Beat Your Own Drum: Fullen-Hall | Season 2 Ep 8
Play • 1 hr 1 min

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The British Shop transports fine art, furniture and antiques by air, land and sea around the world. David Hockney once said “Art has to move you” and The British Shop offers a service which moves ART AND ANTIQUES with tentive personal care delivering delicate items around the world. Whether you’re shipping an entire container yourself or you need to ship a few items via consolidation – The British Shop is your solution for shipping antiques from Europe to the USA (or wherever else you happen to be located when listening to this podcast). Don't let the name fool you. This international antiques shipper might be called The British Shop… but they don't just do shipping from England. The British Shop does collections in France and Belgium with regular collections ALL across EUROPE. Schedule a CALL with Malcom Disson of The British Shop by visiting their website

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Often on The Business of Antiques Podcast Toma Clark Haines – CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co – uses a specific phrase. She tells clients that if they – as an Antique Dealer –  “beat their own drum”, then the right buyers who are interested will come. Every antique dealer has their own audience. It’s the Field of Dreams – “If you build it they will come” meets The Pied Piper of Antiques. That phrase “beat your drum” comes from a line in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden – “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” This idiom essentially encourages you to act or behave in a manner that does not conform to the standard. 

When Andy Fullen and Tommy Hall told Toma they wanted to open an antique store, they immediately began discussing plans for a buying trip abroad with The Antiques Diva & Co. “Let's go to France!” They looked at 18th C French period pieces, but something didn’t resonate with their store vision. These were high-end pieces, and, as they began the buying process, Andy said “This isn’t the direction I am ready – or want – to take my business. I want to sell inventory priced to sell. And I fear this inventory will outprice my customer. I want to be a good deal for rich people.  And I’d prefer to strategize my business for more locally sourced goods in need of restoration than sourcing older pieces from France at this stage in my business.”

Andy is a skilled craftsman and is able to do his own restoration work. It took vision and bravery to reevaluate his true desires for his store so that the inventory acquisition proceeded at a speed and price-point he was comfortable with at the beginning stage in his business.  

Buying abroad isn’t for everyone at every stage in their business. In this frank conversation, Toma, Andy and Tommy discuss when not to buy antiques abroad and what the real costs of buying abroad can be. Making sure you’re prepared for the costs of sourcing and shipping internationally is an important element in sourcing antiques in France.

In this episode Toma, Andy and Tommy talk about staying true to the vision of the antiques store you want to build, and why it’s essential to have a business plan and strategy for your antiques shop. And they explain why Fullen-Hall became an overnight success in Dallas.   

Helping clients define their business strategy is one of the most important elements Toma does as a Business Coach for Antique Dealers. She explains that having a strategy helps antique dealers define the business they want to run while clarifying their values and purpose. Toma explains, “Understanding what success looks like for you means listening to your heart and understanding your personal definition of success.”  Toma explains how it's important to understand the clients’ goals in order to help create a map of how they will achieve them. Andy agrees that you have to think about how to deal with your competitors, look at the needs and expectations of your customers, and consider the long term growth and sustainability of the antiques store. By creating a business strategy, an antique dealer can create a competitive advantage and ultimately understand more about themselves and where they are going. Andy and Tommy discuss that they would like to buy French antiques abroad when the time is right for them personally, their business and their client base. They share secrets on styling their booth – explain why location location location is everything – and how they want to make Fullen-Hall a household name – one restored item at a time.

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