DEALER CHATS | NICK JONES, TRADING AS NICK JONES ANTIQUES
We talk to DC dealer Nick Jones, who has a fantastic eye for exquisite European antiques - from smalls to furniture and everything in between - spanning the 17th to 20th century. Nick launched his website in lockdown and has a beautiful showroom on Church Street in Marylebone that he can't wait to get back to, as well as a presence on Decorative Collective.
Describe your style in no more than 25 words!
How long have you been in the antiques trade and what other jobs have you had?
A lifetime ago I was a Store Manager for “Next” but I have been in antiques for 25+ years, originally in Art Deco. I then got bored with being limited, and fell in love with earlier things. It was about then that I started showing at The Decorative Antiques & Textile Fair in Battersea. Encouraged by my friends, I have shown there 3 times a year until last year - I can’t wait for them to restart, it’s such a wonderful fair.
What plans do you have for your business in 2021 post Covid?
I’m really looking forward to getting back into my shop full time! I’ve missed the dealers and my clients! 2021 will bring new challenges post Covid, and Brexit. But it’s all part of the job! I can’t wait to travel again & see old friends.
Circa 1910 An Elegant French Bronze Lantern. £2,200.
What have you learned / what new skills have you picked up? has it made you look more at how you sell online and have you improved in certain areas?
Until July last year I didn’t even have a website! Luckily I had started one just as we went into the first lockdown. It was great, as it gave me something to focus on. A friend is a photographer, so he was sitting at home bored and the timing was perfect. I have learned so much about websites: loading and managing them. I wish I had done it years ago! So that’s at least one positive thing to come out of such a difficult year.
Marketplaces are a vital part of the trade but never more so than 2020 - how does DC support your business model?
The DC has been amazing for my business! So much so I’ve recommended it to many of my friends. It opens up access to many new interesting clients, trade & private. It has also promoted my website, to so many people I would never have reached alone. Jane is incredibly kind and supportive, I am a huge fan of what she has built.
Virtual fairs are now taking place across all levels of the industry and dealer showroom 360 videos will soon be/are now offered to dealers on DC – have you been surprised to see how quickly the trade and the buyers have adapted to this new tech?
Virtual fairs have been fun, and while people can’t travel they are a wonderful tool to show my shop and stock. I think they are here to stay, but I don’t think they can replace a client visiting my shop and seeing and touching before they buy. I had clients today, who had seen the website & virtual tour and made an appointment to visit the shop. They bought some things and really enjoyed the whole experience.
A Set of 3 huge Spanish midcentury gilt iron wall sconces. C1950. £3,300 for the three.
We have all missed our favourite fairs this year. Are fairs part of your business and do you exhibit at a variety with different stock, or prefer to stay with one style of fair to develop brand awareness?
I really enjoy exhibiting at The Decorative Fair in Battersea 3 times a year. I tend to hold stock for it, as everyone has seen my shop and website and it’s nice to show them new things. I launch the new stock online the night before the fair opens, so opening day many have an idea of what I have and what they like. I then launch new things each day for the duration of the fair, Instagram is great for the instant access to everyone’s attention!
How relevant do you think bricks and mortar premises will be in 2021?
I think having a shop is so important now. Yes it’s another expense, but if you didn’t know me - had never heard of me - but were interested in something, having a shop makes me legit. You know I’m a real person. I have built my reputation on my eye, my stock and my honesty. I have clients who have been buying from my for more than 20 years, we have a relationship, they are friends. This is so rewarding to me, having their trust and loyalty. I have been very lucky to have been asked to work on many residential & commercial projects around the world, I’m sure 2021 will bring with it new clients and opportunities!
Tell us what your fantasy freedom buying trip would look like in 2021.
A trip anywhere would be lovely! But nothing can compare to the heart stopping moment I see something beautiful. Something I have to have. It’s a passion, an obsession and an addiction! One I love to share with my clients, I buy things I love, hoping others will see what I see. I had a lovely email today from a lady who had visited my shop, to tell me how much she enjoyed it - that to me is priceless!