Florida - There are so many different places on the Internet that one can go to when searching for that perfect retro, vintage or mid-century modern piece, but the reality of actually obtaining that piece is usually quite different when it's 350lbs, six feet high and located on the other side of the country.
A small start-up from Washington DC, by web designer and creator, Tarek Anandan, the premise was simple; offer local vintage, retro and mid-century modern pieces from local stores, under a local online umbrella - something you could drive to and pick up within a few blocks of your home. Sounds easy enough, after all that's what Craigslist is for, right? Well, actually no. The difference being that Anandan sourced the local antiques and decorative arts businesses himself - those that were close by, and those that also specialized in vintage, retro, and mid-century modern motifs.
Anandan's impetus for the eclectic web site came about as a result of he and his partner searching far and wide on the weekends for a period-fit coffee table to add to their 1919 Wardman rowhouse near Columbia Heights. “We knew what we wanted, and we were picky,” says Anandan, who described their quest as “the potentially impossible blend of mid-century lines with a touch of deco flair, plus a drawer for remote controls.”
While they entered the search with boundless optimism, the reality of the massive amounts of time being spent searching in vain began to take its toll, and frustration quickly set in. That's when the light went off, and Anandan realized the idea of a collective of local vintage and retro shops being rep'd online under one web site. Everything would be within shooting distance. The goal, according to Anandan, was to promote local businesses, make shopping easier, and to encourage the use of upcycled, and restored pieces.
It seems to have worked. Two years on, and attic-dc.com is going strong, proving that there's always room for a new twist when it comes to the selling and marketing of the decorative arts.
For students and graduates of the Institute, this tale of frustration-to-fix is a great example of how to harness a simple but original idea, while simultaneously putting it to use in one's own business. It doesn't have to be solely a mid-century modern or retro amalgamation of geographically paired businesses, but can literally be anything where an online collective is possible. If antique and vintage lighting is your thing, why not consider looking for local businesses within your regional footprint that might be interested in joining forces to create your own online "lighting collective?"
For dealers and collectors, this simple idea could open up a wealth of business opportunities; potentially leading to increased sales, alliances and partnerships, along with greater general exposure to the buying public. All of which makes participating in one's "local collective" now, a far more attractive proposition than it used to be when Craigslist and others like them were the only game in town.
(For readers seeking more information about the "Attic," you can visit their web site at: https://attic-dc.com/)
- A.I.A. Staff Writers
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