Saturday, August 25, 2007

Smiles all Around at the Chicago Antique Market

The power just came back on this morning as I headed to the Chicago Antiques Market.

It was still raining and windy so I doubted that it was going to be a great day. As I passed the guard, he looked as if the day was going to start off very poorly, but I requested that he pray for better weather and he promised to do that.

The dealers were just beginning to set up because of their fear of the weather and the food hadn't begun to be cooked when I arrived. Entering the building, I could see that the dealers were worried - but there was Sally and Kathy acting as drill sergeants in a good way to see that all would be ready when the doors opened to the public.

I am not sure that Kathy believed the weather forecast I gave her because she wore a yellow poncho - expecting the worst. The dealers were at least down 10% in numbers from the last month but the room felt full. The day seemed to start off with a little less foot traffic than last month but it was steady. I began to sell books and noticed that the other dealers were getting action and the bags began to be filled.

One dealer sold 8 pieces of Russian Silver, another a carpet and so on. Sally cranked up the music and the place began to seem friendly and inviting. I noticed dealers talking to one another as the day progressed. How could this be possible? The weather was horrible. There was tough competition in the Chicago area and there were fewer dealers present.

First, the dealer's attitudes were terrific and they were cheerful and encouraging to the customers. They also were asked to bring their better sale items because of the expectation of fewer dealers and they did.

Second, the spacing was better but still the room still didn't seem empty.

Third, the music put people at ease and in a buying mood. This just proves that if you give the people what they want they will buy. This month, the dealers will be talking about the great show they had and in September I hope that there will be room for all that want to set up for that show.

"Nothing succeeds like success." Isn't that the way the saying goes? As the dealers were leaving, I saw all smiles, a few hugs and even some high-fives. It was a totally enjoyable day for me and I think for many others.

I want to thank Sally and Kathy for all their hard work when I know that, at the beginning of the day, it seemed as if it might be a wasted effort. With troopers like them and the energized dealers I know that the rest of this season is going to be terrific at the Chicago Antiques Market. I discovered some gems at the show that I will be sharing with you next week. If you are in the Chicago area tomorrow I would suggest the you consider visiting the Chicago Antique street market on W. Randolph Street. You may just find that special piece that has evaded you for so long. Could you share a story with us where lemons were turned into lemonade for you?

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