How It All Began
Ever since I can remember, my passion has been photography, and it was all I ever wanted to do. One cannot be a photographer and not be drawn to beautiful things; in my case, the beautiful things included antiques, and it was a natural fit that I would use my own art (photography) to help collectors document their prize collections. As much as I love photography, I could not resist the antiques’ siren call, and soon I was collecting, too.
Collecting: A Relationship All Its Own
For years, photography continued to take center stage as I made a living creating books and catalogs for other collectors. But how does a person engage with collectors, and listen to the stories their treasures tell, and photograph the work, and not himself become passionate about the antiques? Like a jealous girlfriend who needs special attention and time, the beautiful items drew me to them. Still, I was determined I would only buy antiques, never sell them because I wanted to be true to my first love. Until…
Five years ago, my dear friend and fellow collector Dr. Dove had other ideas. I had helped him with his book, Samples of Armenian Silver Work, and he was convinced that my knowledge of antiques and my enthusiasm for collecting demanded that it was time for me to open an antique store. I reminded him I knew nothing about selling and that I only wanted to do photography. He was so determined that he offered to partner with me financially, and with his encouragement and generous support, the Pasadena Antique Warehouse opened its doors to the public in 2013.
The store was not a big financial success, but it was worthwhile in important ways. I met many interesting people and inspiring collectors, and enjoyed the sense of community we were building together. I knew that the retail world was moving to the internet, but resisted the trend to switch to internet sales because the personal relationships are so valuable. Still, a retail shop is an enormous investment in time and money—more, I came to realize, than I was willing to spend. I wanted to have plenty of time for my family and friends, and travels, and, of course, photography. Over time and with the help of my friend, Mesrop, I realized I could have the best of both possible worlds: the meaningful relationships of a mom and pop store with the broad reach of internet sales. The Pasadena Antique Warehouse quarterly internet auction was born.
What We Offer You, the Collector
If you are looking for a large commercial antique auction house, we are not for you. If you want a smooth, hassle-free, reasonably priced transaction with personal service, you will appreciate working with us. We offer four internet auctions a year. All related services are included in our basic fee: research, authentication, generous and well-lit displays, professional photography, packaging, shipping. I am a certified antique appraiser and promise you sound guidance on pricing and value. If the item or lot does not sell in the internet auction, I will continue to promote it in the shop and online through eBay and other antique sales sites. You will never have to deal with a middle-man; I will be working with you from start to finish.
A Word About Value
Value is often defined as the price that someone is willing to pay for a product—and while that may be true, there is much more to value than just the price. At Pasadena Antique Warehouse, we want to live in a world where antique and vintage items are valued for the stories they tell and the sentiment they hold for the families who own them. We also value the relationships created around the shared love for antiques. I am especially grateful to
- Dove for encouraging me to open the store. Although I was initially reluctant, I am now very grateful for the broader horizons.
- The customers and neighbors and collectors who have passed through our doors and invited me into their homes to see, appraise, and represent their collections.
- The friends who have helped me create the new business model: Internet auction enhanced by in-house displays and eBay sales.
We encourage you to value the stories and the sentiment, too. If you are attached to your item or want your descendants to have something you and your ancestors have treasured, hold it close. Don’t sell it! Give us only the items that you’ve enjoyed but are now able to let go. Whether or not you decide to sell an item, we hope you will visit the shop, enjoy an Armenian coffee with us, and share the stories—everything from life to antiques.