Dear Diva Readers,
s we wrap up 2014 and I reflect on this year I’m reminded of words by Charles Dickens,“it was the best of times and…” well, the best of times! I cannot help but think “Wow!” It’s been a fabulous year of growth for us here at The Antiques Diva & Co. We’ve grown to being the largest antiques sourcing company in Europe, offering customized buying tours in 8 countries (and counting) and working with a team of 18 locally-based guides. If I could sum up the year in three words they would be Clients, Collaborations and Celebrations!
We kicked off 2014 in January with our first ever Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete coinciding with Maison et Object and Deco Off. With over 150 mega VIP guests in attendance the event received great media coverage and we were able to film a special tour of the Paris Flea Market with Editor at Large. Such was last years success we’re doing it again this January 25 2015 for our second annual fete at the Paris Flea Market in conjunction with special guests Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Décor, one of my favorite “Frenchy” interior designers, Timothy Corrigan and the owner of the Paul Bert/Serpette, Jean-Cyrille Boutmy. (RSVP now for details firstname.lastname@example.org! You’re invited!!)
In February (and again in September) we were able to once again take VIP groups of American Interior Designers to Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy. Attending this large antiques fair is always a treat, but most especially when the clients are as fun as Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call and Mark Cutler! Later in the fall we were delighted to film Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk along with Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence for an upcoming episode on antiquing in Italy, Diva Style at Mercanteinfiera! Watch this space! Both trips were filled with antiques sourcing, photo shoots and copious quantities of food & wine. This month I was also delighted to add a new member to our team at Diva Headquarters – Andrew Skipper!
Then in March I hopped on a plane and headed to the USA to speak alongside Michael Bruno founder of 1stdibs at the Design Bloggers Conference. It was such an honor to meet so many talented design enthusiasts and to be able to share my story of turning a blog into a business. Again, many lasting relationships were forged at this fantastic conference!
Just days later I was back on a plane headed for the UK. Our lovely Diva Agent Gail and I met up with Antiques Expert Judith Miller who gave our group of clients a private tour of The Bath Decorative Fair, which happened to be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Champagne fete. Yes, Champagne does tend to follow me around. At the end of the month, I headed back to NYC to speak at the IFDA New York Design Center. What a jam-packed month!
Criss-crossing the USA, I then flew to Atlanta to speak at ADAC and then spoke in both Los Angeles and San Francisco (special thanks to Kneedler Fauchere for hosting a fete in my honor). I was also delighted to attend the launch party of San Francisco Cottage & Gardens where I befriended fashion icon Joy Venturini who moments before this photo was taken officially told me I was the “best dressed” for the event! What a treat it was to see so many clients and make new friends!
Then it was time for High Point Market which is THE MEETING PLACE for all my clients and colleagues. Here I hosted – what else? – a Champagne tour of the Antique & Design Center after leading a Style Guide lecture on the Louis (lest you think antiques are boring… this talk involved plenty of sex and scandal to spice up the antiques and history!!!!).
But I couldn’t stay long at High Point – I had to jet back to Milan, Italy for Salone to meet my Italian Diva Guide, Susan, to lead a VIP tour for Blog Tour Milan! Our lovely clients enjoyed this gorgeous city with us culminating in our party at the famous Campari Bar. After all that jet-setting, it was time to meet my husband in Tuscany for some much needed down days of relaxation at the Villa Bordoni. I’ve been fortunate my husband has been able to travel with me on some business trips as I criss-cross the globe and we met in exotic destinations.
May brought along plenty of client tours, including taking The Antiques Roadshow Magazine on tour throughout Belgium. But then in May it was back to the States for Spring Market at the D&D in New York where I spoke on a panel about Antiques in the 21st Century. Then in June a life-long dream of mine came true! We kicked off our first Antiques Diva Venice Tours with our new Diva Guides Orseola and Chiara! Exploring this enchanted city on the arms of two locals has given me access to a world I never thought I’d know as an insider.
July took me to The Windy City of Chicago for a speaking engagement at the Randolph Street Antique Market where I did a promo spot on ABC in Chicago! Then it was off to Las Vegas Market where I spoke on Antique Trends and was delighted to be named one of their Design Tastemakers!!
August brought some much needed down time in Thailand as my husband and I traveled to Thailand together to spend time at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok followed by shopping in Chiang Mai (Watch this space for upcoming Diva News! Will the Diva Do Asia?) followed by an amazing week at the Anantara Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle learning to drive my own elephants. Taking in this magical place was truly what we needed after all the hustle and bustle of this whirlwind year!
In September I was back in London, leading a VIP tour alongside industry sage and icon Stephen Nobel. Taking in exciting inspiration and sourcing unique antiques was the name of the game—along with lots of bubbly, bien sur! By the end of the month I was back again in London, taking a lovely journalist from Traditional Home on a special tour which coincided with The Decorative Fair at Battersea.
Then in October after spending time in Italy for Mercanteinfiera I flew back to the Big Apple to speak at the D&D Building for Fall Market. But I couldn’t stay long because up next was High Point Market where I spoke yet again about my Antiques Diva Style Guide. High Point is always like a reunion! Such a pleasure to see so many familiar faces. Before I knew it, I was back to Italy for another VIP event – attending the opening night gala at the Gotha Biennale with special VIP guests Darcy Fulton of John Rosselli and Jackson McCard of Bunny Williams’ Treillage!
In November we capped off the year with our last Antiques Diva event as I returned to NYC, speaking alongside the grande dame of antiques Judith Miller, Traditional Home magazine antiques editor Doris Athineos and Olga Granda-Scott of The Highboy at Jonathan Burden, Antiques and Works of Art. I was also able to go to the opening night gala of Holiday House New York with my dear friend and client Justin Shaulis whose room “Gallery Hopping in Miami” was simply a show stopper! I was also particularly partial to client Louis Navarrete’s Bohemian Rapsody!
All these events… and I’ve not mentioned the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS YEAR. As a company my 18 guides and I served more clients than ever before! Our busiest week of the year we had more than 25 clients spread across 6 of our tour countries!!!! Thank you for your support, your love and…baby, we quite simply could not do it without you.
And that brings us to December where I’ve fallen into a pile of exhaustion as we entered our slow season, as I spent my holiday in the Arctic Circle. You must add the ICEHOTEL to your bucket list. It’s amazing. I’ve spent the last week dog sledding in the tundra, reindeer sledding (and making one too many sightings as those buggers crisscross the roads in the Nordic) and stargazing while watching the Northern Lights. All in all I’d say it’s been a full, fun and fabulous year.
As we prepare for 2015, I can’t help but think that the BEST is still ahead! This past year has had many highs (and a few lows as well) and the lesson here has been on priorities. In January 2014 I told my husband my goal for the year was to jump off cliffs…. free falling to see where these risks I was taking would take me. The year has yielded more returns than I ever expected.
Thank you to all of my clients, friends, family and followers for everything and I look forward to seeing all of you in 2015!!! Let’s make it a great year!
Happy New Year,
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
e are over the moon excited to give you a “sneak peek” and a “save the date” for our 2nd annual Paris Flea Market Fête!
If you are going to be in Paris in January for Maison Objet and Deco Off, we would LOVE for you to join us for our 2nd annual party at the Paris Flea Market! I cordially invite you to join me, The Antiques Diva, along with my team of locally based Paris Diva Guides and esteemed special guests interior designer Timothy Corrigan and Editor in Chief of ELLE DECOR, Michael Boodro.
2nd Annual Paris Flea Market Fête
When: Sunday, January 25
Where: The Annex to La Petite Maison, 14 rue Paul Bert
What: A lively discussion on shopping for French antiques with a Champagne breakfast (of course!)
Please RSVP to email@example.com – more details to follow as the date draws near!
All the best,
The Antiques Diva ®
Dear Diva Readers,
The International Fine Art & Antiques Show hosted by The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) in New York on Thursday October 16! While the show itself promises to be a feast for the eyes with many of the world’s most prominent art and antiques dealers bringing pieces, the Preview Party will kick off the weekend with over 1,000 guests enjoying a night of glamour, culture and philanthropy. Now if that isn’t a Diva-style party, I don’t know what is!am so thrilled to be attending the 26th Annual Preview Party for
Stars of the design world, including Editor-in-Chief of ELLE DECOR, Michael Boodro, will gather at the Park Avenue Armory in New York to get a first look at art, furniture and rare books, jewelry and glass being offered by sixty-five high profile dealers. Before opening to the public, serious antiques connoisseurs and collectors on the guest list to the party have a chance to peruse the show and sip champagne— how glamorous!
Now it’s not all about glitz and glam that night. The Preview Party is a wonderful way to raise funds for The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering, a volunteer-led organization within MSK dedicated to promoting the well-being of patients, supporting cancer research, and providing public education on the early prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.
If this sounds like the kind of event you’d be interested in attending, contact Elizabeth Howard at The Society by phoning 212.639.7972 or emailing her at Howarde@mskcc.org for ticket information. And if you’re at the party, please find me and say hello! It will be a fabulous night of culture, philanthropy, and of course, antiques!
A few of the things I’m interested in seeing first hand at the show include the Maison Jansen Unique Bibliothèque – Corner Bookcase and the Vittoria Limited Edition Contemporary Chair presented by Maison Gerard Ltd.
See you soon in New York!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Gary Gibson. Gary is an L.A. based interior designer, product designer, and owner of a fabulous store. He’s one of the great style makers of our time setting trends and establishing the way we live today.hile in Los Angeles recently I had the opportunity to meet so many fantastic people – one of the most inspiring was
Gary Gibson breaks the mold of traditional decorating, and yet his interiors and shop still feel comfortable and welcoming. He thinks outside the box and combines different textures and mediums, all the while playing with scale, color, and light. When shopping his store, you get a real sense of his aesthetic; playful, unique, out-of-the-box with taste.
The mix of metal furniture (some bronze and stainless steel pieces are his own designs from his line Gibson Studio) and wood pieces along with interesting vintage accessories feels familiar and fresh all at once. In one vignette he combined a sleek wood console, rustic metal letters, marble urns, and a glass lamp—what a chic mix! And Gary isn’t afraid of color, which is refreshing. His interiors are meant to be used and that is evident even in his store. I mean, he has a stocked bar set up on the sales floor! If I wasn’t jet-lagged and it wasn’t morning when I visited, I may have just poured myself some bubbly! How welcoming!
With features in publications like Architectural Digest, Veranda, and Elle Decor, Gary Gibson is definitely “one to watch” if you want to be inspired. Visiting his shop and chatting with him was definitely a highlight of my trip to LA!
The Antiques Diva®
Flash Update from La Reine, the Roving Reporter!
I have the fabulous luck to be in Chicago this weekend for The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Show, October 3-6. In addition to the antiques, art and collectibles being offered at this semi-annual show, the Mart is also host this weekend to Design Chicago showing all that is hot and new in design. The show features speakers such as designer Celerie Kemble and Margaret Russell of Elle Decor, and includes open houses at several of their showrooms such as Grange and Niedermaier. Luxe Home is celebrating National Kitchen and Bath Month with an Open House of their own on October 4, featuring HGTV’s Monica Pederson. Of course, being La Reine, I’ve already previewed the Luxe Home show with Monica on HGTV this month! Luxe Home features over 8000 square feet of kitchen and bath designs and products. While looking for kitchen cabinet knobs recently, I needed a coffee half way through just to keep everything straight the options were so many!
If you’re not already a bit overwhelmed by all the offerings, The Merchandise Mart debuted the new Dream Home 2008 on September 25, which will be open until December 20.
Talk about one-stop shopping…it will take me two days just to go through it all! Tickets for the Antiques Show are $15, a donation of $5 towards University of Chicago Cancer Research is suggested at the Dream Home. Gourmet food and beverages are available (I think I’ll need to rent a chair!)
See you at The Mart!