What can you share about your sources and how you found them? If you have tips, this can be instructional (such as explaining how to find a reputable dealer).
S&L: When buying in big cities or auctions, prepare yourself to pay more than you would at Fireside. Keep in mind you will still have to pay for shipping, which can really add up. We try to buy out in the countryside at house closures, fairs, small dealers and auctions to keep our prices as reasonable as possible. We travel far and wide in France, England, Italy and Netherlands. We can spend 20-plus hours traveling in a country buying antiques along the way, all the while being closely followed by our trusted truck drivers.
S&L: The thing we absolutely couldn’t do without are our truck drivers. They pick up our items and we make our way through the countryside. Jobs can be hard to find in France. Our truck drivers are happy to have a job to feed their families, and truly enjoy helping. We share warehouse space and trucks with some other businesses. One driver always has to stay in the truck to protect it while two others pick up your goods. One early morning while our driver was alone at a pick up, two guys attempted to attack him. He pulled out a baseball bat to protect himself and his station. His comment was, “I have a family to feed. They were not going to take my job away.” Our truck was full, and we would have lost everything. There is no insurance to be purchased until our items get on the boat for shipment! We would’ve lost a large investment had he not stepped up for us. We treasure our friendships with them. We depend on them, and they depend on us. Laura and I end up housing and feeding 3 or 4 of our drivers, and we dine together every night. When you’re traveling and sharing all your meals, the bonds and appreciation develop even through some language barriers.