05 February 2016

A Change I Didn't See Coming

Small Chinese Dragon canister, close-up.
No-one would have believed, in the early days of 2016, that my business was being watched by intelligences greater than my own.

That as I busied myself with my various concerns, they observed and studied.  The way a man with a microscope might scrutinize the creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

With infinite complacency, I went to and fro about the globe, confident of my empire over this world.

Yet, across the gulf of space, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded my business with envious eyes.

And slowly, and surely, built their plans against me.

Well okay, just lately life hasn’t been as interesting as a Martian invasion.  Nice catch, those of you who recognized me stealing shamelessly from The War of the Worlds.

Nice French enamelware.  Half price!
And yet, recent events have stirred things up nicely.  And one of the protagonists certainly believes herself infinitely superior to me.  To be fair it’s not just me; she’s infinitely superior to the rest of you as well.

Okay, long story short.  Malcolm, who bought my business almost 3 years ago but then ran off before paying, has come back.  He’s bought my business and most of my stock-on-hand.  He’s made good on his obligations and I am a happy camper.  No, I did not see that coming.

His proposed shop assistant, Alexandra, tried endlessly and stridently to talk him out of honoring his obligations.  If he was going to hand over any lump sums, she preferred they went to her.  In return for what?  Well, that’s a good question.  Nothing really springs to mind, I have to say.

Nice seaside-themed dish.
With zero experience as an antiques dealer or international buyer, she informed me that she would be so much better at it than me.  And she could style an antiques shop so much better than me.  And she could run a business so much better than me. 

Being long-term unemployed and currently obliged to work for the dole dents her credibility only a little because, heck, she does being unemployed so much better than me.  I’ve never even set foot in a Centrelink office, so she’s way ahead of me there.

But this is a long story short, remember?  So here’s the short version:

-  Malcolm has honoured his obligations towards me, and I am no longer plotting his demise by ninja assassins;

French enamelware & English stoneware.
-  With a lump sum not coming her way, Alexandra has apparently flounced off in a fit of pique;

-  Having sold most of my stock-on-hand, I am selling the rest via a half-price sale at the Peregian Beach Market this coming Sunday (7 February).  As you can see from my random pictures, it’s good stock even at full price.  But I’m clearing the decks.  And that’s because;

-  We are going on another buying trip to France and England towards the end of March.  It will be a quickie trip this time, four weeks to get to Europe, buy like the wind, and skip home.  Can’t wait!

In other news, the latest edition of Indulge magazine is now on the newsstands.  OMG, it has the most hideous contributor photo of me, so skip that page and head instead to this link:  http://indulgemagazine.net/vintage-style/  There you will see the article I wrote on the lovely Helen King from French & Gorgeous.

It's feeling like a real book now.
In yet more news, I have finished writing the book and it’s now in the editing stage.  A front cover has been designed, and I’m very happy with it.  Thank you to everyone who voted on the design choices on Facebook, it’s much appreciated.  I decided on the Eiffel Tower because it’s an iconic international image, as well as a distinctly French symbol, and it ties in well with my business.  If you’re going to follow the advice in my book, you’ll find yourself in France a lot, as I do.

The final news for now is this:  because I sold the business to Malcolm we are rebranding.  The new business will be French & Vintage Home.  I’m currently briefing a website builder, and when that’s ready I shall move my blogging efforts to that site.  More on that as it happens.

Okay this really is the final bit of news:  The first Collectorama antiques fair for 2016 is coming up in Nambour on Saturday, 5 March.  Although Malcolm bought most of my stock-on-hand, that didn’t count the stock-waiting-to-be-tarted.  So I am tarting like the wind (that’s not as rude or as fun as it sounds).  And I’m dragging stuff out of everywhere so I will have lovely and never before seen pieces to offer.  Hope to see you there.

English 'Asiatic Pheasant' plate, c1840.  Half price!
Meanwhile, utter, utter bargains will be on offer on 7 Feb at the Peregian Beach Market.  It will be nice to see you there, too.