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  • To close out season 4 of The Business of Antiques, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co Toma Clark Haines takes listeners on the road with her. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall on one of Toma´s antique buying tours? Well, that is exactly the experience you get in this episode - Guerilla Podcasting in Parma at Mercanteinfiera.  

    “Guerrilla Marketing” is an advertising approach that uses guerrilla warfare tactics, or the element of surprise, to attract target audiences. This form of marketing is especially effective for driving publicity, in which an unconventional and inventive. In this “Guerilla Podcasting” episode, its podcasting in the trenches - on the ground at actual antiques fair. You will eavesdrop on real life conversations and hear first-hand the thoughts of clients on the experience of buying antiques in Europe.

    Toma explains the ins and out of how to buy antiques at Mercanteinfiera and how to ship them home. Mercanteinfiera is Italy’s largest antiques fair - with over 1000 vendors and 3 halls of antiques. She offers the opportunity to apply to win a FREE TRIP TO EUROPE to buy antiques as a VIP with her in the Mercanteinfiera program and explains how you can shop the fair on your own. 

    She jokes that her competitors won’t be happy because she painstakingly takes you through the details you need to know in order to write a purchase order for shipping antiques. And, she gives advice on how to CYA - Cover Your Antiques - for insurance purposes when buying and shipping internationally. She explains how to pay and the best way to get a bargain when buying antiques in Italy.

    This is the last episode of Season 4 while Toma takes a short break to advance record some more episodes for season 5. If you have requests for topics to be covered, email Toma at [email protected] to tell her what lessons you would like to learn when she is back for Season 5 of The Business of Antiques! As always make sure to leave a 5 star review and share the podcast with a friend!

  • In today’s episode, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co – the World´s Largest Antiques Touring Company – tells you how to shop for antiques at the Paris Flea Market and how to ship antiques from France.  

    The first time Toma and her locally-based Paris team met with Jean-Cyrille Boutmy, owner of Marche Paul-Bert Serpette, he said, “The Antiques Diva & Co are Ambassadors. You make a bridge between the American buyers and the French vendors helping both sides do business.” The Antiques Diva & Co translates, negotiates, and liaises buyers with international shippers. As the Paris flea market has more than 3,000 vendors – it’s virtually impossible to scale in a single day unless you know where you are going. To book a Paris flea market antique buying tour email [email protected]

    If you are going to the market on your own – the first thing you need to know is that the Market is NOT in Paris. It's in Saint Ouen, just outside the periphery to the north of Paris. You can take the metro line 4 to Porte de Clignancourt or if taking a taxi or uber beware that you MUST set the city location as Saint Ouen sur Seine or you might end up on the wrong side of Paris! Use Marche Biron address 85 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine to get to the center of the flea market.

    The market is open every weekend all year long Saturday & Sunday from 10am to 6pm. The market is open Fridays from 8am to 12 noon -– but NOT all vendors are open. Maybe 60% will be open on Fridays. Mondays have less than 40% open.  

    There are 12 different permanent markets within the Paris flea market where you can buy anything from Art Deco leather club chairs to Louis 15th chest of drawers to sterling silver art de la table, paintings, vintage fashion and more. Some of my favorite markets are Marche Dauphine, Marche Biron, and, of course, Paul Bert Serpette. Marche Dauphine has a large number of artisans on site making contemporary art and artisan goods as well as vintage fashion in addition to traditional French antiques. Vernaisson in the front of the Rue de Rosier is actually the first original market, and it’s still one of my favorites because it’s so shopable with smalls and impulse purchase price items.

    When it comes to making purchases at the puce de Paris, Toma shares a few practical hints and tips on shopping the fleas:

    No AmEx. Sorry we know you love to get your miles – but most vendors do not accept AmEx.For all other credit cards, make sure to tell your bank that you are traveling internationally.Cash is king.Yes, you can ask for a discount. The more you buy from 1 vendor, the more likely you are to get a discount on your purchases.If you don't speak the language you can use your calculator to ask for a discount. 10-20% can be expected.A cross body hand bag is ideal for preventing pickpocketing.Do NOT be a jerk and wear a backpack.It’s dangerous for breaking antiques and increases the odds of being targeted for pickpocketing.
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  • In today's episode, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co and founder of The Republic of Toma, speaks with a mother-daughter team based out of Florida: Kelly and Blair McGee of Three Graces Antiques. With a legacy of antiques collecting and sourcing spanning three generations, their passion for the trade has become an inseparable part of their lives. They offer a range of unique pieces, meticulously curated over the decades, and today's episode is the epitome of what generations of antiques collecting and selling looks like. 

    Kelly's parents moved to London when Kelly was in high school and started collecting, utilizing young Kelly as their "spotter". This passion soon grew into a business. Jump forward and young Kelly, now grown and recently married, finds herself, along with her husband, attracted to starting their own antiques business so they started by "throwing some things on the dining room table to see if anyone likes it." Spoiler alert: they did. For years, the couple found themselves being jet-setting gypsies, going over to England and buying glorious items that they brought back to sell at shows all across the U.S. And so, they grew and grew, and twenty years later were one of the top five dealers in English Antiques in the entire United States show circuit. 

    Of course, no fairy tale is without its villain, and this is where their story transitions into a cautionary one. Recession hits, and, miraculously, Kelly and her husband recalibrate, changing up their business plan. They transition into more decorative items, and, working alongside designers, they have their most successful show ever in Palm Beach. Victory! They go to bed that night reveling in their success only to wake up the next morning to find that their sixteen foot cargo trailer full of around a million retail dollars in inventory has been stolen from the hotel parking lot in the night. 

    Listen and learn as this episode features the worst of humanity, taking you through not only a major art theft adventure, including FBI encounters, insurance fraud investigations, fine antiques found in Florida canals, and tragically underinsured discoveries. But it also showcases the best of humanity with stories of clients showing incredible acts of kindness to them. Ultimately, they closed their doors and Kelly entered into a season of careers in veterinary medicine, health care, and corporate jobs for both Kelly and later, her daughter Blair. How this mother daughter duo fight to get their passion back exemplifies the definition of bravery as they begin again years later in this new venture as Three Graces Antiques. This episode holds so much wisdom and insight into the industry both past and present, the changes, the lessons both learned and learning – it offers up to you, the listener, a rare opportunity to glean from their broad range of experiences. It is not an episode to miss.  

    You can learn more about Three Graces Antiques at www.threegracesantiques.com and follow their Instagram @3graces.antiques.

  • In this episode of The Business of Antiques Podcast, Toma Clark Haines, Founder and CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co and The Republic of Toma, sits down with industry legend, Veronika Miller. Veronika's influence, guidance, and friendship have been instrumental in Toma's career. Toma describes her best as a trailblazer, fearlessly creating paths for others to follow both in the industries of marketing and design. Toma and Veronika have both learned that being ahead of the pack can be scary but worth it. Veronika shares, "I believe firmly that life is lived best on the precipice between the safe broad path and the cliff, and there's this fine line and sometimes you look down and go 'Oooooh, I didn't see that coming. That's a little high.' And so you lose a lot of sleep but I love living there because I'm just a big believer philosophically that that is where life takes place in every regard."

    Veronika is the CEO and Founder of Designhounds Influencer Network Group and Managing Director of the M2 Consulting Group, and her mission is to help brands define actionable goals and build creative campaigns and programs – digitally and in real life. Veronika has her finger on the pulse of the design world, and society in general, and has a unique ability to distill big ideas – the big trends and the big obstacles – down to their very essence which is why she is one of the leading minds in our industry. To be able to sit down with her now, especially in this time that is precarious yet filled with possibility, and see clearly what we need to take away from this moment is an incredible gift and one we do not take for granted. Toma and Veronika take a deep dive into the current state of the industry, the importance of remembering why we are designing or selling antiques in the first place, the advantages of going back to our roots, thinking of the why's and our need for a provenance and a storytelling, understanding our value without falling into the trap of design as a transactional process, fostering an understanding of the "specialness" of our vision, and of the prominence of what we curate to sell – and how whether it's a piece of art or an antique – what we do creates special moments in every minute of every day of our clients’ lives.  

    Veronika's personal stories, from her unusual backstory as the daughter of Europe's first McDonald's franchise owners, growing up doing her homework in the employees break room listening to training videos and learning the importance of customer service, communication, and a smile, to her recent struggles through the illness and loss of her husband will leave you inspired and empowered to move forward in your own endeavors. Her work as a serial entrepreneur, creating and building successful businesses is exactly the kind of inspirational education this podcast has become known for and is perfect material for growing your best business and your best life as we kick off 2024 in style – Veronika Miller style! 

  • In this episode of the Business of Antiques Podcast, your host Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co, talks about how to Become the CEO of Your Life, not just your Antiques Business. She shares with you tools she personally uses to manage her time, her business, her clients, her energy levels, and how she keeps her eye focused on her goals. 

    There are 3 questions she is repeatedly asked:

    How do you get it all done? Do you sleep? andDo you have clones?  

    “Yes, I have clones,” she says. “My employees help me achieve what I do. And yes, I sleep. Without good self-care you can't simply maintain a long-term successful business. Being tired will catch up with you.”  

    She shares the tools in how she audits her business as well as life.

    10 Tasks to do Every Month for Your Antiques Business

    Do a financial overview of all accounts reviewing expenses & bills, chase up on late payers, pay your team & taxes.Review account statements from all suppliers and cross reference what you have been charged on your credit card, cancel services you don't use.Look at your year-over-year antique sales. Where are you in comparison to this same time last year?Keep an eye on your inventory and your visual merchandising – how does your store look – do you need to buy more inventory? Move it around? Consider your storage needs – and make sure you are properly insured.Remember you want to be TOMA – Top of Mind Awareness – with your client. Reach out to clients NOT just for sales but to build relationships.Social Media…this isn't just every month but every week and every day!Use Google Analytics to review your website – determine what areas traffic is down and why.Keep up to date on relevant industry news and services as well as new players.Keep your data safe and relevant.Talk to advisor. Book your one on one business consulting session with Toma. [email protected]  Having a business coach can make your antiques business more profitable than you ever imagined possible.

    Toma divides her life into 8 categories using the Pillar Life. She knows if she is in balance living as her most authentic version of herself – that she is always making money. She gets paid to be herself!

    Wellness/Health/NutritionSpirituality/Happiness/PurposeRomance/Sex (who knew a podcast about antiques would talk about sex!?)Friends/Family/CommunityCreativity/InnovationAdventure/Discovery/GrowthSanctuary/Beauty/RestMoney/Abundance/Work

    She furthermore breaks down the system by where she checks in with herself and business by asking this series of questions:

    How am I today?What’s not working?What is working?What do I need?What am I proud of?What can I let go of?

    She confesses it's not always possible to be in balance in all categories and how it's more important over the course of the year that she is in balance than on a weekly or monthly basis. 

    She share how she divides her business year: 

    Winter - Vision & Planning

    Spring - Marketing & PR

    Summer - Creative

    Fall - Action

    Her weekly to do list further breaks down into the following categories

    AdministrativeCreativeMarketing/PRFollow UpSomedayTravelFinancesPersonal

    These systems organize her life. 

  • In today's episode, join Toma Clark Haines, Founder and CEO of The Antiques Diva and Co and The Republic of Toma, on a warm cozy climb into the head of long-time antiques dealer, Kim Hites. Kim sells at the Thoroughbred Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky. Although Kim has been travelling to and shopping in France and importing shipping containers of antiques since 2012, her career as an antiques dealer specializing in continental furnishings actually goes back thirty five plus years to when she was in college and working on her interior design degree. It was then that she completely fell in love with the history of antiques. 

    Kim's years spent in a variety of capacities as an Interior Designer and Antiques Dealer make her a wealth of detailed information on the ins and outs of selling antiques which she shares openly in today's episode. Thoroughbred Gallery is, to a certain degree, the "antique mall model"; although it's a bit more exclusive than typically comes to mind with that model. They have maybe ten dealers there in their charming historic building, and she has been able to grow an incredible clientele there, having started with 300 square feet of the space and having now expanded to a little over 1200 square feet. They are also a full service design center so they're doing fabrics and wallpapers, upholstery, and the like – supplying local designers not only with antiques but meeting all of their design needs. Being one of the dealers there is the culmination of Kim's life-long love affair with antiques. 

    Kim's insight into what sells antiques – spoiler alert and you've heard it before – STORY is king, or queen in this case! Kim has observed over the years how people truly fall in love with an item when they fall in love with the story of the item. Maybe Kim was in a certain barn in the French countryside when she discovered it. She has learned that nine times out of ten, when people love the story, they purchase the antique. She also attests to one of the things Toma often shares on the podcast – it takes a village to run an antiques story. Kim shares how her movers, restoration specialists, gallery owners, and other vendors all play a powerful role and are part of her "village".  And you WILL NOT WANT TO MISS Kim's antique must-haves every antiques dealer must sell!

    For more information on Kim Hites and what she is doing as she pivots into 2024 in expanding new ways, follow her at their website https://kimberlyhites.blogspot.com, Kimberly Hites on Instagram, and Kimberly Hites French Country Antiques & Interiors on Facebook.

  • In this episode of The Business of Antiques CEO Toma Clark Haines explains what you learn in the Business of Antiques- Antique Dealer Training Program. She also offers one on one business coaching for antique dealers wanting to elevate their antiques businesses.

    BOA-ADTP is the gold-standard antique dealer training program for new (or nearly new) antique dealers who want to build a meaningful, profitable business for the way they want to live their lives. Being an Antiques Dealer is not a one-size fit all career. There are a lot of ways to sell antiques. The secret to a successful business is finding the way that will support how you actually live your life - not how someone else tells you to do it. 

    ‍Whether you’re just starting an antiques business or taking an existing antiques shop to new heights, The Antiques Diva & Co helps you so you don't have to start your antiques business on your own. Their step-by-step school for antiques dealers gives you all the tools and support you need to fast-track your career and learn how to become an antiques dealer. Their goal is to save you time and save you money fast tracking you to being a Pro! They´ve helped 1000´s of antique dealers build their dream antiques career creating financial freedom.  

    Most of their clients are on their ¨2nd Act”- they often have pursued more ¨practical careers¨ first and usually come to Antiques Diva & Co when they are ready to quit their day job and begin their dream job. Listen to this episode to find out more about this award winning school for learning how to be an antiques dealer.

  • In this episode of the Business of Antiques Toma Clark Haines - CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co does not have a guest. She just talks to you one on one from her home in Venice, Italy over a cup of morning coffee. Recently her podcast producer Jason Perrier suggested she tell her story. And in this episode - that´s exactly what she does. 

    She starts by saying, ¨I´m Toma. I am the founder and CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co. I am a creative who has learned through trial and error how to get s#t done. I am an entrepreneur, a writer, a speaker, a jewelry and furniture designer as well as the host of the reality TV show Republic of Toma. Most of all, I am a dreamer and I’ve learned how to make dreams a reality. Let me tell you how we can help you.¨

    She tells her personal journey from growing up in Oklahoma to marrying and moving to Paris in her twenties. She explains how she build her brand and she talks about how she almost lost it all when she divorced. She talks about learning to build a profitable antiques business and why trusting your own instinct matters. Most of all she shares her heart. Her heart is to help entrepreneurs who want to become antique dealers build profitable businesses that support the way they want to live their life. With a laptop, her mobile phone, and the help of her friends, she created an empire that operates in 16 countries and has changed thousands and thousands of people’s lives. The Antiques Diva &Co is the World’s Largest Antiques Touring company.

    Toma jokes, “Changed people’s lives??” Quelle Drama! This is the Business of Antiques - It’s not Brain Surgery.” I may not be solving world hunger but I am helping people just like you pursue their passion, find their most authentic self and find fulfillment in their day to day lives by getting paid to do what they love. Listen to this episode to find out how The Antiques Diva & Co can help you.

  • In this episode, Toma Clark Haines founder and CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co, talks with nationally renowned event-planning expert, celebrity party-planner, designer, author, and founder of A Perfect Event, "a special event company with a faithful following, including Oprah Winfrey, Brooke Shields, Debra Messing, and Leo Burnett” – Debi Lilly.

    Debi Lilly has it in her blood to celebrate! She has been crafting celebrations and making the world more beautiful since she was very very little – learning at her mother and grandmother's knees. Throwing parties is part of her DNA makeup. "I just love love love celebrating. That's my job, and I can't really believe it...It's kind of amazing to think that you could create a career around what you just deep-in-your-heart truly love doing." Debi is on a one woman mission to inspire, educate, and share her twenty years of party planning and stylist tips, tricks and DIY designs to elevate celebrations for any occasion, everywhere, coast to coast. She's created both a magazine and book entitled “A Perfect Event”. Toma and Debi share a core belief in the importance of pursuing your passions and following your dreams and how when we do this, we enable others to do the same and the world is made a better place because we are making people's dreams come true. 

    Toma and Debi met through The Antique Diva's Annual Paris Flea Market Party (which is incidentally coming up January 21st, 2024 - Want an invite? Email [email protected]!). Toma met Debi and her mother at The Antique Diva's first ever flea market party and Debi, her husband, and her parents have been faithful attendees over the past decade! "So wonderful and gorgeous...Every year you knock it out of the park and I just think it's a really fun gathering to get people together during Maison Objet. The flea market itself is a huge overwhelming product-filled, antique-filled, shopping trend-filled experience and your party really adds a moment of personalization and community and networking. ¨I love it. I just love it," says Debi – sending Toma over the moon with her praise. After all, when the queen of planning "A Perfect Event" sings your praises, you can't help but dance!

    The two discuss following dreams, creating meaning in the midst of our busy lives, how the pandemic reframed so many people's lives, trends of colors and textures, floral design secrets, how design and our interiors powerfully impact each of our lives and how floral design can be such a magical part of that, and how pink and red or "dressing for Valentines Day" is always a good idea. This episode is jam-packed with life and love and passion and is just what our hearts need as we navigate the holidays, close out 2023, and make our way toward the new year. The two also go deep with business talk, how candles often help pay the bills, the ins and outs of brick and mortar and selling online, marketing strategies, social media, branding, and the work/life balance. It is yet another episode you will not want to miss!  

    You can find more about Debi and all the magic she is making at www.debililly.com or www.aperfectevent.com (they go to the same place). Instagram @debililly, @aperfectevent or on Facebook – Debi Lilly.

  • In today's episode, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co and founder of The Republic of Toma, talks with Katie Treggiden – author, journalist, podcaster, keynote speaker, and the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a membership community and online learning platform for designers, makers, craftspeople, and artists who want to become more sustainable. This episode is a journey from Katie’s idyllic childhood growing up in Cornwall, surrounded by beaches, moors, and the countryside, going fishing after school on sunny afternoons and having barbecues on the beach for tea to the bright lights of university and then a career in advertising. However, with the disillusionment surrounding what the career in advertising was giving – as Katie puts it,“the simultaneously devastating and the best thing that had ever happened” her at that time in life, and the sudden loss of her job due to the closing of her firm’s London office; this is when Katie Treggiden really started living the design writer’s life she had dreamed of as a child.

    Katie’s love for design was the spark that kindled her love of writing, and her severance package bought her six months to makeover her life into that of a full time writer and do that, which she did! Katie’s story, at times, seems straight out of a movie. Her passion and perseverance are an inspiration to listeners who are on their own journeys launching their dream careers in design and antiques. When Toma saw Katie Treggiden’s latest book title–Broken, and the subtitle Mending and Repair in a Throwaway World, she knew she must have this longtime colleague and friend on The Business of Antiques podcast. Broken “celebrates 25 artists, curators, designers and makers who have rejected the allure of the fast, disposable and easy in favor of the patina of use, the stories of age and the longevity of care and repair. Accompanying these profiles, six in-depth essays explore the societal, cultural and environmental roles of mending in a throwaway world.” 

    “I think the environmental crisis brings up a lot of feelings and emotions and you can’t create a space that is addressing the environmental crisis without holding space for those emotions you know I talk a lot about,” Katie explains. “Defiant hope and that’s not about passive optimism – that’s about waking up every morning and choosing to believe in a better world and acting accordingly but you can’t do that by bypassing the fear, right? You’ve got to hold space for the fear and hopelessness and the defeat that we all feel and then enable people to move through those feelings and empower them with what they need to take action.” This episode leaves listeners empowered and inspired to carefully and thoughtfully craft their own best lives harnessing their defiant hope to spark meaningful change as Katie Treggiden has. Learn more about Katie, Making Design Circular, tackling the environmental crisis, and more at katietreggiden.com. 

  • In today’s episode, Toma Clark Haines – CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co and founder of The Republic of Toma ­­– speaks with a legend in the industry, John Hansord of Hansord Antiques. John runs his family business located in Lincolnshire and has his showrooms in a gorgeous farmhouse that dates from 1693. John is on the vetting committees for some of the leading antique fairs in the UK. In addition to selling to interior designers all over the world, he’s a member of BOTA, which is the British Antique Dealers Association as well as LAPADA. He has also sold to a variety of museums, and the type of inventory John specializes in are museum-quality pieces. Not only is it amazing that you have the opportunity to buy from one of the leading experts in the UK, today you have the opportunity to learn from John. 

    Like many antique dealers, the pandemic led John to ask if they could do business a different way. Toma believes the most important question you can ask yourself if you own a small business is “Could we be doing it in a different way?” She believes when you start asking yourself that question, that’s when real change starts to happen because you open your mind up to what is possible. Toma and John discuss the challenges and triumphs in asking yourself this question.

    John shares insight into serving clients in a way that builds rapport. His tendency to go the extra mile with his clients is an inspiring example for those just starting out as antiques dealers on how to best connect with clients. John’s personal touch is just another element that sets him apart. “I think one of the greatest things about our job is that every day is different whether it’s the buying or the selling. I’ve been doing it for thirty odd years and I still discover new things I’ve never seen.” While others anticipate retirement, John finds it hard to imagine wanting to retire. “I love what I do!” Filled with fascinating history of this family business and what it entails, how to go above and beyond in customer service, sourcing museum quality antiques, and living a life you have no desire to retire from, this episode is as legendary as John is. For more information on John Hansord and his incredible antiques, visit www.hansord.com 

  • In today's episode, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co and founder of The Republic of Toma talks shop with public relations consultant, Tiffany Farney, owner of Digital Thread Consulting, a boutique public relations firm specializing in the art and design industry. Tiffany's company takes a unique approach in that they specifically focus on serving mission-based clients. This does not mean exclusively non-profits but businesses that have core values, core ideas, and a vision for their company. Tiffany is preaching to the choir as this is one of the basic tenets Toma shares with her antique dealer mentoring clients, as well. In her PR work, Tiffany stresses the importance of being engaging, making connections, and knowing your company's mission and vision, which ultimately creates your business' story. "I am your storyteller. I am your narrator. I am the one sitting by the campfire telling your story in the best possible way! I can tell the words, but I cannot make up your story."

    The two deep dive touching on subjects such as diversity, equity, & inclusion, the necessity of seeking out experts and information for yourself, how to determine what is important for your company, the power and importance of social media, as well as tips and strategies on how to take your social media audience on a journey. Both originally hailing from Oklahoma, there may even be a few powerful points involving two-stepping to George Strait, and how the Taylor Swift Heiress Tour is 1000% worth it! They speak of the profound benefit of finding a community that provides a safe space to connect with each other and get advice from people who truly understand where you are coming from ­– which is what this episode makes you feel like. You feel like you are in the room with friends giving each other a safe space to be their authentic selves. 

    Making the decision to start with a PR firm is a very specific point in a company's journey and not everyone may be at that point, but Toma wanted to introduce you to Tiffany Farney for when you are ready. In the meantime, this episode is full of absolute gems to get you to that point! You can find out more about Tiffany and Digital Thread Consulting at digitalthreadconsulting.com and follow her on Instagram @digitalthreadconsulting. 

  • In this episode of The Business of Antiques, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co and founder of The Republic of Toma, visits with Simon de Harlez of Deulin Antiques. Simon is a Belgium antiques dealer who runs his store from his family’s 18th century castle, the Château de Deulin. Even after all of Toma’s travels, Deulin remains one of her favorite chateaux to this day. 

    Simon is a dealer she has personally bought from, someone she considers a friend, and who she honestly considers a role model for antiques dealers entering this industry. 

    Simon specializes in what he loves: Scandinavian antique furniture. This is the first rule - but what you love and you can sell it because you have passion. 

    Over the last three seasons, Toma has repeatedly emphasized the need for dealers to diversify their income streams, stressing the importance of selling in multiple ways. Simon had diversified his antique shops income streams. He has created a comprehensive antiques business that Toma deems worth a case study for dealers looking for various revenue streams. Not only do they showcase and sell antiques out of their Château de Deulin and online, but they also rent it as a bed and breakfast, allowing clients and customers to come and stay overnight, touring their warehouse and shopping on the grounds as well as enjoy a comfy stay. They sell at deballages in the South of France and also host an onsite antiques fair that not only benefits their antiques business but also lifts up other dealers in the region. Simon’s father continues to work with him, restoring furniture and being an integral part of the company. Listen in to discover even more ways this business sells antiques.  

    This episode is full to the brim not only with solid business strategies to help antiques dealers learn to diversify their income streams, but also incredible sourcing tips, the advantages of buying straight from the dealers place (or Chateau in Simon’s case), madcap tales of Toma’s driving escapades, and the fabulous why and how of once you become an antiques dealer, you’re likely to stay one for the rest of your life. You can find more about Simon de Harlez, shop from him, or set up your own adventure to his chateau through his website deulinantiques.com or follow his Instagram @deulinantiques. For more information specifically about the chateau, go to: www.espacedeulin.be

     

  • In this episode, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co, sits down in her home in Venice with long-time friend Robert Schreuder. Robert is a Dutch dealer who began as a lawyer, but after 6 years working at a law firm thought, “Well, this is not all there is in life.” After studies in Leiden, Bordeaux and Bologna, alongside his legal work, Robert threw himself into building an antiques business from scratch. He has created an extraordinary collection specializing in the Grand Tour and Empire period. Toma and Robert discuss the Grand Tour and the antiques that come from this tradition.

    “When you are an antiques dealer, you sell an object, but you sell much more. You sell the story around the object. You sell emotion.” Robert explains. One of Robert’s specialties is in Grand Tour souvenirs and this niche is foundational to Robert’s business. Toma and Robert deep dive into the power of niche–how bringing your passions into your business is not limiting your success but actually fine tuning it. People recognize your brand. They remember you. When you are enthusiastic about what you are selling, that is actually what attracts your clients. 

    The two touch on important topics such as how the value changes depending on where you buy it, who you’re selling it to, what your brand is, what marketing you have around your brand, and how these things determine what you’re able to charge for the object. These are all nuances in the industry that help a fledgling dealer find their place in the chain. While many dealers Toma speaks with are running multi-generational businesses, Robert has built his business from the ground up and offers unique insight to individuals breaking into the business. 

    This episode is a history lesson, an antiques dealer how to, and a warm conversation among friends all wrapped into one action packed hour. For more information on Robert Schreuder and his antiques business, go to robertschreuder.com or follow him on Instagram @grand_tour_antiques_amsterdam

     

  • In honor of Toma’s 50th Birthday we celebrate the release of her 50th podcast episode.

    They say that all the world's a stage and for Cathy Whitlock, the decor of that stage is the very best part. In this episode, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co, enjoys visiting with one of the most glamorous women she knows, someone she gladly counts in her inner circle tribe of fabulous women – Cathy Whitlock.

    Cathy is a book author, freelance print and digital features writer, editor, international speaker, content developer, and the list goes on. Her passions for travel, film, and design are reflected in all of her work. Cathy shares, "My motto is to go in the direction of things that you are fascinated by, that interest you, that are your passion. And for me, since I was a little girl, I've always been into movies. My parents took me to Gold Finger at like six...by the time I was eight, I had a mad crush on Sean Connery. I have always been a big movie goer. I love to write, and I love design, and I've just kind of cobbled it all together and made a career."  

    Always a go-getter, Cathy moved straight to NYC immediately after college and went to work for Universal Pictures in marketing and PR. When years later, they moved everyone to the west coast, she stayed because she was dating somebody at the time. After she got married, everyone was always telling her, "I love your apartment. I want you to help with mine." And she realized she wanted to be a designer so she went back to school in NYC and got a degree at Parsons in Interior Design and became an Interior Designer.

    "Then years later, I was standing in a Park Avenue apartment in this woman's place, and she was going on and on about this movie and how she wanted the apartment to look like the movie set. And a lightbulb went on in my head and I thought 'film and design' – so related and I started writing about it and I pitched Traditional Home an article and they gave me eight pages, which kind of launched my career, and then I got a cover story, and then Harper Collins, my editor, saw it one day in a news stand and gave me a call and I got a book deal. So that's kind of how it all happened."

    Toma's intuition has proven to be a solid guide yet again in bringing to the "podcast table" another mind with a unique perspective but brilliant business insight for antique dealers. The two creative women delve into the world of antiques from a completely different jumping off point illuminating unique and innovative avenues of earning potential for dealers around the world. 

    Their discussions about antique shopping, the absolute dream that is the Paris Flea Market,  Hermes scarves, the power in choosing the lifestyle you desire, and the magic of Chintz will wrap you up in their mysterious Scorpio sorcery.

    To learn more about Cathy Whitlock, be sure to check her out at cathywhitlock.com, Instagram @catwhitlock and her books – wherever books are sold.

  • Serial Entrepreneur and Antiques Dealer Tressa Mills of Lakeshore Event Center is a master at one of the most valuable skill sets that exist for those working in the business of antiques. "Tressa artfully adapts,” Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co, explains of her consulting client. Years ago, Tressa signed up for one of Toma's free hour-long phone consultations and then attended one of her Antique Dealer Training Events in NYC. From the very beginning, Tressa made an impression. As Toma has happily followed Tressa's career, she has witnessed and taken note of the grace and style with which Tressa adapts her antiques business. Like a sailor anticipating the changes in the wind, and the shifts of the tides, Tressa artfully adapts. This is the single most important skill set an antiques dealer can possess.

    On this episode of The Business of Antiques, Toma and Tressa talk about the journey that has been Tressa's fascinating second career. After selling her successful business in the food service industry in West Michigan and taking a two week retirement, Tressa followed her heart to the business of antiques. Signing herself up for an intense three years self-trained "antique college" in which she sold in markets, booths, auctions, and always experimenting, finding what worked and what didn't - she moved forward with her new learned information. After those three years, she purchased "the best antique store in west Michigan." She spent the first five years evolving it from where it was into all that she believed it could be and thoroughly enjoyed her years working with the amazing antique dealers who sold with her.

    But as we all know, the winds have certainly changed over the past several years, and those left standing are those who have been able to shift their sails. Once again, Tressa has done so artfully. Tressa's "best antique store" has adapted and shifted to fill a gap in the industry that Tressa saw. Tressa is filling a niche by seeing the need for an auction house operating somewhere between the top auction houses and the low end ones. Following the death of her mother and the downsizing of her father's estate, Tressa realized the sacred privilege in helping others re-home their family treasures.

    Listen in and learn from the fascinating journey of Tressa's business. Hear how Tressa confronted her fear of social media from a time when she asked Toma, "Can I just show my grandchildren? Do I have to show my face?" to the social media rock star that she now is. Spoiler alert: the secret is having fun – crazy, crazy fun! Which is how Tressa explains her brand new venture with Lakeshore Event Center – West Michigan's Premier Auction House where alongside of many of the antique dealers who have been working with her over the years, they have developed an exclusive higher end, curated, auction that they do on the Live Auctioneer platform where they host one auction a month and it is indeed crazy, CRAZY FUN!

    Tressa loves the "amazing and magical" place where the wind has taken her and has found joy yet again in antiques and walking alongside people to help them find the right new homes for their family's beloved treasures. An episode full of insight, wisdom, and the importance of following your heart.

    Lakeshore Event Center lakeshoreeventcenter.com

    Live Auctioneers https://www.liveauctioneers.com/auctioneer/7853/lakeshore-event-center/

    Instagram @LakeShoreEventCenter

  • Toma Clark Haines CEO of Antiques Diva & Co and Founder of The Republic of Toma, clearly believes that antiques are an essential element in the interior design industry, so whenever a leader in design writing champions antiques, Toma takes notice. Hadley Keller is one of those champions. She is one of the writers that most promotes antiques in the design world.

    Hadley Keller is a long term design writer and editor, having worked for many of the leading publications in the industry. She got her start at Condé Nast under the editorial direction of Tom Wallace and learned so much from him. When he left, she went to work for architectural Digest which was then run by Margaret Russell. Under Russel, she moved from a Market Editor to the digital side and finally helped to create AD Pro. She was also lucky enough to experience working at House Beautiful where the print side and the digital side were more intermeshed. She is currently serving as the Director of Editorial and Community Engagement at Design Leadership Network ­­– a membership community of top architects, interior designers, landscape specialists, and design professionals.

    DLN is probably best known for the Annual Summits they do every year in a different design capital in which they provide a week long combination of wonderful inspiring speakers and behind the scenes tours immersing their audience in the design scene of that city. Last year was in Rome. This year in October, they will be in Mexico City. DLN provides a unique opportunity for peer to peer networking among leaders in the design industry.

    In today's episode, Toma and Hadley discuss their favorite fairs, stores, vendors, and markets around the world, including some in the U.S. as well as some "must follow" Instagram accounts in the world of antiques and design and how Instagram can make an impact on your business for the better. A few secret resources you don't want to miss just may be revealed in the mix as well. And of course, as a writer – Hadley shares one of the antique dealers best secret weapons in selling antiques – the power of story.

    Her insight will inspire antiques dealers to remember the romance surrounding the objects they have in their collections and help them better know how to share those stories in order to maximize communication and benefit their businesses. And finally, a bit more of how DLN is a potential resource for antiques dealers as well. Full of fast-talking brilliance, you will want to have a pen and paper handy to take notes.

    For more information on Hadley Keller and DLN, you can check out www.hadleykeller.com and www.designleadershipnetwork.org as well as follow her on Instagram @hadleykeller and DLN @designleadershipnetwork.

  • Some would argue that the world of design needed Robert Passal in it, and the universe was vested in making it happen. Toma Clark Haines, CEO of the Antiques Diva and Co and Founder of The Republic of Toma happens to be one of them. In our welcome back from the summer episode, Toma has the sheer joy of interviewing one of her design heroes and dear friends, New York Luxury Residential and Commercial designer, Robert Passal. She’s considering hanging a bronze plaque in her guest bathroom saying “Robert Passal Showered Here” after his last trip to visit her in Venice.

    Follow along as the two discuss their origin stories and the role The Artist's Way played in starting their businesses. Robert became an interior designer after “Doing” the book and Toma launched “The Antiques Diva.” In both instances, history was made. They talk about the importance of classic traditional design as a foundation for interior design and then how the next step in design (and life) is trusting your instincts. Toma talks about how she believes Robert's ability to "trust his gut" has been central to his success as one of the popular interior designers in America.

    Whether you are trying to grow a thriving business as a designer or an antiques dealer, this episode is filled to the brim with advice that will help you take your business to the next level.

    Toma and Robert discuss the very fine balance one must strike when learning how to profit in the design world. Other topics include: the thrill of the hunt, how relationships are key in this industry, and the often overlooked bottom line. And if you stay with them until the end, you will be rewarded with a very special birthday story and how "for $18 bucks, you can become anything you want to be."  

    This is not an episode to miss. It is truly a treasure trove of terrific business advice.

     For more information into the world and design of Robert Passal, you can check him out at www.robertpassal.com or follow him on Instagram @robertpassal.

  • In today’s podcast, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva and Co, visits with Rudy of Collected by Schwung, a wholesaler in High Point, North Carolina, and known by many as Schwung Home. Collected by Schwung is “a creative studio with the heart of a collector and the hands of a maker. They imagine, design, build, and gather an endlessly evolving family of desirable objects that bring energy, warmth, and pleasure to personal spaces of every kind. They are obsessive accumulators—of objects, stories, and people. They’re constantly growing their unique archive of useful, whimsical, and beautiful pieces that have lived—and will live—for years and generations to come.” 

    This episode is chock full of the secrets of the antique-sellers universe. Self-described as “passionate creatives and obsessive collectors,” they buy in France, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, and Chechnya. They then restore the items in Poland and ship them to their 60,000 square foot show house in an old hosiery mill in High Point, North Carolina where they sell these unique treasures to designers and industry insiders. A born entrepreneur, Rudy got his start when he sold ice cream in Antwerp on these special tricycles he made. He was selling ice cream in the antique district when he became captivated by the antique stores and what he was seeing. He began interacting with the dealers and listening to their stories. He became so enraptured with the world of antiques that he ended up selling the ice cream tricycle business and buying into one of the antique stores. Schwung has 25 people involved in making the magic happen, but Rudy and Dominique handle all the purchasing. 

    “The purchasing part is always the biggest success of whatever happens after,” explains Rudy, and Toma enthusiastically agrees. “The first criteria when I purchase something is if I really, truly want to have that piece for myself—if I had it in five years, would I still be happy with it? This automatically transfers to your audience. The pieces that you curate—they tell the right story. They have the right quality to find a new home.” Rudy and Dominique have done an amazing job of bringing the European experience stateside and then elevating it beyond what you see in Europe. “They truly take it to the next level—it is destination shopping at its best. You must make the trip to visit Schwung Home in real life. There is nothing else like it in America,” Toma encourages her listeners. They have worked hard to create a space where they want to be and you will too!

    Rudy and Dominique not only sell exquisite antiques, but they create lighting fixtures that are truly out of this world. “We’re collecting the antiques and creating the heirlooms of the future. Dominique was a jewelry designer that is now a designer of lighting. After all,” says Rudy, “Lighting is the jewels for the home.”

    Join Toma and Rudy for a lesson in buying, collecting and creating. Learn the photography tricks that make their antiques online as close to reality as possible for their buyers. And listen in to absorb a wealth of essential industry success strategies. When Toma first entered their showroom in High Point, it took her breath away and she had one thought: “Now this is how we do it!” If you have a passion for antiques and a desire to learn and grow your antiques business, you will not want to miss this episode!

  • In this episode, Toma Clark Haines, CEO of the Antiques Diva & Co., visits with Victoria from Friar House Antique Jewellery. Victoria is not only a fashionista whom Toma admires, but she specializes in antique engagement rings, antique diamond rings, and Art Deco jewelry. Friar House sells to many traders all over the world and has been established within the antique jewelry trade for 25 years. They opened their retail shop in December of 2004, situated in the small historic town of Battle, England. Battle played its part in the course of English History, and it is where the famous 1066 Battle of Hastings took place. Friar House itself is a 17th century shop house dating from 1623 and is the perfect backdrop and home for the exquisite jewelry Victoria painstakingly curates for their collection. Victoria has bought and sold thousands of pieces all over Europe and the USA, selling at international jewelry trade fairs. Victoria truly believes that you never stop learning. In this episode she shares a wealth of knowledge she has learned on her jewelry journey. 

    Friar House was one of the first antique jewelry online sellers in the UK. It is this progressive approach to selling, antiques along with her authenticity and style, that made Toma want to interview Victoria. “Whatever you’re doing, you need to be authentic & true to yourself,”

    Victoria encourages Toma and the listeners. “Jewelry is so symbolistic. It sends messages and is meaningful. Jewelry is so significant. It has an emotional attachment.” When people are buying antiques, they are not just buying an object – they’re buying a story.

    “There’s something strange about antiques,” says Victoria. “Antiques choose you! You have to let the piece choose you.” Antique jewelry is so unique and one of a kind that it is not for everyone, but, if you’re looking for a spectacular Art Deco, completely restored or refurbished jewelry that has patina and personality, then Friar House just might be the place for you.

    While they are known for their extensive range of Art Deco and vintage engagement rings, they also have a large selection of eternity rings, gemstone jewelry, including pendant, earrings, and bracelets suitable for all occasions.

    Toma and Victoria discuss all of this magic as well as the power of knowing your client and being able to say no when it’s not right. The episode is overflowing with inside tips such as Instagram strategy, what makes a business work, the importance of being comfortable in your own skin, and how anytime there is strife in the world – there is an opportunity in business. To find out more about Victoria and the work she is doing at Friar House Jewellery. Follow them on Instagram @friarhouse_antiquejewellery or visit their website: friarhouse.com .

    SPONSOR - Get Ready to Be Diva-ed - Diva Education that is!!!  We’re hosting an Antiques Diva Educational Retreat

    Join your hosts Toma Clark Haines - CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co and Gail McLeod, VP Antiques Diva & owner Antique News & Fairs for learning the Business of Antiques.

    When:

    OCTOBER 2-6, 2023

    Where:

    You’ll be based at Hemswell Court Hotel each day visiting world renowned antique fairs, centers and dealers nearby https://www.hemswellcourt.com/

    Sunday 1 October, 2023

    Arrive England and check into Hemswell Court Hotel Welcome drinks at 6pm courtesy of The Antiques Diva.

    * As we anticipate jetlagged guests

    - dinner at...