In 1993 Tammy and I purchased a gift shop and heritage home in the old downtown section of Chilliwack. It was a turnkey operation completely inventoried and ready to go. Along with gifts, clothes and toiletries there was a decent inventory of antiques for sale including antique furniture. We soon developed a love for antiques in particular great quality antique furniture.
As our business grew and we needed to replace the antique items we were selling we soon realized that we would not be able to accomplish that from local sources and would have to look much farther afield. The next issue was getting the items and to make it affordable we would have to be bringing in container quantities.
In 1995 while Tammy continued to run the gift shop I opened a warehouse and supplied her, other dealers and the general public as well. At this time we also started to sell the choicest items in our inventory on the antique show circuit and developed our web page to advertise our antique store and warehouse.
During the next 2 years we were selling at home and selling at 18 antique shows a year in B.C., Alberta and the northwest U.S. Things were going a long well except for having to work long hours 7 days a week. Our daughters Michelle and Melissa were a great help to us.
When I was crossing the border to Washington State one day I discovered that selling in the U.S. at a show was illegal so needless to say the U.S. portion of our business was coming to an end. This caused some serious discussion, as the U.S. portion of our business was a large part of our overall business.
It was at this point that we knew we would have to completely change our business model or move on to another career, as the gift shop portion of our business was the most capitol intensive with the lowest returns. We did love what we were doing so we decided to try and reinvent our selves.
While we were still selling locally thru our gift shop and warehouse and at antique shows in B.C. and Alberta we decided to cover of the U.S. thru listing furniture for sale on EBAY and developing our website further so you could actually purchase of it.
EBAY was a huge hit as the building boom in the U.S. was starting and we developed contacts with different shippers to accommodate easy cost effective shipping methods on both sides of the border. At the same time with our exposure to EBAY our website business started to come alive.
It was at this point that we decided to close the gift shop, move the warehouse to our present location at Minter Country Gardens so we could be working together in one spot and do the remaining antique shows that we participate in together.
As we continued to sell at these shows and grow our online sales we decided our future definantely was our website. While we still do a limited Antique show circuit in Calgary and Edmonton our mission today is to be the leading online source of great quality antique furniture in North America.