual thing you work on as you build your fantasy inventory.  


Create a list of your favorite antique dealers and then continue to add to that list. One one day you can choose one antique dealer you like and define why you like them. Articulate why and what. This will lead you to determine how you can do it too.


You need to understand what type of antique stores and inventory you're drawn to. You're figuring out what type of antique dealer you want to be when you grow up. And once you know what you like, let's talk money. How much are these antiques selling for? Get yourself familiar with prices. You don't realize it but you're building your business plan. Getting started starts with one step.


Did you notice the domino effect of what I've just done? Each step you take ORGANICALLY will lead you to the next step.  

  • Don't choose 20 things to do in one day. 
  • Simply choose 1 thing.  
  • And the next time you sit down to do research, choose the next thing.  

The key point in making progress in pursuing your dream is to continue to advance - one step at a time. Your dreams come true when you do the steps involved to get to your destination.  


In The Antiques Diva blog recently we talked about meditation and how mediation can be useful for you as a small business owner. With mediation, visualization tends to go hand in hand. If you're like me, you can see your dreams clearly. But seeing them is NOT enough. People who achieve their dreams ALSO spend time visualizing HOW they will achieve their goals. Spend time thinking about the steps involved in reaching your goal. Think about the different scenarios and how they would turn out. Think about how you might FEEL during the process - would you feel scared? Or would you be excited? Does it make you feel brave to take a leap and pursue your dreams? Do you feel satisfied knowing YOU did it? Most people THINK about doing it - but think about how you will feel when you've actually DONE it. Think about how proud you will feel or how proud your spouse or parent or child will be of you - when they see you achieving your dreams.  


Starting an antique business starts with one step. One step might simply be scheduling a call with me: Ask Toma! As CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co, the most important part of my job is talking to clients. And I would love to talk with you to discuss how The Antiques Diva & Co could help you pursue your dreams whether that means through one of our customized one-on-one antique buying tours or through our Antique Dealer Training Program


Talk to you soon,


Ciao Ciao

Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva