The pieces that find a home in The Gaiety come literally from all over the world and we travel far and wide to find beautiful and interesting pieces which we bring back and display in the treasure troves of The Gaiety. The vast majority of our items are handpicked by Clodagh and Sean on their buying trips. We love something with a story and being involved at all stages of the process from buying, to transport, unloading, displaying and ultimately sadly parting with our wares means that we get to relay the history of the pieces we buy to our clients. It is an important part of the process and clients love to hear a little of the origins and history of their new purchases.
Many of our buying trips are to England and we have often said it would make a great reality TV show. Give a couple a large vehicle, a wad of cash, directions to Europes biggest Antiques fairs with thousands of stalls, and two days to buy enough to fill the van. The van then has to be loaded and packed, then usually repacked to fit those last few items which Clodagh couldn’t resist. After all that we wearily transport it all safely home and the unloading, moving, and pricing and selling begins. The fact that we remain married and by and large on friendly terms throughout most of our trips is a small miracle. Although it can be stressful at times it is really great fun.
We have come a long way in a short space of time. Our first buying excursion was in Clodaghs’ father Herbies old Transit. It was touch and go whether it would make it all the way to the UK and back but it did, packed to the roof. We were so nervous about, what to buy and how much we were spending to say nothing of the driving and packing logistics. In a little over two years we have graduated from Herbies Transit to our own small truck which has upped the ante of buying trips even more. More space to be filled and money to be spent but still only the same amount of time! It’s a good job that in the two years since we started The Gaiety we have progressed and learnt so much about buying. We have also built great relationships with dealers who we meet and buy from on a regular basis and who are now our friends.
Our trips are also now interactive experiences the wonders of modern technology mean we can be wandering around the fairs and posting pictures for our Facebook friends or emailing pictures of potentially interesting pieces to clients who have commissioned us to look for specific items.
Next year we plan to make at least one trip to Europe and we would both dearly love to do a US buying trip sometime in the not too distant future.