Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show in Round Top
Talkin’ Shop with Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show
[left]In the spring and fall, the Roundtopolis beckons shoppers to the world-famous antiques shows and flea markets. In this Talkin’ Shop sponsored column, we chat with Curtis Ann Davis of Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show, which was born over homemade wine and homemade stew at a bed and breakfast in Nechanitz. [/left]
Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show
1503 N. State Highway 237, Round Top TX 78954
Hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Phone number: 281-388-1075
Owner: Curtis Ann Davis
What was your path to Round Top and the Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show? I always loved antiques. When we lived overseas, I would go out during junking season and hunt for old things. Back in Texas, I began doing craft shows, then mixed antiques in with crafts, and eventually opened my own store. About 27 years ago I started selling in Warrenton at what is now Randy Wied’s NorthGate Field. Mind you — I had a full-time job during this time. I did Warrenton for about eight years and stayed with Vadie Oeser at her bed and breakfast. On Thursday nights she made homemade beef stew and served it with her homemade wine. On one of those evenings, I announced that I wanted to produce a show. Vadie’s brother was the commander at the Round Top American Legion — and our show was born. This is our 19th year at the American Legion’s grounds just north of Round Top.
Do you have other locations? If so, where? My family has an estate sale business in the Houston area. I also work with the Las Vegas Market on the vintage show they produce.
How many employees do you have? We have seven full-time employees. During the show we will add 10 to 12 others, not counting security and traffic control personnel.
What is your business known for? Our dealers offer an eclectic mix — from 17th and 18th century European antiques to industrial and repurposed to art, jewelry, rugs, leather goods, fabric and clothing. Pandora de Balthazar has been on our grounds since nearly the beginning. were the first show to have floored tents — last year we installed 70,000 square feet of wood floors at our site. We were the first to have air-conditioned tents as well. Our dealers have an endless selection of unique furniture and accessories for the entire home.
What makes Round Top special for shoppers? It is an event — a destination. People recognize that Round Top — and the area — offers a unique shopping experience. And it’s relaxed. At our show, you can find a chair that is ready for fabric, head to our upholstery fabric dealer and pick out something wonderful. The Round Top experience surpasses any other when it comes to shopping, eating, visiting, entertainment.
What will shoppers find at your business that they will not find other places? We have a diverse group of dealers in wonderfully lighted tents with floors. Convenience stations with handwashing facilities. A cafe. Entertainment at night. A martini bar. We are doing a fashion show this year. We have RV hookups as well.
What trends do you see among your buyers? I see a generation of buyers who want to mix a few pieces of antiques with other design elements — whether it’s Asian-influenced or industrial. Eclectic and unique seem to be the driving trend among our buyers. Our buyers come looking for a signature piece — and they continue to return.
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]I see a generation of buyers who want to mix a few pieces of antiques with other design elements — whether it’s Asian-influenced or industrial. Eclectic and unique seem to be the driving trend among our buyers. Our buyers come looking for a signature piece — and they continue to return.[/pullquote]
If shoppers ask you for recommendations for non-antique/vintage spots to go to, what do you say? Festival Hill has to be tops on my list of suggestions. Pandora de Balthazar is hosting a fundraiser benefiting Festival Hill in her tent on March 28. I love the whole Round Top area, so enjoy the backroads and shop the year-round businesses. There is such great art in Round Top.
What is the best business advice you have ever received and who gave it to you? Be yourself. Oh, and don’t change your name. My first store was called Arbor House, because there was a grape arbor next to it. The senior citizens in Alvin would harvest the grapes for jelly and I would sell it in my store. When I closed the store, they all told me not to change the name of my business. I didn’t. That was good advice.
What advice would you offer someone just starting out in your industry? Listen to your customers. I have about 100 dealers who set up with me; they are my customers. In turn they have thousands of customers — and hear what they are saying. I try to offer my dealers the best show and support so that they can be successful.