Archives February 2020

Diva 2020

Diva 2020

In this month’s header photo taken last week in Cambodia I am sunburnt. I am sweaty and just after this photo was taken I found a mosquito stuck still alive in the sweaty goo of sunblock at my hairline. In spite of all that I still I took to my standard diva pose even though my butt seriously hurt from hiking.  

KBIS

This January before going to Cambodia I was in Las Vegas speaking at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. (The flight from Vegas to Siem Reap was h-e-double-hockey-sticks… 10,135 miles and 4 layovers but I digress…) In one of my presentations at KBIS I gave a presentation in the DMM Design Milk / Modenus Talks Lounge called Strike A Pose where I taught attendees how to take a good photo. Everyone has to have a profile photo for their social media – so you might as well look good!  

The thing I noticed about this photo is I look tired, but I look happy. More than that, I look content. And I’ve determined content is a better feeling than happy. I had just come out of hiking in the jungle to the top of Kulen Mountain and I had overestimated my ability to go those last 3 kilometers.  But here’s the thing: Hiking in a jungle to the top of the most sacred mountain in Asia is like jumping out of an airplane and deciding at the halfway point you want to go back. That description of me on the mountain is how I feel about who and where I am today. 

A Few of My Cambodia Photos – click to enlarge

 

The Business of Antiques 

It’s 2020. And this is my first blog post of the new year. I suspect my content manager is about to have a heart attack that I missed blogging in December, January and February. This is the longest I’ve ever gone without blogging.  The problem? I want to be intentional about content. And intentional isn’t easy. Several years ago I was on a hamster wheel – trying to blog X times per week for SEO and I reached a point where creating content had sucked all joy out of blogging. I hired someone to help – but I found the blog not representing my vision so last year I made the decision to write once-a-month longer personal blog posts which I’ve loved doing. All was fine and dandy until… I launched my podcast The Business of Antiques and all my energy went into getting it up and running and I dropped the ball on blogging. (I’m sorry readers 🙂 ) And by the way, speaking of the podcast – if you haven’t listened to my episode on Marketing For Antique Dealers you must – its my favorite podcast to date! 

The Business of Antiques Podcast with Toma Clark Haines The Antiques Diva

One of the hardest things for me is juggling all I do. Business traveling, speaking around the world, mentoring clients and taking them on Antique Buying Tours, managing my Antiques Diva Team of Buying Guides in 16 countries, designing jewelry and furniture, marketing those as well as my main business, dealing with taxes and business administration and finances, and writing my book, as well as the content for my blog and other social media in addition to podcast… it’s a lot. And I don’t do it alone. I couldn’t. I have a fabulous team who helps. But I’m trying to manage it and sometimes I fail. 

And like the juggler who keeps adding balls in the air until one ball – if not all of them – drops, I’m also juggling Life. In my personal life I am dealing with trifecta of problems from finalizing The Divorce, to dealing with visa issues and facing a tax audit. Nietzsche says “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I think that’s what I liked about my photo. I am tired. But I looked strong. Maybe I’ll never be a size 6, that’s not in my linguine all’astice and 3rd glass of prosecco lifestyle, but I like who I am becoming even if dealing with life issues sucks more energy than I care to admit.  

Keep Calm and Diva On

What I’ve learned during these times is I Must Keep Calm and Diva On. I’ve also been using this time to clear my mind and reflect. With one decade closing and another one beginning it’s important as Marie Forleo explains, “to look back, celebrate your wins, acknowledge your growth, extract the lessons and set the right goals for the upcoming year.” 

Diva2020 Resolutions 

It’s a new year. A new decade. And a new Toma. Yes, I’m still your Diva. But maybe I’m Diva2.0, or rather… make that Diva2020. As I look back at 2019 and forward to 2020, I think about what my resolutions are both personally and professionally. 

Intentional

Resolution #1 Be Intentional in Expressing My Authentic Voice 
You might have noticed as I change, the tone of this blog is changing. Yes, I’ll always have stilettos and pearls. I’m your Diva afterall. But when I look back at my life journey, I went from being a daughter to a bride to a diva… and from a diva to me. 

Self care

Resolution #2 Make Time for Wellness  
Wellness is not a luxury, but a necessity. I love a good luxury spa hotel, but I’ve learned wellness is not about going to a great resort but about self care every day. My sister and I were talking this weekend and she said “I’m not sure I even know how to do self care.” For me, that means getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, but also imbibing ginger tea and lemon water, going to the gym at least twice a week (my goal is 3 but it doesn’t always happen), cooking healthy dinners when I’m at home. It means learning to Say No To Others and Yes To Me. Going for a walk everyday. Spending time snuggling with my cats. Reading books. Taking time to journal and meditate. In 2019 I formed a lot of healthy habits that have changed my life. 

While staying in Cambodia at the 5-star hotel Anantara Angkor Resort in February for my writers’ retreat to work on my book, I went to the spa everyday to sit in the steam room. It was part of my process. If you’re going to write, you need to clear your mind so you can hear your voice. It occured to me, “What if I could do this every day at home? What if I incorporated steaming into my daily schedule?” Mr Steam makes that possible! They manufacture state-of-the-art steam shower systems and steam shower accessories that transform residential steam bathing.  Mr Steam
steamroom

Returning home from KBIS Vegas and Cambodia, I’m in research mode to determine how I can convert my master bath into a Mr Steam steamroom.  It’s easier than you would ever think possible – and actually affordable! I’m super excited by this concept that I can steam at home!!! Steaming improves circulation, skin health, loosens stiff joints and helps restore your body after a workout. Plus it reduces stress, opens up the sinuses, and burns calories. Control 4Resolution #3 Embrace Technology
At the resort, I would call the Spa and tell them to turn on the steam and I would be there in 30 minutes. But at home, if you have a smart home, you can simply tell your Smart Home to turn on the Steam. One of my sponsors with Design Hounds at KBIS in Las Vegas was Control 4, a provider of automation and networking systems for homes and business offering a personalized and unified smarthome system to automate and control connected devices including lighting, audio, video, climate control, intercom, and security. I am not a technology girl. When I was married, that was my husband’s job. As a single woman it occurred to me, “Who needs a husband when you can have Control 4?” I’m getting wired and stepping into the 21st Century! In the 2020s, I’m making my home a smarthome.

Toma Clark Haines living room in Venice

Resolution #4 Finish Decorating My Home in Venice 
Getting an apartment in Venice 2 years ago was hands-down the best decision I’ve made in my life. It’s my happy place. But maintaining my business in Berlin, Germany, whilst spending the majority of my time in Venice has meant that over the last 2 years I haven’t gotten everything done that I wanted to in Venice. I felt like my feet were straddling two nations as I hadn’t fully left Germany mentally as much as I wanted to nor fully settled into Venetian life.   

In December I finally fully closed up life in Germany. I will go to the States to Martha’s Vineyard for 3 – 4 months this Spring and Summer while I switch my visa status so I can fully start my new life. But for my Venice  apartment this means it’s time to get serious. I still need living room lights and art for my living room wall, as well as to finish my kitchen design so that it fully functions the way I want it to.  

In Italy, we say “Piano, piano” slowly, slowly, step by step, but I’m ready to put a bit more kick in my step. I’ve been “making do” in my kitchen without if fully finished the way I wanted it.  

Define Your Modern Kitchen StyleHaving just been to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show “making do” is no longer an option. In French the expression for window shopping is lécher les vitrines… literally licking the windows. I was licking all the windows at KBIS fantasizing about making my home more my home. Two of the brands that sponsored my KBIS Design Hounds trip caught my attention: Thermador and Nobilia. 

Thermador and NobiliaAfter “making do” Thermador’s tagline “Beyond Luxury Appliances” had me at Hello. You can get your design inspiration on here: https://www.thermador.com/us/experience/inspirational-design. They offer seamlessly integrated sleek design perfect for a contemporary lifestyle. And while I may work in antiques, I like contrast. A sleek modern kitchen contrasted with Rococo and Gustavian decor. Afterall, it’s all about the mix.  Meanwhile Nobilia’s nod to history impressed me. Nobilia kitchens are known for their modern design, exceptional quality and their extremely good price to value ratio but their origins employ many of the ideals of the Bauhaus movement harmonize the distinction between the fine and applied arts while reuniting creativity and industrial design.

Focus

Resolution #5  FOCUS; Where Focus Goes Energy Flows 
I’m becoming more intentional about how I spend my time. Every year I set a word of the year. Last year I chose Ready. This year my word is Intentional. I want to be more intentional about living a balanced life, increasing revenue for my business, and organizing my time. If I get more organized, I can focus more on what brings me revenue and when setting my priorities I’ll be able to know exactly where to best spend my time so I have more balance! I don’t see 2020 as a year for going forward, but rather a year for putting the 2010’s to bed.  

Resolution #6 Give Myself Permission to Quit
One of the things I’m thinking as I’m in a difficult period personally is “What do I need to eliminate from my life?” I have a lot of goals. What I’ve learned is if you find you’re not progressing on a goal… maybe that goal is not as important as you thought it was. Sometimes we put goals on our list that are not our goals – they could be our husband’s, a friend’s or an employee’s. If you’re not making progress there’s a reason. Time available is certainly one of those reasons, but sometimes it’s that the goal doesn’t matter enough. I want to learn Italian. I also want to go to the gym. I don’t have time for both classes at this moment in my life. I chose the gym because I felt it was better for my mental health. My objective is to be CONTINUALLY reevaluating my business and personal goals and deciding if I want to Quit a Goal, Delay a Goal or Progress on the Goal.  

Resolution #7:  Consider Compromises and Ask for Help 
For me, the last few months as work and life became too much and my blog took the hit. But… did it have to? When I ask myself that question “Is a monthly personal blog really my goal?” My answer is yes. But… why then did I let it slip through the crack? Because of time. One of the best exercises you can do for your business is to make a list of every single task you do. Then highlight those things that REALLY only you can do! You’ll be surprised how much you can ask for help on. 

As owner of the company, I set the vision for the brand, and I am the voice of the company. There is no Diva without I in Antiques Diva. I want to write personal blog posts, but… if my goal really is providing consistent content I could have taken my manicured hands off the wheel and asked one of my Diva Guides for help writing a blog while I was working on starting the podcast. By being so focused on what I had to do (that’s ego talking) I missed an opportunity to provide content for you and missed an opportunity to let a member of my team shine. Lesson Learned. Sometimes when focusing on a goal you have to make compromises – and ask for help – to meet your objective.  

Antique Dealer Training and Mentoring Program | The Business of Antiques

One of the most important services we offer at The Antiques Diva & Co is our Antique Dealer Training and Mentoring Program where we work with you to help you not only evaluate where your business is currently but help you to get where you want to go. In the program we meet you where you are. It’s customized according to your store and your inventory – but more importantly, according to your strengths and weaknesses. One of the exercises I’d encourage you to do is make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. When you look at the strengths use that list to evaluate where to best spend your time. What are you naturally good at? What are your weaknesses? These are areas of your business where you may need additional training or additional help. 

Crystals | The Repubulic of Toma

Resolution #8 Look for Help in Alternative Ways  
I’ve always had an interest in esoteric subjects but in 2020 I’m taking more of an interest in learning about these topics that interest me. I first began dabbling in crystals by accident. I was designing my jewelry collection The Republic of Toma and met one of the editors from Thai Tatler magazine who commented that my choice of stones was interesting. That my stones told the story of my soul.  

I found it a curious comment and inquired what she meant:

“Rubies and Citrines: Power, Success, Passion and Money. You’re starting a new venture designing jewelry and you’ve chosen stones that will guarantee your success. But Rose Quartz means love. You’re looking for love. Either externally or inside yourself. Aquamarine is a stone of courage. Its calming energies reduce stress and quiet the mind. Your mind is very noisy I think.”  

Her comment left me frozen. In designing jewelry had I literally put my heart on my sleeve? When I looked at the motifs I designed, snakes, frogs, etc… they were all symbols of transformation. This started me on a journey researching stones and their meanings. 

Compac

Compac: The Surfaces Company

As humans we have intuition. Intuitively we are drawn to things we like.  But our intuition leads us to what we like or don’t like, what we need or sometimes what we’re afraid of. I remember once going to the stone quarry in Italy and talking with one of the geologists about stones. I asked if he believed that stones had special powers assuming as a scientist he’d laugh at the notion. Instead he responded, “If your body needs potassium, it craves a banana. Why not Rose Quartz for love?” 

While at KBIS, visiting our sponsor Compac: The Surfaces Company – the leading company in high quality decorative surfaces – I thought for the first time about the materials I’m using in my home. I’ve always wanted only real materials – granite, real wood etc, but it occured to me that just as the stones I choose to wear in my jewelry give me additional help with the problems I’m facing so then would the stones I choose in your house have the same effect. This is Holistic living.  

Their stall at KBIS was filled with various marbles and quartzes. Looking up their properties, I learned that Marble is a grounding stone. It is the idea of security, strength and stability. It provides for the strength of self control and mastery of our thoughts. It enhances the powers of serenity, which is why it makes for a soothing meditation stone. Meanwhile Quartz is the most powerful healing stone of the mineral kingdom with various quartzes bringing different healing properties.  

When you think of seeking help from alternative means, it impacts the entire way you live. I bring fresh flowers and plants into my house because they bring life. I use aromatherapy to enhance my mood. I often use various scents in my diffuser, but only recently did I consider what those scents meant. Here lately as I’ve been choosing Geranium Oil in the diffuser and out of curiosity I looked it up. Guess what? It reduces feelings of stress, anxiety, sadness, fatigue, and tension! Definitely what I need during this difficult life period. And intuitively I knew it. In my bedroom I spritz my bed each more with lavender spray. Not only does it transport me to Provence, but it also has a calming, sedative quality and is known to promote rest and relaxation, helping it to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia. 

Antiques Diva Provence Tours 

Speaking of Provence, that reminds me, before I close I want to let you in on a special offer on our Antiques Diva Provence Tours.

The Antiques Diva & Co Provence ToursLIMITED AVAILABILITY! SO ACT QUICKLY! 

Book our 3 day Wholesale Trade Antiques Fair Tour
in the South of France April 6-9, 2020
and we will give you 1 extra day free!
4 days for the price of 3

We will introduce you to one of our favorite antique fairs
La Foire Aux Antiquités et à la Brocante de Barjac.
This is a 750€ savings

Antiques Diva Buying Tours to Provence

Learn more about The Antiques Diva & Co Provence Tours here. 

Have a question about our Provence tour? Ask Toma!

Thanks so much for reading, and see you next time. I promise I won’t make you wait 3 months! In the meantime, make sure to catch up on on my podcast, The Business of Antiques

Toma – The Antiques Diva 

Special thanks to my sponsors of the Design Hounds trip to Las Vegas with Modenus and KBIS: Mr Steam, Control 4, Thermador, Nobilia and Compac Surfaces. 




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Published at Fri, 28 Feb 2020 19:05:39 +0000

The results of the National Arts & Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn, February 21-23, 2020

The results of the National Arts & Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn, February 21-23, 2020

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


A long line of approximately 200 people wrapped around the bend just before the opening on Friday

The 33rd National Arts & Crafts Conference at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, ended yesterday. We had a decent show, but nothing to write home about. We were breaking even by the end of Saturday and then made a few sales on Sunday to come out a little bit ahead.

There was quite of bit of activity in our booth on Friday
We sold this rare Marblehead vase with herons on Sunday

We didn’t sell anything major, but we sold enough other objects, including Tiffany glass, a superb Gallé Cristallerie pitcher and several good pottery vases.

The National Arts & Crafts Conference is one of our most pleasant shows of the year. Dedicated, knowledgeable, friendly buyers fly and drive in from all over the country. We look forward to next year’s show.


No shows until May when we’ll exhibit at the Chicago Antiques + Art + Design show at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. It’s a beautiful show in a wonderful venue. The dates are May 14-17, 2020. So put it on your calendar and make plans to visit. You’ll thank me.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 24 Feb 2020 08:00:00 +0000

An interim report on the Palm Beach Show, February 14-16, 2020

An interim report on the Palm Beach Show, February 14-16, 2020

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


There was a nice crowd minutes before the opening of the preview party on Thursday night

Thursday, 5:45 PM. The preview party started about 45 minutes ago. There were 75-100 people on line a few minutes before the opening. I generally hate preview parties because I never make a sale, but I have a feeling this is going to be the one where it might happen. I’m probably kidding myself, but we’ll see shortly enough.

Thursday, 10:00 PM. Silly me! The preview party is over and it was a bust, as usual. Attendance was reasonably good and there were a few serious inquiries, but no sales. Some of my clients said they’ll be back during the show, so there’s hope.

Friday, 4:20 PM. The show opened at 11 AM. Attendance has only been moderate. I remember when we exhibited a few years ago at this show the aisles were jammed. Not this time. There was some interest and a few seemingly serious clients, but no sales.

We’re jammed into our small booth, about 20% of the size of our booth in Miami Beach. If sales go well, we’ll keep bringing out more merchandise from under the table. We couldn’t put it all out in this tiny space. It’s a calculated gamble that if we lower our costs, we’ll come out with a net profit. Even with a small booth our costs are considerably higher than they were in Miami Beach.

Friday, 7:00 PM. Opening day is over with no sales. Hard to imagine. At this rate, the Palm Beach Show will never see us again. I hope to change my tune by the time the show ends.

2:50 PM on Saturday outside our booth

Saturday, 3:00 PM. The show has been open for about 4 hours. Attendance is moderate and interest has been slight. No sales. Astonishing! I’m looking at the crowd and no one, absolutely no one, is carrying a package with a purchase. So we’re not the only ones who aren’t doing well.

Saturday, 7:00 PM. You know it’s a bad day when all you do is give out business cards. The more cards you give out, the worse the show is going and we’ve given out many. We once met a dealer years ago who said he didn’t have business cards. When we asked him why, he told us that people who ask for cards are not customers. Grumpy, but wise old guy!

Sunday, 2:45 PM The show has been open for almost four hours. We finally made the first sale of the show, a pretty Ernst Wahliss Art Nouveau sculpture of a maiden. A small sale but at least we broke the ice.

Thomas Kail and Michelle Williams (photo credit Pip Hurley, courtesy of People Magazine)

The lovely Michelle Williams and her fiancé Thomas Kail visited our booth several times to admire a few Tiffany lamps, but unfortunately they didn’t make a purchase. Hopefully they’ll be back before the show ends.

Attendance is the strongest today since the show began. Let’s see if that translates into additional sales.

Sunday, 7:00 PM The third day of the show is over. We made an additional sale, but we are no where close to meeting our expenses, let alone a profit.

Tune in on Wednesday for the final results of the show. I’ll be shocked if they’re good.


Our next show, The National Arts & Crafts Conference, is next week. It will be held February 21-23, 2020 at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. It’s one of our favorite shows of the year. Make it your business to attend and it will become one of yours too.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 17 Feb 2020 08:00:00 +0000

The Palm Beach Show opens to the public this Friday, February 14, 2020

The Palm Beach Show opens to the public this Friday, February 14, 2020

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


The Palm Beach Show will open to the public this Friday, February 14, 2020, at 11 AM and close on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 6 PM. A preview party will be held on the evening of February 13th to begin the festivities.

A billboard in West Palm Beach advertising the show

We haven’t exhibited at the show since 2016, but decided we would try again this year in a small booth. It’s expensive for exhibitors to display there, so maybe the trick to make it work this time is to lower our expenses. You’ll find out if our strategy was successful by continuing to read my blog. (There will be an interim update on Monday, February 17th and a final update on Wednesday, February 19th.)

This fabulous Tiffany Studios Poppy table lamp is one of the many Tiffany lamps we’ll have at the show

We’re bringing great merchandise to the show including a fabulous selection of Tiffany glass, lamps, and desk sets. On the French side, we’re bringing a truly outstanding group of Daum and Gallé cameo glass, as well as a nice selection of pate-de-verre glass by Walter and Argy-Rousseau.

You can get two free tickets to the show by clicking here. Now that you have no excuses, I hope to see you at the show!


Our next show, The National Arts & Crafts Conference, immediately follows the Palm Beach Show. It will be held February 21-23, 2020 at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. It’s one of our favorite shows of the year. Make it your business to attend and it will become one of yours too.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 10 Feb 2020 08:00:00 +0000

Fontaine’s Auction held an Antiques, Clocks & Fine Art auction on January 18, 2020

Fontaine’s Auction held an Antiques, Clocks & Fine Art auction on January 18, 2020

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Fontaine’s Auction, Pittsfield, MA, held an Antiques, Clocks & Fine Art auction on January 18, 2020. Included in the sale were Tiffany lamps and the Edward Malakoff collection of Pairpoint lamps. Malakoff was the author of the book Pairpoint Lamps.

Pairpoint Owl puffy table lamp, Fontaine’s lot #1

The top lot of the Pairpoint lamps was #1, a very rare puffy Owl on the matching owl base. There are fewer than 10 known examples in the world. The final price realized was $65,000, against a pre-sale estimate of $25,000 – $40,000.

Pairpoint puffy Orange Tree table lamp, Fontaine’s lot #51

The second best lot of the Pairpoint lamps was #51, a rare Orange Tree puffy on a tree trunk base. It sold well above its estimate of $15,000 – $20,000, realizing $28,000.

The Pairpoint lamp market has been in a prolonged slump prices for decades, so it was nice to see some strong prices. There also were some good bargains on many on the more common lamps.

Tiffany Peony Border floor lamp, Fontaine’s lot #100

The top Tiffany lamp of the sale also wasn’t a surprise. Fontaine’s always saves lot #100 for the star of the sale. This time it was a Tiffany 24″ diameter Peony Border floor lamp on an unusual base. It sold for $125,000, against the estimate of $125,000-$175,000.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Our next show, The Palm Beach Show, is only 10 days away. You can get two free tickets to the show by clicking here. It will be held at the Palm Beach Convention Center, February 13-18, 2020. We haven’t exhibited there in a few years, but decided to give it another try this year in a smaller booth.


I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 03 Feb 2020 08:00:00 +0000