James Gooch: Cool Hunter | Season 2 Ep 6
Play • 1 hr 8 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 attentive 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 https://thebritishshop.com/. Tell them you heard about them on the Business of Antiques Podcast to receive a special offer on your Insurance for your delivery!

On today's episode we are talking to an antiques dealer whose talent is more than antiques.  James Gooch is a COOL HUNTER. James left his career in film to pursue his passion for vintage treasures and antiques and created a theatrical - almost cinematographic - antiques shop named Doe & Hope.  He hasn’t left his first career entirely behind - he’s rented props to many popular movies and TV shows.  Game of Throne fans don’t geek out too much… But James supplied more than a few of these props. His store has been voted one of the TOP 50 Antique and Vintage Shops in the UK by Homes & Antiques Magazine.

A cool hunter is someone who identifies and sets future trends. When Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co and founder of Republic of Toma first met James at the Bath Decorative Antiques Show (following the Antique Young Gun Awards in London months earlier) she noticed he was a trailblazer. While every other booth in the fair had painted furniture James’ booth was dark and moody. Filled with brown wood furniture - which at the time wasn’t popular - James went against the grain. Young and just starting out in the trade - James did what Toma calls “the Gentrification of Antiques.” Just like when artists move into a formerly less expensive neighborhood and make it hip - James Gooch made those classic good quality brown wood pieces cool again with his distinctive cinematographic dramatic style.

James talks about his on the job training in antiques. He worked in an antiques mall several days a week while starting his own store. This gave him time to slowly build and finance his business. 

He attributes one secret to his success as his ability to communicate.  Starting from his website - he writes a perfect about description for his store:

Doe & Hope specialise in decorative, rare & unusual antiques and fine art from around the world with a particular interest in the atmosphere that surrounds an object, taking a cinematic approach in the presentation of our inventory. Our house style is probably best described as theatrical; being a concoction of old money, dramatic decorative, and faded gentility, with common themes of both humour and the macabre running through our inventory, that includes both academic and playful objects.

James shares his secret formula on how to write the perfect product description for selling antiques.  Meanwhile his photography has a consistent feel - which gives him a signature style - and builds his brand.  James discusses his multi-prong sales approach.

At the midway point in the podcast - James and Toma experience technical difficulties and their interview is cut off.  They reconvene a few days later to discuss ANTIQUE SOURCING SECRETS.  James explains that Buying Antiques is basically like Gambling. He shares 3 tips on what he as an antique dealer buys

1) Objects that change the mood of the room

2) Unrestored Items that tell a story

3) And Stranger Things - the rare and the unusual.

James confesses that the strangest thing that's passed through his shop is a vampire slaying kit which got stopped at customs in America and he had to explain what it was over the phone. And Toma tells about her refusal to smuggle human remains from Belgium and doing some accidental human trafficking. 

To close, Toma recaps how to be a Cool Hunter. First you need to have crazy curiosity, keen observation skills, intuition and self confidence. James reconfirms his status as a Cool Hunter by Forecasting the Antique Trends of the Future. 

In this edition of #AsktheShipper, Toma talks with Malcom Disson - Managing Director of The British Shop - about import taxes and duties: what are they and how much are they? For antiques imported to the US, anything that is over 100 years old is free from duties when imported from the UK. However, you will have to pay taxes on your items. If shipped by sea, there are 3 things that make up the tax cost: 1) merchandise processing fee, 2) customs bond fee, and 3) harbor processing fee. These typically come to 1% of the value of your items. Stay listening for an amazing special offer on your insurance when you mention The Business of Antiques podcast with The British Shop.

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