Things We Love: The First 10 Years of EuroLux Antiques

It’s been fun to look back over the past ten years of EuroLux Antiques as we celebrate our 10th anniversary and remember how far we’ve come. So much has changed – even our name and our location!

EuroLux Antiques original logoWe actually started our business as EuroLux Imports – meant to convey that we were importing hand-selected, high-quality luxury goods from Europe. Our logo was a rampant lion with our name in script lettering. The lettering was so fancy you could hardly read it.

We soon found out that most folks understood First EuroLux Antiques Building-June-2005the word “imports” as synonymous with “reproductions.”  We had a serious credibility problem with folks not believing that our pieces were true antiques. Inside of first EuroLux Antiques buildingSo we changed our name to EuroLux Antiques and that seemed to solve the problem. (Now we’re actually considering changing our name to EuroLux Home, to reflect the fact that we have started to sell much more than just antiques!)

We also originally opened our business outside of Newberry on CR Koon Highway in a large metal pole building. Here is a glimpse of the outside and the inside of our original building.

SignInstallation (9)
I still remember the day our sign went up, I was so excited! It finally felt real – we really had our own business!

After a year and a half, we decided to move to Historic Downtown Newberry and we purchased our current gallery, a two story building at 1409 Main Street. All of the other antiques shops in Newberry were concentrated on Main Street, so we increased our walk-in traffic. And Downtown Newberry is so cool, we love being part of the neighborhood!

EuroLux Antiques Newberry Main Street stores


Also, the new gallery was much more convenient for receiving containers of European antiques. In our old space, we had to move everything to the walls so that we could unload directly into the middle of the room. Then the shop was a disaster for a week or more while we sorted everything out. Now we just unload directly into the basement level so that we don’t mess up the gallery!

We also enjoyed moving to Downtown Newberry as we joined a thriving community of other small business owners.

I was honored to serve as President of the Downtown Merchants Association for three years and Greg served as Treasurer too.

There is quite a bit happening in Downtown Newberry these days, but I’ll tell you about that another time. For now, we’re just happy to look back over our first ten years and share our journey with you. Thanks to all our customers who bought antiques from us, and who made it all such fun!

Aimee owns with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Our First Atlantique Antique Show

We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary here at EuroLux Antiques and today I’m remembering one of our “Laurel and Hardy moments” at our first Atlantique antique show. It is always fun to look back – to celebrate our successes and laugh at our follies – on our long journey that brought us to where we are today.

Our first Atlantique antique show
Our first Atlantique antique show

As I mentioned last month, we started the business by traveling to antique shows before we actually opened our Gallery. Our very first antique show in Atlanta was a disaster, but we certainly learned from our mistakes, and our next show in Charlotte was smooth sailing.

We did a few more shows in Atlanta and Charlotte before we decided to venture up north to the great big Atlantique antique show in Atlantic City, NJ, in March 2005. It was New Jersey’s largest and longest running indoor antique show with more than 500 vendors.

It was known as “the big one” among antique dealers that we met at the time and everyone said we just had to do it. We listened to the stories that old-timers like to tell newbies about wealthy customers sweeping in to the Atlantique antique show and buying up everything in a dealer’s booth. It sounded wonderful to us!

So Greg and I bought a 28-foot trailer and loaded it full of antique furniture and away we went, heading north on I-95. Our trailer for Atlantique antique showWe arrived at the Atlantic City Convention Center and were impressed at how well they coordinated the load-in of more than 500 dealers – the sheer volume of antique inventory stretched several football fields!

Atlantique Antique Show
The Art Deco Sideboard with the fated broken marble

While we were unloading a beautiful Art Deco Sideboard with three big pieces of marble, one of the pieces of marble tumbled out of its packaging and broke in half. Oh no!

Always resourceful, we went out to Lowe’s and bought supplies to repair the marble overnight in our hotel room. It was a very clean break, so we were able to glue and clamp it and set it aside to dry.

All seemed well until the next morning, when we realized that we had accidentally glued a big piece of the marble to the glass top table of our hotel room! Oh no again! Now what? (Are you laughing at us? No – we didn’t think about how the glue would ooze out of the bottom and adhere to the table! I told you we were green beans!)

We debated whether it was better to break the glass top or just abandon the marble – neither option was ideal. What to do, what to do? The Atlantique antique show was starting soon!

Our cabinet at Atlantique antique show
One of our cabinets at Atlantique

Greg decided to take a flathead screwdriver and see if he could gently pry it up without damaging either the glass top or the marble. Fingers and toes crossed and hold your breath! And suddenly, after a few minutes of careful wiggling, we heard a “ssssllllluuuurrrppp” – Greg had released the marble from the glass! What relief! We grabbed the marble and headed off the show, grateful at our dumb luck.

In the end, the Atlantique antique show went well and we did sell quite a few pieces and met some interesting folks too. But nine years later, we still laugh about how we glued that marble to that hotel room table!

Do you have any great stories to share of antique shows you attended? Tell us about them in the space below!

Aimee owns with her husband, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Antique Shows & Laughs from Our First 10 Years

As we mentioned in our 10 Years of European Antique Furniture blog post last month, Greg and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary at EuroLux Antiques this year. It is hard to believe so many years have flown by! We’ve had so much fun over the years, and we can’t help but look back and laugh at some of our mistakes too. We thought you might enjoy chuckling at some of our follies along the way.

Greg unpacking antique furniture from Europe
Greg unpacking antique furniture from Europe

After we launched EuroLux Antiques and brought in our first container of amazing antique and vintage furniture from France and Belgium, we started out selling at antique shows. In the summer of 2004, our very first antique show was the Scott Antique Market in Atlanta, Georgia. What a bunch of green beans we were!

We arrived in the wee hours of the morning at our designated spot with our rented U-Haul truck slam full. Remember how I mentioned in the last post that we had to rebuild all of the antique furniture out of about a million pieces after our container arrived from Europe, and that we really weren’t very good at it yet? Well, we had the brilliant idea that if we took all the pieces apart again, we could pack more on the truck. But we didn’t realize that most of the potential buyers would be standing there while we unloaded the truck!

Our first antique show at Scott Antique Market

We discovered that frenzied interior designers who are running from one truck to the next don’t come back to see you hours later, after you’ve figured out how to put everything together again. There we were with our piles of pieces, watching as the other dealers around us sold armoire after armoire. I swear they were rolling their eyes at our mess. One of our armoires stayed in bits through the whole weekend of the antique show because we couldn’t figure out how to put it back together!

Our booth at our first antique show

I will say the booth looked great though. John had designed the space ahead of time to show where each piece would go. I spent hours putting out box after box of decorative items, known as “smalls” in antique lingo. John, Kathy, Greg and I all had matching shirts with EuroLux Antiques embroidered logos too.

Matching logo t-shirts we wore for our first antique show
With Greg, wearing our first matching logo shirts

While we did sell a piece or two that weekend, it wasn’t the blow-out for which we had hoped. This meant that the only way everything was going to fit back in our U-Haul truck was to take it all apart again. Of course, we had taken our time over the week before the show to strategically pack the truck one piece at a time. We hadn’t considered that we’d only have a couple hours to load all of it back on the truck and clear out of the building at the end of the antique show.

All of the other dealers, shaking their heads at our “newbie” mistakes, were long gone by the time we finally got it all loaded again. The poor security guard had to wait until after midnight for us to get our mess together and finally get out of the building.

We needed Minkey to help us pack up our first antique show
I wish we’d had Minkey there to help pack up from our first antique show. We needed a packing wizard cat and he loves digging in!

So although our first antique show wasn’t a smashing success, at least we had done it! We picked ourselves up and learned from our mistakes. Our next show, a month later, was the International Collectibles and Antiques Show at the Metrolina Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina. We had a great show and sold a bunch of furniture. We were on our way and so excited about it.

And then came the Atlantique show in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but that is a story for another blog post! Do you like to go to antique shows in your neck of the woods? Tell us about your favorite antique show in the comments below!

Aimee owns with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Our Customers and 10 Years of European Antique Furniture

Love is in the air in the month of February and it reminds me of how much we love and appreciate our customers who trust us to provide them with fine European antique furniture and home décor accents. Greg and I are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our EuroLux Antiques business this year. Time sure flies when you’re having the time of your life! However, we truly understand that we wouldn’t be celebrating this momentous occasion without the patronage and support of you – all of the many wonderful customers we’ve been lucky enough to meet over the past decade!

Newspaper article just after we launched our European antique furniture business
Article in our hometown newspaper The Newberry Observer just after we launched.

Ten years ago, in January 2004, we jumped out of the corporate world and decided to launch this crazy business venture. We were passionate about European antique furniture so we quit our jobs. Greg was Controller/MIS Director of a manufacturing plant and I was a Global Marketing Manager at another manufacturer.

We were willing to gamble our life’s savings on the idea that regular folks would love hand-selected, high-quality European antique furniture as much as we did, and would be willing to buy it online. My dad thought we were definitely nuts. But we felt down deep in our toes that if we didn’t try, we’d always wonder what might have been. And so we jumped off the cliff into the free fall of entrepreneurship.

Our first European antique furniture buying trip
Aimee at a market on our first European buying trip.

It took us nearly six months to get all our ducks in a row. We had to incorporate, get insurance, find and renovate a space, get a marketing plan in place, and then we flew overseas to hunt out the best European antique furniture for our inventory.

Owning your own business isn’t glamorous, as any small business owner knows. Folks that don’t work for themselves think you can set your own hours and just take off whenever you want. I always say you do have the freedom to choose which 12 – 14 hours a day you work! But I didn’t have to put on stockings, high heels, and a suit every day, and I was thankful for that, although I didn’t realize how much heavy furniture lifting would be in my future.

We sold our house in order to raise capital for the business and moved in with my in-laws, which we thought would only be for six months or so. It turned out to be nearly three years. I am so grateful to John and Kathy for keeping a roof over our heads while we passionately pursued our dream. EuroLux Antiques would not have been possible without their emotional and financial investment. Right as we were launching the business, they were retiring, so we convinced them to come work with us too. This small family business venture has truly been a labor of love!

European antique furniture - armoire
One of the first armoires that nearly made us pull our hair out in frustration trying to figure out how to build it!

Our first container of the European antique furniture we’d bought arrived in July and we were so excited. That excitement soon turned to utter frustration as we learned that all of the pieces of furniture came apart in what seemed like about a million pieces. Luckily they were all numbered as to which piece of furniture they belonged to, so we made piles of pieces and then tried to put them together. We look back and laugh now, but we had no idea how to reconstruct some of those French armoires! It seemed that no two went together in the same way. Greg and I remember staying up until the wee hours of the night wrestling with that furniture. After ten years, we probably haven’t seen it all, but we sure don’t get stumped much anymore.

Before we went online with our European antique furniture store, we started doing the antique trade show circuit during the summer of 2004. The Metrolina antique and collectibles show in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Scott’s antique market in Atlanta, Georgia, were our first shows. I’ll share stories with you from our early shows next month.

At the launch of our European antique furniture business
This photo of us appeared in that first Newberry Observer article

But in the meantime, I just want to thank each and every one of you who has helped make this “American Dream” possible. We have worked so hard and put our hearts, souls, blood, and tears into building this business. But we have always known that we couldn’t do it without you. I always try to sign each email with “Thank you for your patronage – we appreciate you!” Those aren’t just words here at EuroLux Antiques – we mean it!

We are still passionate about European antique furniture, even though we’ve expanded into Asian antique furniture and high-quality reproductions and home décor accents too. And truly, madly, deeply – we love our customers!

Aimee owns with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.