Antique dealers benefit from strong enthusiasm among young people

Although antique shops have largely closed their doors in recent decades, a new generation of antique dealers is noticing a strong interest among young people in antique furniture and objects.

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“It’s not the ’80s, but we’re heading towards the decline,” exults Karine Belzile, owner of Chic Shack Antique & Vintage in Saint-Basile-le-Grand in Monterrey and host of the series. Historia Channel on “Auction Fever.”

Photo courtesy of Karine Belzile

The 1970s and 80s were lucrative for antique dealers, many of whom set up shop, particularly on Notre-Dame Street West in Montreal or Saint-Paul Street in Quebec City. Times have changed, but the popularity of vintage and mid-century modern (MCM) styles is gradually bringing young people back to antique stores.

Photo courtesy of Karine Belzile

“Young people want to stand out by recycling things. Instead of buying furniture from supermarkets, they want selected, eco-friendly, durable and beautiful products,” says M.

Antiques dealer Steve Desais observes a similar phenomenon. “The old days are going very, very well now. Four or five years ago, it was said that it was falling and that there was no more heir. This is wrong. We are a small gang of young people and it works,” enthuses the 45-year-old, who started his business Antiquité SG in Vieux-Terrebonne a year ago.

Photo courtesy of Steve Desais

Mr. Besides Dessais, Mathieu Bourguet of G&M Bourguet in Quebec, Alexandre Lalonde of Chez l’manouche in Montreal and Maude Rochefort of Antiquités Benoit Rochefort in Sainte-Eulalie, among others, are training new generations in the field.

For some time now, Karin Pelzil has been trying to change the perception of antiques. People often have an image of this merchant displaying his products in a shop where brown, glitter and dust are everywhere and where space is limited.

“I am walking away from this film. In showrooms, I prefer white, turquoise and brown. Additionally, my antiques are presented in a very elegant manner, where the object becomes a work of art,” explains the seller, who sells only online or at exhibitions.

Photo courtesy of Karine Belzile

Steve Dessais, for his part, likes his shop to be well-lit and uncluttered by antiques. “People say it’s like visiting a museum. I get so many compliments on the way the products are laid out. Before, people went to antique stores and didn’t even look at the pieces. They struggled to get around the stores,” says Steve Dessais.

In addition to working on the look of his store, the owner writes a description of each item. “I want customers to know what the history of the coin is and what it was used for.”

Photo courtesy of Steve Desais

To stand out in the antiques market, it is not enough to have a good product offering in shops and showrooms. You should be active on social media and online. “After the pandemic, we’ve done a lot of online sales,” Karin Belzile notes on the subject.

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