When Was Your 1st Time?
We all remember our first time. For me, I was 25 and I had just moved to Paris. It happened on a Sunday morning in September. I had eaten a croissant for breakfast with a big bowl of café au lait at Les Deux Magots. The weather had a nip in the air and though summer barely seemed behind me I was already wearing a sweater and scarf. I took the métro all by myself to the end of line 4, the Porte de Clignancourt. Exiting the station I was afraid. It was a part of Paris I’d never visited before. I wished I wasn’t alone. I wished I had a friend to guide me through the market. I put on my sunglasses and pushed my way through the crowds working my way under the peripherique to the Rue de Rosiers.
And for the first time in my life I visited the Paris Flea Market.
And it changed my life. I’d always loved antiques. I grew up with a mother who decorated using antiques, vintage and just plain second-hand finds to decorate our home and I had an appreciation for all things unique and old. I didn’t want my house to look like the neighbors. I wanted my home to reflect me. My unique taste, showing pieces from my travels, telling stories of far away places without the need for words to be spoken. Just as I wanted to live a life less ordinary, I wanted my home to be less ordinary. I was going to the Paris Flea Market to buy a souvenir… not a t-shirt, or even a trinket… but a but a souvenir in the true sense of the French word… a memory.
I wanted to bring a piece of Paris home and put her on my mantel.
Arriving the Paris Flea Market I was greeted by an entire world beyond my comprehension. Lessons in the Louis leaped out of the alleyways… was that a Louis 15 or 16th armchair? How do I tell the difference? An Antiques Dealer told me, “It’s all about the LEGS” and forevermore I was a leg girl, seeking the turn of the ankle to tell my Rococo from the neoclassical. Vintage jewelry longed to come home with me. Postcards, passementerie, pillows, paintings and all sorts of Parisian chic clamored for my attention.
I bought a simple Empire era teapot.
I was living in a temporary apartment in St Germain des Pres at the time and each night before bed I would brew myself a pot of caramel tea and sit on the sofa practicing my verb conjugations. Je Suis, Tu es, Vous etes… 7 years later when I started my company The Antiques Diva & Co that teapot wound its way into my original logo – the profile of a woman’s head looking at a teapot – my first purchase at the Paris Flea Market.
I’ve long since broken that teapot, but the excitement of that first purchase never left me and I’ve filled apartment after apartment with purchases from les Puce. A seasoned shopper at the Puce de Paris, my company is now the exclusive official guide of the Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette. I sometimes feel I’ve lived a lifetime since that day at the end of my first week living in Europe nearly 17 years ago… but I still remember my first time.
Do you remember yours? When was your first time at The Paris Flea Market? What did you buy? What did you think? How did you feel? What did you eat? Did you wish you had a Diva Guide to take you by the hand or were you lucky enough to experience your first time on the arm of The Antiques Diva & Co?
How To Enter:
To enter The Antiques Diva & Co Tell Me About Your First Time at the Paris Flea Market giveaway:
leave a comment on this blog and #TellMeAboutYourFirstTime at the #ParisFleaMarket
- open to Diva readers over age 18
There are 5 Chances to Win!
UPDATE September 28:
Derrick Ricketts of Aidan Gray Home was so excited when he heard about our #ParisFleaMarket GiveAway that he donated an additional prize!
What the Winners Receive:
One Grand Prize Winner: VIP Paris Flea Market Tour
The Grand Prize winner receives a Gift Certificate for a VIP Antiques Diva Day Tour at the Paris Flea Market with one of our Parisian Diva Guides including LUNCH at our favorite restaurant in Paul Bert Serpette and a Champagne Toast to finish the tour. You’ll also receive an Antiques Diva tote bag to carry your purchases!
One First Place Winner will win a Paris Flea Market Candlestick by Aidan Gray
European candlestick inspired by Aidan Gray’s antique buying tours in France with AD&CO:
The candlestick is hand-carved and hand-finished, with a removable rusted metal drip plate and a heavily distressed finish.
Three 1st RunnerUp Prize Winners: DesignHER by Julianne Taylor
Not coming to Paris anytime soon… don’t worry… we’ve got three 1st prizes! Regular readers and social media fans might remember I was recently featured in a fabulous new book on women entrepreneurs who are changing the world of interior design – DesignHER, featuring a chapter on me, Toma Clark Haines The Antiques Diva, and autographed by me and design darling and DesignHER author Julianne Taylor.
Winners of the Paris Flea Market First Time Story giveaway
will be judged by Julianne Taylor of Taylor Burke!
Prizes Awarded October 25, 2016
- Gift Certificate Redeemable until December 2018 and transferrable.
- DesignHER books to be delivered to winners via parcel post in November 2016.
Good Luck! #TellMeAboutYourFirstTime
Toma Clark Haines is The Antiques Diva
Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I am so honored to be part of an exciting project which is being celebrated this month at High Point Market.
I first met Julianne Taylor, founder of Taylor Burke Home last year at High Point Market through the formidable Gretchen Aubuchon of Fashion Decor. Immediately I knew this woman had it going on. A family woman and an entrepreneur, Julianne understands the struggle that many business women face when it comes to maintaining work/life balance. We instantly connected, having a shared past as expats. Julianne’s vision to start her company started when she herself lived overseas in Asia. Her story of the start of her business echoed my own and she inspired me to continue to pursue my dream. We have stayed in touch through various social media outlets, operating our lives in concentric circles—don’t you just love social media?! This month, Julianne has a new book coming out called DesignHER. The book highlights 35 inspiring women who are shaping the interior design world. I am delighted to be included in that list of go-getters and I cannot wait to read the book and gain insights from the lives and careers of the 34 other inspiring ladies!
There will be a special pre-release party on Saturday October 17, 2015 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Wesley Hall Showroom in High Point. I’m thrilled to be able to attend the fete, as I’ll be in High Point for market (stay tuned to see the 5 – yes count them, 5 – events I’ll be taking part in from a panel, to a tour, to a book launch and more.) After this pre-release of 300 numbered and signed, advanced copies, the book will be available for purchase in early February 2016. I hope you’ll pick up a copy for yourself or a friend, as there are bound to be several tips, stories, and advice from women who have started their own businesses and continue to lead the design industry into the 21st century. If you’re interested in obtaining a copy email me and I”ll make sure you’re on the list (toma(at)antiquesdiva.com).
Join me in congratulating Julianne along with all of the women involved in the creation of this book which I believe will inspire modern women all over to live out their dreams. To the women entrepreneurs of today—Bravo!
To the little girls dreaming of changing the world and leaving your mark on it—You can do it!
The Antiques Diva ®
Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I cannot believe that it is almost October already! It seems that this year is flying by, but October means that it’s time for autumn High Point Market which is one of my favorite times of the year. I’ll be there giving my behind the scenes tour of The Antique & Design Center and also throwing a Midnight in Paris party at the Currey & Co showroom! I’m also speaking on a panel and taking over the High Point Market’s Instagram account for a day – not to mention standing in when Julianne Taylor of Taylor Burke Home does the pre-release of her book DesignHer, listing 35 Inspiring Women Who Are Shaping The Interior Design World. I’m so excited she included me – ME!!! – in that list! In fact, I’m excited in general as the reason this is my favorite time of year is that High Point is all about People. It’s when I get to connect with industry friends and brands, colleagues and clients – and not to mention – BLOG READERS! I’d LOVE to invite you to attend one of my Antiques Diva events at High Point Market!
1. The Antiques Diva Happy Hour Tour of The Antique & Design Center
Date: Friday, October 16th 2015 at 4:00pm
Location: The Antique & Design Center Ground Level of Market Square
The early bird gets the worm at the ADC with me, Toma Clark Haines, owner of Europe’s largest antiques touring and buying service company, as I take you on a tour of the major antique periods and styles to identify their key characteristics utilizing modern day metaphors and featuring inventory found at the Antique and Design Center in High Point. No passport required. Focusing on the antique trends in Europe- I’ll take antiques out of the past and bring them into the future of design. Visit the High Point Antique Center Blog for details.
2. Midnight in Paris with The Antiques Diva & Co
Date: Saturday, October 17th 2015 from 3:00pm to 5:00 pm
Location: Currey & Company Showroom – IHFC M110 on Main Street, Street Level
Join me, The Antiques Diva, and win a tour of the Paris Flea Markets with the DIVA. Join us for lively conversations about antiques, design, travel and more while sipping a champagne cocktail, listening to live music and viewing new Currey products on the first official day of market. SPECIAL 100 EURO OFF Diva Tour Gift Certificates will be given out at this fete in everyone’s favorite showroom at High Point!
3. DesignHer Pre-Release Party
Date: Saturday, October 17th 2015 from 5.30pm-7:30pm
Location: Wesley Hall Showroom
310 N Hamilton St, High Point, NC 27260
Julianne Taylor, IIDA Founder + Creative Director of Taylor Burke Home is doing a SPECIAL PRE-RELEASE Party for the launch of her new book DesignHer – listing 35 Inspiring Women Who Are Shaping The Interior Design World. I happen to be one of those 35 profiles and will be attending this fete with other featured women in design. After this first release of 300 numbered and signed copies, the book will be available for purchase in late January/early February 2016.
4. Mastering the Mix of Antique and Contemporary Art & Decor in Interior Design
Date: Sunday, October 18th 2015 from 2:00pm-3:00pm
Location: Theodore Alexander, 229 West Russell Avenue, High Point, 27260
Join industry experts and masters of mixing materials, periods and styles as they discuss how to create designs that look collected, curated and current. Panel: Antiques Diva CEO, Toma Clark Haines; Interior designer Robert Passal; and Lowy Frame & Fine Art Services Co-Owner, Brad Shar. Moderator: Veronika Miller, CEO Modenus.
ALSO ON SUNDAY
5. #HPMKT Instagram TakeOver
The Antiques Diva & Co has been tagged with the task of taking over High Point Market’s Instagram Account! I’ll be posting up to 15 photos on High Points very own Instagram site sharing some Diva Style. Make sure to follow @TheAntiquesDiva on Instagram and High Point Market.
I hope to see many friends and colleagues there! If you can’t make it to market, stay tune to our social medias and the blog as I’ll be keeping you up to date on what’s happening at #HPMKT.
The Antiques Diva®