Old World Antieks Brings the World to Central Texas
Discerning buyers can shop the world at Old World Antieks in La Grange. No passport required.
“We travel the world finding high-quality, one-of-a-kind statement-making pieces so our clients don’t have to,” said Brian Kleinwachter, who founded Old World Antieks with his wife Amy in 2001. “With more than 40,000 square feet of display space that showcases goods from 13 countries, we are one of the largest, most diverse antiques destinations in Texas—and in the South.”
The countries include: Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, England, Germany, Romania, Turkey, Egypt and India.
“History dictates where we shop,” said Brian, noting their Holland-based business partner Hans Van der Vleuten has been importing and exporting antiques world-wide for more than 40 years. “Western-influenced places of power, wealth and influence are literal treasure troves when it comes to antiques.”
Their hand-selected inventory includes architectural finds as well as furniture, industrial remnants and one-of-a-kind pieces that prompt people to stop and ponder. Their goal is to carry things not readily available at other antiques stores.
“We specialize in the extraordinary—the things that you can only find in the Old World,” Brian said. “We carry diverse, high-quality, unique items that keep customers coming back for more.”
With more than 60 containers arriving a year, the inventory constantly turns. Every visit is a chance for discovery.
“We’ve completely reworked, rethought and restaged our retail showrooms for the spring 2018 show—11,000 square feet of climate-controlled shopping,” Brian said. “Even our long-term customers will be blown away what we have in store.”
The couple has grown their flagship location from 5,000 feet to its current footprint of 40,000 square feet. They have acquired an additional 15,000 square feet of storage dedicated to the wholesale trade.
“Dealers from around the country come shop with us—and take advantage of our wholesale program, which offers up to 30 percent off of our retail prices,” Brian said, noting that they’ve shipped merchandise to every state in the union except Hawaii.
At the spring show, the Kleinwachters are continuing their efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey by giving them wholesale rates. La Grange was hard-hit by the attendant flooding, so the couple experienced the devastation and clean-up first-hand.
To introduce shoppers to their inimitable style and quality, Old World Antieks also sets up a remote showroom at The Compound. The staff will be on-site March 24 – April 7 with two containers of European antiques as well as a host of other treasures at their disposal.
“Spring and fall, we hand-pick a selection of European antiques to anchor our show space,” Brian said. “Even at 6,600 square feet, it’s just a glimpse of what we offer. Come see us at The Compound and then drive the short distance to our flagship location because if you miss the store—you miss the heart of Old World Antieks.”
The Road to the Roundtopolis™
Barbara Kleinwachter, who has been exhibiting at the Round Top Antiques Show for decades, blazed a path to the Roundtopolis™ that eventually led to Brian and Amy claiming this area as home for Old World Antieks and their family.
The family’s journey began in Wasco, Illinois, where they had two antiques stores.
“Every weekend, from the time I was in kindergarten until I graduated high school we were at the Kane County Flea Market or somewhere shopping,” Brian said “During the week, we moved merchandise, set up displays and helped refinish furniture. It was always labor and love.”
When Brian was 22, he decided to indulge his Alpine passions on an extended “ski sabbatical” and went to visit his sister who lived in Breckenridge, Colorado at the time.
It was a fateful decision.
“One day we were walking down the street and spotted an old log cabin,” Brian said. “I said, ‘Don’t you think we could kill it in the antiques business up here?”
Working together, Brian, his sister, and eventually his brother, with assistance from their mother, launched Ski Country Antiques. From 1996 to 2008, it grew from the 1,000 square feet in Breckenridge to a 30,000-square-foot antiques destination situated on the interstate highway in Evergreen, Colorado.
Eventually the siblings determined it was time to pursue individual business interests. Brian and Amy, who married in 2001 after they met at a Colorado antiques show, set their sights on Central Texas.
“I started doing the Round Top Show in the late 90s and fell in the love with the area and the incredible people here,” said Brian, noting he was one of the first vendors at the Marburger Farm Antique Show. “Amy and I thought it would be a great place to grow a business—and raise a family.”
When a 5,000-square-foot building on Highway 71 in La Grange (a short drive from Round Top) came open, the couple jumped on the property. They have since expanded the original space to more than 40,000 square feet. They also put down personal roots and built their one-of-a-kind dream home between La Grange and Round Top.
“Old World Antieks is the intersection of my life, my passion, my family,” Brian said. “I’m blessed to get to do what I love with people I love in a place I love every day.”