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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mid2Mod featured on CultureMap

CultureMap recently did a feature on the store (and my SIL), so I thought I'd share it with you. It sheds some interesting light on how much time and energy goes into finding things to sell.

(A word or two of caution though, lest some of you rush to turn in your two weeks notice at your day job...Despite what the article says, don't walk away with the impression that selling a piece for sixty times what you paid for it is the rule. While it's true that all dealers dream of "The Unbelievable Steal," such a purchase is, instead, a very rare exception to that rule. In the real world, your profit margin is usually far, far less, especially when you have made a decision to put only fully restored items in your store and have also resolved to sell them very often for literally thousands of dollars less than the prices you see on sites like 1stdibs.)



TREASURE HUNTER

Eye for design: Mid2Mod owner knows just where to find midcentury modern masterpieces 

09.12.12 | 09:27 am
If you assume boutique furniture stores procure their treasures from secret stashes or faraway places, you might be surprised to learn that, oftentimes, the best pieces were uncovered from the most obvious locales. Like someone’s front porch.
Joe Eggleston is one such collector. Eggleston and his wife, Jennifer, are the owners of Mid2Mod, a boutique furniture store specializing in midcentury and new modern furniture and accessories. Eggleston tells the story of driving around town and spying a patio set on a stranger’s front porch. He knocked on the door, struck a deal with the owner and scored another gem for his eclectic showroom. He says great furniture is everywhere, from auctions and antique malls to bargain bins. Even tossed willy-nilly on the side of the road.
“Over the course of the day, you learn to look,” he says. Follow-up is crucial as well. He has e-mailed real estate agents about furniture he saw in a listing, checked out Craig’s List and strolled through estate sales. His tenacity and talent pay off. At one estate sale, a certain chair caught his eye. He bought it, restored it to perfection and sold it for 60 times his original investment.
In other words, Eggleston has an eye for those diamonds in the rough.
At one estate sale, a certain chair caught his eye. He bought it, restored it to perfection and sold it for 60 times his original investment.
Eggleston credits his wife for cultivating his affinity for midcentury and new modern furniture. She has long loved the aesthetics and pragmatic sensibilities of the design. Jennifer focuses on staging and merchandising, and she helps her husband as a buyer as well.
The majority of the pieces at Mid2Mod are from the 1950s and ’60s, but there are exceptions. Eggleston is also interested in showcasing what he calls “good new modern,” which he defines as the modern furniture of the last couple of years that has “great organic form” and also offers functionality. He isn’t impressed with “overdone modernism,” which he describes as “weirdness without function.”
Mid2Mod opened in 2009 in an antique mall, then moved to Fair Park and finally settled in Deep Ellum about six months ago at 2928 Main St. A cruise through the 1,800-square-foot store might reveal a Percival Lafer Brazilian modern lounge chair ($1,500), George Nelson credenza ($2,250) or Grundig stereo ($950). Mid2Mod has something for every room in the house, including floor, tabletop and pendant lighting; seating from designers such as Eames and Wormley; credenzas, desks and other case goods; dining and occasional tables; stereos; and accessories such as vases, bowls, decanters and glass figurines. The store also features Gus* Modern furniture and Bend seating.
Many pieces in the showroom are featured online, and while you’re on the website, you can get a great cursory education on modern furniture and designers via the blog, written by Eggleston’s mother-in-law, Dana. 
In the near future, Eggleston says he plans to offer kid-sized replicas of pieces from iconic designers, such as Eames. He also envisions that the Mid2Mod showroom will feature boutique modern furniture designers. “My business strategy is to show people that great design can be affordable,” he says. “It always has been and always will be.”
From dallas.culturemap.com

Among the treasures in the Mid2Mod showroom: chair and ottoman by Eames.
Leather lounge chair by Percival Lafer

18 comments:

  1. What a great article and feature! Congratulations to your daughter and SIL.

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    1. I'm very proud of them. They've worked hard and have made amazing sacrifices to make the store a success.

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  2. Ditto Donna's comment. Nice to see you got a mention too Dana.

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    1. My SIL works so hard for the store, yet he never fails to give my daughter credit for her contribution and to give the blog some play.

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  3. SUPER write up! Fun reading about the store's history, too.

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    1. Thanks! It's been an interesting ride so far. :)

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  4. Cheers to Mid2mod! The feature is well deserved, I wish your store many more successes.

    “Over the course of the day, you learn to look”... Joe learned very, very well, didn't he.

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    1. Yes, he did...very well and very quickly, I must say! :)

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  5. Such a great article, I really enjoyed reading it!. I can imagine that a store like that take a lot patience and dedication....and your SIL has those traits in spades.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, patience, dedication, a lot of long hours and sacrifice. Most people...including us at first...don't have any idea what goes into starting a store. My daughter and SIL were willing to sell their beautiful mid-century home and move into the back of the first store with two kids. I know I wouldn't have been willing to do that.

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  6. I saw this yesterday on your Facebook page. Great write up! Boy, you're not kidding when you caution that the 60 times markup is rare! I know most of what I move through the store is way,way below that and a good bit of what I sell needs some work, whether it's just a good cleaning or a full on restore. Joes definetely got a great eye and a bit of luck doesn't hurt either!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it's very rare. I know that some thrift buyers who are accustomed to paying pennies for a DIY fixer-upper look at a $1500 price tag and think that's exorbitant, but by the time you buy a piece, pay several hundred dollars to have it professionally refinished (since most dealers don't have your skills), buy quality upholstery fabric (which itself can cost hundreds of dollars) and then pay an upholsterer hundreds more to redo it...and this doesn't even take into account overhead costs like rent, utilities, insurance or the cost of going out picking, etc...the reality is that you usually have closer to 60 times what you paid for it invested in a piece rather than the other way around...LOL

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    1. Thanks, Rachael! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  8. It most certainly is HARD work! People really underestimate the amount of time and effort that goes into this sort of thing.

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    1. I agree, Nick. If someone just casually does thrift shopping for his own home, he can't imagine how much work goes into finding enough to sell to the public.

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  9. I missed this story Dana! Fantastic news coverage for your SIL and for your blog. They work nicely hand in hand don't they.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Yes, the blog and the store make a nice combination. Most people assume that the store came first, and the blog followed, but I had actually been blogging a couple of months before my SIL asked my daughter and me if we wanted to start a store. Then it took another four months before we actually opened our doors, so by that time, I had over 150 posts under my belt. Now, in addition to the blog, I maintain our website, I manage our Twitter account, I write our weekly newsletter, and I contribute to our Facebook page. It's turned into quite an endeavor...but I wouldn't change a thing. :)

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