Hailing from a long line of French antique dealers, artisans, and craftsmen, Antiques Diva Guide Melanie Aussandon’s expertise is wide and varied. Melanie got her start studying and specializing in antique paintings, has owned and operated her own antique store, ran a popular blog on antique hunting in Provence, developed her own line of jewelry, and has vast expertise in building not just an antiques business but a brand. That is why as VP of Sales at The Antiques Diva & Co., she is such an essential ingredient to what we are doing to achieve our goal of making antiques modern, sexy, fun, accessible and profitable. Melanie not only started and developed our Antiques Diva Provence Antique Buying Tours, but she also played a crucial role in getting Antiques Diva Asia off the ground during her time living in Bangkok.
One of her greatest gifts is her intuitive work as a trend forecaster, always in touch with the heartbeat of what is happening in the world of antiques, fashion and interior design. Melanie brings to the table a deep understanding of what our clients want.
In this episode, Melanie and Toma talk “More Than Antiques” elaborating on how to not only build a successful antique business as an antique dealer but how to escalate that business into your own brand. “We have reached the point we want to bring more to our clients. We bring antiques, but we also bring the artisans,” explains Melanie as she elaborates on her latest passion of finding small family-owned companies that can partner with our Antiques Diva clients to help them create their own product lines. A standard industry joke is how “we’ve once again covered the rent on candles and pillows.” With Melanie’s help, The Antiques Diva & Co. clients can now work with artisans and craftsmen from around the world to create their own lines of pillows and soap and oh so much more!
The Antiques Diva & Co has made connections to help our clients not only source their European and Asian antiques with us but also to help clients customize their brand. Like it or not, you are a brand, so why not take the opportunity to work with artisans and craftsmen to create customized designs that you know your clients will love? The possibilities are endless: Marseille Soap specially created for your brand, french baskets with your name on them, linens, wooden cutting boards, wallpaper and fabric designed by you (or a reproduction of a print you know your clients are gaga for!), custom ceramics, pottery, or even plaster or concrete statues, lighting, sconces, and architectural salvage reproductions.
Of course, as lovers of antiques, we know these can never replace the original but when a client finds only two antique urns and wants to outfit their whole estate in them, you now have options to give your client what they want as we liaise with small factories on your behalf.
One of Melanie’s greatest passions in life is sharing the French lifestyle - thus we are now facilitating white labeled and Antiques Diva group tours in Provence and the South of France. Sometimes antiques dealers want to bring their clients with them to source antiques in France and at The Antiques Diva & Co we can help with everything from the antiquing to where to stay in Provence. We propose addresses that can meet our clients group’s needs– modern or historic 18th century southern French Chateaux or Bastides– and then plan four, five, or even six-day long antique buying tours and French Arte De Vivre tours where we go markets - both antiques and vegetable markets - as well as offer cooking class workshops, eating with locals, vineyard/winery tours, sidecar tours, indigo classes, upholstery workshops. These are not big bus experiences that you are joining but very private and unique experiences custom created for your group by The Antiques Diva & Co.
The information in this episode is a reward in itself, but those who stay until the end will get the special bonus of hearing Melanie’s trend forecast and finding out the new and exciting things she sees happening in design.
Last but not least this episode is sponsored by https://www.antiquedealertrainingprogram.com/
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