My clients love when I go to market. They love all the photos we post and all the fun it looks like we are having. And we do have fun, no doubt. But it is also lots of late nights writing up orders, scouring dozens and dozens of new vendors, setting up new accounts, creating shipping plans, and so much more. I love to connect with my favorite vendors and reps, but always, always– we are working, working, working for AFI clients.
It may be a bit surprising to note: we rarely show items we actually purchase for clients. I am very discreet about my projects when they are under way, so much of what you see on our social media includes interesting finds or treasures I would like to use in future designs. When I source antiques for clients, we do not reveal the pieces on social media. Our clients love to see the fun, but we keep their designs secret, for sure!
One of my favorite antique or vintage items to source is lighting. I work on a lot of historic properties here in Charleston, and I do believe that at least some of the lighting in an historic property needs to be of the period of the architecture. At least some. Italian, Austrian, and French crystal chandeliers are my favorites.
I buy a LOT of rugs at market. I am particularly found of Afghani rugs. Rob, who owns Fine Rugs of Charleston, has taught me a wealth of information about rugs, and he has shared his passion for Afghani rugs, in particular! His store manager, Rhiannon, has also shared so much with me. I am grateful that we have such a fabulous source for rugs here in Charleston, and if you are a DIYer, Fine Rugs of Charleston is a must see.
I am terribly picky about rugs. Did I say that already?? Many are true works of art, and so I often start a room design based on a rug.
One of the most important tasks at market is sitting! We sit in EVERYTHING! And not just for a minute or two. We take time to carefully consider the back pitch, the seat depth, the arm height, and the cushion construction. I only use a handful of upholstery manufacturers because I only buy the best quality upholstery. There are a handful of American upholstery companies that do really beautiful work.
The MOST fun thing about market is – drumroll, please- ED! He is the best guy in the whole world! Who else would carry all of our stuff, park our car, reserve our dinners, help with our wifi issues, pose for photos, test out the furniture, find us drinks, and in general, have lots of fun with the reps!?? I can’t think of a better guy, to be sure!