No pandemic panic as dealers open new Coast store
A couple of canny antique dealers believe bigger will be better as they launch a new venture in the face of a pandemic downturn.
Chris Hughes, the Queensland president of the Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association and Peregian Beach resident Simone Milasas are tomorrow opening their new Antiques & Possibilities store in Peregian.
“It’s the adventure of the challenge,” Mr Hughes said of the 100 sqm store.
“Absolutely, what’s the worst that can happen?” said Ms Milasas who has lived locally for more than 10 years.
She said opening a store during a pandemic was a fun opportunity to create something special and meaningful for the greater community.
“So many people are now saying we need to get smaller, we have to shut down to weather these economic times, but we’re going big,” she said.
“We’re not going to buy in to the limitations of this reality.
“The store is located in the village square, which is this pumping, vibrant, buzzing space.”
Ms Milasas was out on her daily run when she noticed a space previously occupied by an op shop had became available.
“Is it good time? probably not,” she said.
“I’ve also written a book The Joy of Business so I look at business in a really different way.
“I’ve spoken to two different (business) people and one was so negative about how nothing was working out and the other was like, ‘I have to change with the times’.
“The world has changed so what are we going to do? That’s my attitude,” she said.
She rang up Mr Hughes and their other business partners who all said “let’s do it”.
“We haven’t even opened yet and we’ve already had people popping their heads in and we’ve made some sales as well,” Ms Milasas said.
Antiques & Possibilities is filled with expertly curated collections of international and local antiques, arts and jewellery.
Ms Milasas said locals they talked to were excited there was something different in the village.
Mr Hughes said he had been in the antique business for 10 years and he saw a positive mindset in local homeowners.
“Right now people have spent so much time at home and they are redecorating and some of the people have some funds they had set aside to maybe go on that annual trip that they have,” he said.
“A lot of people are investing that in their homes and making them more comfortable and beautiful.
“I know a lot of dealers who are doing extraordinarily well during this quote unquote downturn.”
Ms Milasas said the outlet was very different to their other two stores in Brisbane.
“It has an air of luxury and elegance, but is also super relaxed,” Ms Milasas said.
“We’re finding people who would usually visit Noosa are also coming to this area now, because we have a growing variety of great retail shops and restaurants.”
Mr Hughes said it was not a place to come to see your grandmother’s ceramic collection.
“Some people have this idea that an antiques store is just teacups that your granny kept in the back of a china cabinet forever, that no one seemed to really want,” he said.
“But what we are doing is so much more than that.”
The business is home to luxurious and historically significant items, including a pair of Louis the 16th French gold gild chairs with hand-embroidered Chinese silk upholstery.
“The name, Antiques and Possibilities, encompasses everything we want the shop to be,” Ms Milasas said.
“We want to connect with local businesses and collaborate with experts to create really unique experiences for the community and visitors to enjoy.
“From hosting a gents club, to wine tastings, and workshops, we see so many possibilities here.”
Mr Hughes said they would be providing educational workshops for people to identify quality and understand different periods and styles available.
“People can also learn style tips on how to include antiques into their living spaces,” he said.