Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog
Topics: family, consignment, school, boston, MA, chestnut hill, newton, Furniture Consignment, Hanover, plymouth Furniture, plymouth, furnitureconsignment.com, children, kids, school bus, back to school, boston consignment
Topics: manomet, family, meatballs, 2015, grandmother, gramma, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, travel, dining table, easter, grandma, cade
His old maple bat stood in the corner of the room. On a nearby bookshelf were his glove and baseball cap. The boy's clothes hung, cleaned, pressed and ready to wear in the closet. The room was meticulously maintained and chillingly quiet.
For more than two decades, his mother has grieved the loss of her beloved son. She couldn't bear to change a single thing in his bedroom. Then, a few weeks ago, she decided it was time. She and her husband, now in their sixties, needed to create a guest room for visiting family members. That's what brought her to FCG.
Diana, an ASID certified interior designer, would later say that the renovation would become one of the greatest challenges of her career. That wasn't because of the complexity of the design but rather the intensity of emotions - her client's and her own.
Every time before entering the room, Diana would pause. "It looked just like yours when you were growing up," she told me. "Or our three boys' rooms now." Which is to say that it looked like any boy's room in America: a twin maple bed, trophies, sports equipment and photos of siblings, Mom and Dad. For Diana, it was a reminder that life is fragile.
With the couple's permission, Diana injected new life into the silent room. She outfitted both windows with bright cornice boards and gave the walls a coat of fresh paint. She unrolled a Persian rug. Then, our moving guys brought in the furniture: a four-poster rice-carved bed, a mahogany dresser and a secretary desk. New bedding and a flock of pillows completed the cozy scene.
When she presented the fully decorated room to the couple, the mother had to fight to catch her breath. Then, marveling at the change, she said slowly, "A new room for the new year." Later, she thanked Diana. "It's hard to let go of the past," she admitted. "You made it easier."
Topics: manomet, family, renewal, renew, remembrance, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, loss, new year
"Dad," Robbie pulled me aside and confided in a low, somber tone. "We have a problem."
Earlier, he had spied some wrapped presents tucked under the tree. The half-hidden stash was an irresistible lure for a six-year-old boy. With only twelve more shopping days left until Christmas, he knew he had to schedule some urgent reconnaissance.
This was a job that required absolute secrecy without any interference from his two older brothers or, even worse, Mom. His mission: to determine whether he'd get his fair share of loot for Christmas.
First, he made sure the rest of the family was busy - and not in the living room. Then, he crawled under the tree. Once he reached the target, he weighed and measured the presents from every angle. He undertook his inspection with the precision of a diamond dealer. He probably used a loupe.
The data, once analyzed, confirmed his worst fears. He had one present under the tree. His brothers each had three. So he filed a grievance: "It's not fair." But, he assured me diplomatically, we still had time to fix the situation.
When it comes to Christmas, I'm convinced that every kid on the planet is born with an internal abacus. When they're young, they're thrilled just to unwrap a box. Soon, they start keeping count of the gifts. Every child has to have precisely the same number as his or her siblings - or you're risking a riot.
When they're teenagers, they develop a sophisticated sense of value and style that shifts daily, which creates a gift-giving nightmare. Two parkas, both equally warm. North Face or L.L. Bean? Take it from me, one of those is going to be a big mistake. Tears will ensue. We're not quite there yet at our house but I dread the day.
Admit it. All of us have a little kid inside secretly checking out everyone else's gifts. So if you're racing around trying to even out the ratio, you'll find help at FCG.
Yesterday, a harried shopper dashed into our showroom in Hanover. "Something for my daughter," he gasped. "All out of ideas!" Minutes later, he tore out of the store with a generous gift card, his arms raised in triumph. "I'm done!" he roared happily. "Done, done, done!"
Topics: manomet, family, robbie, december, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, christmas, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, travel, holidays, gift card, gift certificate
So maybe my timing wasn't perfect ....
While undertaking the sixteen-hour drive over the river and through the woods to my in-laws in Kentucky, I listened to a radio talk show. According to the enthusiastic host, Thanksgiving was the perfect time to discuss end-of-life issues with older relatives.
In other words, white meat or dark? Burial or cremation? Pass the carrots, please. And, speaking of vegetables, when do you want us to pull the plug?
So after we finished our family feast, I thought I'd broach some of those topics with my in-laws. "Have you two created a will?" I asked. "Who's the executor?"
"Glad you asked!" Papa responded with great zeal. An Army veteran who did two voluntary tours in Vietnam, he wasn't a man to approach anything without a battle plan. "We've got good long-term care insurance in place," he said. "And we've taken care of the will." Diana, my wife, would be the executor.
He paused then for a moment and nodded his head slowly. We all leaned in a little closer. "I've given a lot of thought to this," he said thoughtfully. "And I'd like my ashes to be spread all over Nancy."
His wife's name is Becky.
In the uproar that followed that disclosure, he quickly explained. Nancy, Kentucky is the home of the Mill Springs National Cemetery, one of the oldest national cemeteries in the U.S. Established during the Civil War, some 4,000 veterans are buried there.
Well, the conversational floodgates opened - probably out of relief. Suddenly, everyone at the table had an outrageous death wish.
"I want to be shot out of a cannon," my mother-in-law announced. She wasn't about to be upstaged in the department of grand theatrical exits. I looked over at Diana. She was starting to look a little panicky. How would she find a functioning cannon in Kentucky?
Maybe some topics are better left alone at Thanksgiving. And probably Christmas. I've learned from this experience. So my advice would be to steer the conversation to more uplifting subjects. "Gosh, Mom, your dining table is so beautiful. I bet when the time comes we could get good money for it at Furniture Consignment Gallery."
Topics: family ties, manomet, family, robbie, thanksgiving, death wish, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, christmas, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, travel, kentucky, funeral, will
My first thought: good thing he was wearing his helmet. Robbie, my six-year-old, and I were taking a bike ride last weekend in one of the state's beautiful parks. Suddenly, his bike slipped off the edge of the paved road. Then, he was down. He hit the rocky ground hard and my heart skipped a beat.
He'd been a trouper all afternoon, pushing the pedals with all his might climbing the steep hills and braking ever so gently to stay in control on the descent. Now, seeing the panic in his face as he stared at his scraped palms, I jumped off my bike and lifted his chin to look at me.
"Robbie," I said gently, "there's gonna be blood, but you're okay."
For a six-year-old, blood is scary. Blood requires Mom, Sponge Bob bandages, and chocolate milk. At least, that's the remedy in our house. But we were miles from home deep in the woods. No Mom, no Sponge Bob and a long bike ride back to the car.
Don't look at the scrapes, I advised him. Pull down your sleeves. Hop back on the bike. Robbie listened and nodded, his face serious. He grimaced, tugged his sleeves over the newly raw skin, then jumped back on his bicycle.
As we rode back to the car, I could tell his mind was already shifting from his tumble to the sheer joy of his first long bike ride with Dad. Robbie accomplished a lot that day. He learned how to climb hills. He learned how to control his speed. Most importantly, he learned how to overcome a setback.
Learning a new skill means making mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can be pretty bruising. That day, Robbie learned to get up, brush himself off and get back in the game.
The best part of that day was the opportunity to appreciate something that had gotten buried in the back of my mind. My son reminded me that it takes grit and determination to learn a new skill. That's a good reminder for kids, adults - and especially for business owners. Looking back, I'd say that was the best bike ride ever.
We pulled up in front of a massive mansion earlier this week to pick up some furniture. The owner, a wealthy businessman, was gutting the house down to the studs, then renovating and redecorating. He wanted us to sell his furniture - but he wasn't going to make it easy for us.
Rule #1: Do NOT park in the driveway. He didn't want tire marks or oil leaks from our truck staining his beautiful, black ribbon of asphalt. He was very fussy about his driveway. In fact, he boasted, he forced workers to use plastic shovels to clean the snow from the driveway by hand in the winter so the surface wouldn't be scratched by a plow.
Tiptoeing across his lawn was tough - but well worth it. We loaded up several truckloads of high quality furniture, which you'll find in our showrooms this weekend along with furniture from several other high-end homes in Boston.
And, yes, it is true. The very rich are different from you and me. Plastic shovels? Well, if you insist. Which is why they choose to partner with us more than any other consignment business in New England.
Why Furniture Consignment Gallery?
I can think of three reasons. One, they trust us to come into their homes and to handle their possessions with care and integrity. Two, we have the skilled people and the right equipment to carefully extract items from their homes without damaging the hand-painted wallpaper or the marble floors. And, three, they know that their furniture will be beautifully displayed in our three showrooms - and that it will sell.
Mr. Big Shot insisted that he didn't need the money, but he knows his furniture - gently used - still has value. "I want to see some money from this stuff," he said gruffly. "I know I'm going to get the best price by consigning with you. Then I'll donate the money to charity."
So it isn't about the money ... but it is about the money.
Working with the super-successful can be challenging, but we do it well. Our business is built to handle it. When you visit the showroom this weekend, feel free to chuckle a bit, knowing we had to skip lightly across some guy's lawn to bring you the best furniture in New England.
So What is all the Hoopla about?
After all the tax savings is only 6.25%. Other than unleashing the libertarian within, the savings isn't great enough to cause a fuss. But, at Furniture Consignment Gallery we think it is a big deal. So we are making it one! This week only, you can take an extra 10% off the current price which brings your savings up to 16.25%. Now that is some hoopla!
Here are the details:
TAX-FREE Sale Event. Take 10% OFF the current price! Starts today on August 11th at 10AM. You can take 10% of the current price and take the item with you today! If you want to wait to purchase the item on the Sales Tax Holidays of Saturday and Sunday August 16 & 17, we can reserve your item, process your order over the weekend and then you will save the extra 6.25%.
Items reserved for purchase for the tax holiday can be picked up over the weekend, but not before. Delivery trucks will be operating all next week and we can schedule your delivery at the time that you reserve your item.
All Massachusetts Sales Tax Holiday Rules and Regulations apply. Under Massachusetts State Guidelines, items that exceed $2,500 are not eligible for the sales tax holiday exemption.
Our trucks will be running all this week, picking up items and bringing them in for the sale event. Great items are schedule to hit the showroom floors throughout the week and we will update you along the way.
Take 10% off today! The Sale begins Now on Monday August 11 and runs Through Sunday August 17th.*
*Items that drop in price during the sale event and all items that are in final markdown status may not be eligible for any further discounting.
"No, no, no!" Ron, the veteran manager of our store in Hanover, exclaimed excitedly. He was on the phone talking to a woman who was moving and thinking about selling a beloved dining set. "Don't sell it," he advised her. "You've got to keep it!"
If you overheard that conversation - and you don't know FCG - you might have been puzzled. After all, we're in the business of consigning quality furniture - and hers definitely qualified. Her dining room set was from Stickley's Mission Collection. Made with quarter sawn white oak, the set was beautiful and would someday be an heirloom. It would have sold instantly in any of our stores.
Was Ron crazy?
Actually, no. The woman had told him she wasn't sure about her plans. She didn't know where she was moving or whether the dining set would fit - in size or style - in her new home. Ron knew intuitively that she might regret selling a treasured piece before she'd had time to think through the decision. Sure, FCG would have made money consigning the set, but he was right to advise against the sale.
At FCG, we pride ourselves on our honesty. If you see an item on our website and call us to ask about the condition of the piece, you are going to get an honest appraisal from us. That means we're going to tell you about the dings and dents. If you call us about consigning a piece that you might regret selling later, we'll caution you to think twice.
"Put it in storage for the short-term," Ron told the woman. "Once you've decided where you're living, then you can evaluate whether the dining set is a good fit for your new home. And if you do decide to sell, then you know who to call - FCG!"
Establishing a bond of trust with customers and potential customers is important to us - even if it means we forego a short-term profit.
I was ready for a break. So I welcomed the brief lull in the store when the phones went silent and the parking lot emptied earlier this week. It didn't last long. Suddenly, I heard a massive crash. A large mirror had jumped off the wall to its death. Shards of glass were everywhere.
The dog days of summer are upon us. Even the furniture is getting agitated.
July is a weird month. That's when the showroom seems to turn into a confessional. Is it the heat or the humidity? I don't know, but for some reason, that's when wayfarers wander into our stores and pour out their hearts.
Yesterday, a pickup truck pulled into the parking lot. Four rambunctious boys spilled out of the cab and tore through the showroom like monkeys swinging on jungle vines. The oldest was about fourteen, the youngest was a toddler. Their father followed, looking sweaty and irritable.
"Cute kids?" I offered hesitantly.
"They're driving me nuts!" Dad replied. "You know, I thought we were done after two kids. I even went to the doc" - he winced - "so there wouldn't be any, you know, surprises. Then, after ten years, my wife decides she wants more. So back I go. You know, to the doc."
He closed his eyes and shook his head wearily. "Twelve grand it cost me to fix the plumbing! And that's just for starters! I'm on the hook, man. I'm on the hook for a long time. I'm looking at, like, sixteen years of college tuition."
What do you say at a moment like that? I had no idea. When in doubt, my motto is to talk furniture. "That's a mighty nice desk you've got out there in the truck, buddy," I blurted out. "Mighty nice! I think we can sell that desk and put some money back in your wallet."
Readers, if you're in the market for some entertainment, you gotta come visit one of our showrooms. Comedy, tragedy, we've got it it in spades in July. And if you're in the market for a desk, you'll make one poor guy a little happier.