Friday, February 13, 2009

Alternative Lifestyle

Really.  Of course I am.  Who wouldn't be?

Childhood friend Jeff Noordsy & his delightful significant other Holly are living the dream. My dream. Since graduating from Middlebury College in the early '90's, they've been skiing the world, dealing antiques, and restoring the Vermont parsonage they call home.  

I ran into them during American Antiques Week, just before a woman who'd lived in their parsonage 50 years earlier (her father had been a minister in their small Vermont town) entered their booth.  

Small world...

Anyway, their stuff was terrific, and I wanted to know how they did it. So just after exhibiting at The American Antiques Show last month, Jeff & Holly answered some of my burning questions. 

HGL:  Tell me about your antiquing roots -- how did you get your start?
J&H:  I always admired antiques at the home of my Mom’s aunt and Mother.  I started attending flea markets and auctions in college and things quickly escalated from there.

HGL:  So how long have you been actually dealing in antiques?
J&H:  We started dealing just after college in 1992, focusing primarily on bottles and stoneware, though didn't become full-time dealers until the late 90s.

HGL: What's the current focus of your business?
J&H:  Quality, quality, quality  Not necessarily the most expensive objects but anything that’s “the best” of its given type.  We still do much of our business in glass but are having increasing success with art and paint decorated high country furniture and accessories.

HGL:  Do you have a favorite period?
J&H:  Late 18th / early 19th century

HGL:  What's been your most interesting find to date?
J&H:  Too many to count!  It’s not just the “big hits" (monetarily) that resonate but also the fun little things acquired in out of the way places.  Our most exciting discovery was probably an important glass collection that had been “lost” for thirty-five years.  We traveled to Chevy Chase, MD and entered a home where I immediately recognized a number of iconic objects.  The buyer was a “closet collector” nobody knew of – it caused quite a stir when we unveiled these objects at the next show…

HGL: Do you have a piece you love too much to offer for sale?
J&H: Lots of them but we have learned that if we are to “make it” we need to keep our options open.  With that said, we do have a few treasures that I can’t ever imagine selling.

HGL:  How many days a year do you travel for business?
J&H:  Too many!  At least 120 nights in hotels and many more on the road.

HGL: What's your favorite town to travel for a show?
J&H: We always enjoy Baltimore because we have a number of friends there and are learning to take advantage of the opportunities offered in NYC.  Have had a few great trips to the South with Memphis being the best stop.

HGL: What's your favorite road food?
J&H: D’Angelos when we are on the run and whatever we can find online when we are staying put for a few days.  Road life is difficult so we do not scrimp on our food choices.  Yes, pizza in the room is at times great but we love to see what culinary delights we can uncover.

HGL: What do you do when you're not working?
J&H: Cuddling, long walks on the beach – oh wait, that’s for another profile!  Skiing is an important aspect of our lives, as is hiking.  We also enjoy working on our home and in our gardens.  When we return from the road we are truly homebodies.

HGL: What's on your iPod?
J&H: What’s an ipod?  Believe it or not, we don’t have one (don’t tell my Dad) although music is very important to us.  We listen to selections from Wolfgang’s Vault and at home and XM radio on the road.  We like an eclectic mix of music – jam bands, 60s Jazz, some modern R&B…

HGL:  If not an antiques dealer, what would be your occupation?
J&H: Firewatcher!  Hard to say – I now deem myself “unemployable” in that I have been my own boss for too long for me to conform to a structured set of rules.

Thanks Jeff & Holly.  And not to rub it in, but here are just a few of the fabulous items you've recently missed from Noordsy Antiques...

Weathered white paint. American, early 20th century

Foliate handle terminal and tooled base edge. English, C. 1800
Connecticut River Valley landscape painted in the manner of Benjamin Champney
Blown in Western New York State C. 1840

1 comment :

  1. Holly....nicely done! Enjoyed it immensely. BTW.....Holly uses the iPod we gave him.