And Then it Hit Him...
Dan Salk's Antiques Epiphany
New York, NY. At age 37, Dan Salk, the owner of Salk Antiques NY and CT, is well into his second successful career. Savvy about the power of selling antiques online and the community building benefits of social media, he is also experienced enough to know how to turn opportunity into a win.
Dan Salk is one of Latique’s most active dealers. Latique is one of the important avenues Dan uses to reach out to new buyers, many of whom, he says, are very much like he used to be.
“I was raised on Long Island in a contemporary home and had no knowledge of antiques.” In his first career as a financial services manager, Dan was a master at identifying wealth-building investments but had no idea that antiques could be as good a place as any to put your money.
That all changed when Dan married and began looking around for a career that did not include Wall Street’s legendary and brutal travel schedule. Running a small business appealed to him. When wife Erica, who comes from a family of antiques dealers, suggested he would like antiques, things started to come together.
George Brody, Erica’s father, offered to take Dan into the family business, George N Antiques. Dan said that when he saw his first piece of furniture he was captivated. When the first designer came into the shop, he quickly became engaged. Working in the small world of high-end antiques intrigues him. He loves negotiating face-to-face, building relationships and working with designers.
Of his training and collaboration with George Brody, Dan says, “There are so few places to really learn about antiques, I was very fortunate to have a great opportunity to be educated in a way few people get. Learning from George Brody was tremendous.” Salk and Brody continue to work closely together.
Salk Antiques specializes in the finest 18th, 19th and 20th Century decorative arts, with a focus on furniture. “The heavy things,” Dan explains, “that people don’t like to handle.” He also carries lighting — chandeliers, sconces, and candlesticks. He likes Chinese porcelains and considers them to be the perfect complement to an 18th Century English table.
Salk Antiques’ style is traditional at its best. With a reputation for high-end period antiques and quality 20th Century reproductions from small, family owned European businesses, Salk Antiques attracts New York’s elite decorators and seasoned collectors.
Salk explained why decorators might mix in high quality reproductions with period antiques. “If he is working on a 10,000 square foot house or larger, he’s noting to put finest 18t Century furniture in the 3rd and 4th bedrooms.” The decorator will want to maintain the look throughout, but the best antiques go up front. “Whether 200 years old or reproductions, furniture has to have the right proportions and the right material.”
Dan Salk relies on the integrity and trust associated with his name to assure his clientele a comfort level. He stresses the fact that buying from a reputable dealer is always a better move than buying at a flea market or an auction. “When a dealer sells something, it is what he says it is. If there is ever a reason to return an item, a dealer will allow it.” With auctions, you don’t have the liberty.
Clearly, one of the so-called new breed of antique dealers, Dan Salk has a lot of things on is mind. One of the overriding ideas he talks about these days is the injustice some people impose on their expensive homes. “People think about how much house they can afford but not about the furniture they put into it. New furniture becomes virtually worthless the minute it leaves the store.” During his financial services days, Dan showed people where to look to put money. Today, he is showing them how to appreciate antiques and the reasons.
He is also exploring new and different ways to reach out to people. One reason Dan got started with Latique is to talk to new audiences.
Soon, Salk Antiques will have a new website with a social media component and a blog. He feels the Internet offers a great opportunity to educate. Antiques online, social media, and an updated website are components of the best modern businesses—even if the products they deal in date to the 1600s.
For more information on Dan Salk, take at look at his Latique profile or visit http://salkantiques.com