The Next Generation

I can’t help but share this sentimental moment I’m having regarding my family history and the relationship I’m building these days with my son.  After all the mess of Hurricane Irma, it’s just what I needed to pick up my spirits and resume my blogging.

So here’s a bit about my personal life. I was born and raised in the Roanoke / Salem, Virginia area. It’s a southern town nestled in a valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge mountains. It’s quaint, charming, and the picture of a Normal Rockwell painting.   But for me, something in that small town was missing. I knew from a young age that as soon as my feet could carry me, I would flee small-town life for a big city.  I wanted that power executive life, I wanted to be a badasss ladyboss, and most importantly, I didn’t want to follow in my family’s footsteps.   I cannot help but laugh as I write this, realizing that I may have relocated to beach but I never will escape my roots.  

The maternal side of my family consists of generations of entrepreneurs- specifically pickers or what I like to “curators,” like myself.  My grandfather would take me to auctions where he would buy anything from a trailer full of goods to a house that he would move across town.  My mother, a fine artist, would take an empty canvas and create the most beautiful local nature landscapes with oil paints.  Not only that, but she transform a simple pine table into a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture art with her talent. Unfortunately, I did not inherit her gift with paint (I can barely draw a stick figure), but she instilled in me a creative spirit.

Then there’s one of the most important people in my life – my mom’s younger sister, my Aunt Vickie.  After school she would take me under her wing and mentor me on how to run a small business. She was even featured in Entrepreneur magazine!  

And so now I can reflect on how I ended up where I am – combining the creativity, entrepreneurship, and business skills that were passed to me through my blood.    What started out as a hobby of mine – picking (I mean curating!) one-of-a-kind pieces and selling them in a boutique online – has turned into my full-time career. My family couldn’t be prouder!

Heathertique started several years ago as an Etsy shop. In fact, my eight-year son Keegan has never known life without Heathertique.  He is my travel companion when I go on buying trips to curate.  This year, he has really taken an interest and has even started chiming in with recommendations on what he thinks I should collect.  I LOVE IT.

“My son has never known life without Heathertique”

I love seeing his curiosity and excitement – especially when he is baffled by antique and vintage items like a rotary phone!!   It’s a bittersweet reminder of getting older, but it’s a fun way to connect with my little guy.  I mean, just look how mystified he is in the first picture: 

These photos are from a recent trip we took together to Lanier’s Historic Downtown Marketplace.  After the fun we had with the vintage phone, Keegan begged for me to put it in the shop and see if it sold.  Since rotary phones have always done well with vintage-lovers at the shop, I obliged.   And when it sold immediately, he was so proud of himself that he has decided to start helping me out more.

This summer we went to Miami to an estate sale at a gorgeous condo on South Beach, and he discovered this beautiful quartz piece.  

He asked to borrow the money to purchase it to sell it on Heathertique.  I agreed, and together we took the photos and I showed him what it took to post it online.  Then last week it sold in our Chairish shop  and will go to an apartment on Fifth Avenue!  

So you can imagine his excitement in thinking he has his own little business running now.  So, just like my Aunt Vickie showed me the ropes, I spent the weekend walking him through the process to close out and ship the sale.

Together we carefully packed the product and created the shipping label.  I showed him how I use a spreadsheet to calculate the costs and deductions to determine the net profit on his sale.  He paused for a few minutes to think about it – I could tell he was disappointed, and I was waiting for him to find an excuse for me to give him the full amount!  But he surprised me and said “Hey! It is more than I had before! Now can we go to the Lego store?!”

  So there you have it – the next generation of my family’s curators!

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