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,
D&D Building for Spring Market but the timing worked out perfectly for me to also attend the Take A Seat Charity Auction for the International Furniture and Design Association – where I’ve donated a period Louis XV French Fauteuil. This Rococo upholstered beechwood arm chair is older than America and proceeds from this chair will go to “chair-ity” – proceeds gifted will go to non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity.’ve just flown in to NYC to speak at the
And while my donation was titled “Viva la Diva – French Fauteuil” with a little plaque perhaps it should have been titled, “It Takes a Village” because when it comes to giving back, it’s better when we all participate. That’s exactly what happened with my donation. Let me share the story with you
It all began in March of this year at the Design Bloggers Conference, where I was speaking alongside Michael Bruno of 1stdibs. Alan Rauta of Cromatti attended the talk and won the $5000 gift certificate grand prize donated by Michael Bruno to one of the attendees. In attending the conference Alan said the main thing he learned about blogging was that blogging was about sharing, and thus he donated $4000 of his prize to 4 of the bloggers – $1000 each – that he met at the conference whom he found most inspirational.
I was honored to be one of those bloggers and decided to make this the gift that keeps on giving by using my gift certificate to purchase a chair from 1stdibs and donate it to the Take A Seat Chair-ity Auction.
As I researched what European antique chairs were available on 1stdibs in the USA I sought out vendor Trace Mayer because he has has consistently good quality pieces at great prices. I found a chair in his collection that epitomized The Antiques Diva® Style. I contacted Trace to buy the chair so I could donate it. Trace, upon hearing I was donating the chair to charity, offered me a substantial discount off the purchase price to make this donation even more possible.
I love how a community came together to make this one donation possible! “It takes a village” to change the world one chair at a time!
From Michael Bruno of 1stdibs to Alan Ruata of Cromatti to me to Trace Mayer, a 1st Dibs vendor – each of us have contributed to make this donation possible!
I was thrilled my dates in New York overlapped with the auction so that I was able to attend the event in person! Now I can’t wait to see the final person in our village who buys the chair!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
London Portobello Road antiques shopping tour, I’m also prepping and packing for a 2 week mega tour of the US:It’s been an incredibly hectic week and a half at home in Berlin: not only did we launch our new Antiques Diva
- In New York City I will speak at the International Furnishings and Design Association IFDA at the NYDC Tuesday March 25, 2014 at 5.30 PM
- Then I head to Los Angeles for a series of “very top secret” meetings
- Before heading to San Francisco to host a party along with Kneedler Fauchere on April 1, 2014
- And then I will be whizzing through Atlanta as part of ADAC (otherwise known as the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center) speaker series on April 3 at 10am
- Next up – it’s High Point Furniture Market where I’m part of the Spring Lecture Series for the High Point Antiques Center on Tuesday April 9 at from 4-5pm and leading a champagne antiques tour of the market – no passport required.
- And finally heading off to Milan for their Furniture Fair to host a fete for the #BlogTourMilan crew
My poor husband has the patience of a saint (and happens to be meeting me in Milan to whisk me away for a week in Tuscany after this grueling schedule)! So to show him my appreciation for his patience with my crazy travel schedule, I spent an afternoon in the kitchen and put together a meal he’ll remember while I’m away – our goose is cooked!:
Served with a selection of champagne and wines, including a gorgeous Chateauneuf du Pape, bien sur!
I hope to see you soon at one of my US stops or on an Antiques Diva® Buying Tour. Remember our Spring Fling with DEEP DISCOUNTS off our Paris Flea Market Tours is on through April 1, 2014. Book your tour now to save $$$ of any Paris Flea Market booking in 2014.
Bon appetit, et Bon Weekend!
The Antiques Diva®, seen below with my beloved during our summer vacation last year in NOLA
Dear Diva Readers,
I’m thrilled to be speaking about how to shop abroad at the Paris Flea Market and further afield for the International Furnishings and Design Association in New York on Tuesday March 25 at 6:00 PM.have a confession…I’ve been having a love affair for quite some time…with Paris! If there is any place on earth that captures my heart and makes me swoon, it’s the City of Light, which is why
I’ll be taking the audience on a virtual tour of the Paris Flea Market and other global markets giving my tips on where to go, what to buy, and most importantly, answering that question everyone wants to know the answer to – how to get it all home!
If you’ll be in the New York area on March 25, I’d love to see you at The New York Design Center. Seating is limited so reserve your space now. Buy tickets through the IFDA Events.
Until Then, can’t wait to see you in New York!!
The Antiques Diva