Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

A Runner's High

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 13, 2013 @ 11: 51 AM


Photo by Christa J Newman PhotographyEarly in the morning, picking up the paper in the driveway, I saw the water bottle perched on top of a fence post by the road. Condensation was beginning to freeze on the outside. I knew he was out there in the cold, racking up the miles, training for the Boston Marathon.


On Monday, my 37-year-old brother will fulfill one of his life's goals when he strides across the blue-and-yellow starting line in Hopkinton, MA, one of 27,000 runners. At 37, he has two other goals for the marathon. He wants to finish it- and enjoy it.

For almost a year, my fence post has served as a pit stop on his journey to Hopkinton, his water bottle a daily reminder of his determination. Not so long ago, when we three brothers would race, JT always came in last. He'd stagger in eventually, groaning in pain. He was out of shape and he consumed too much of the unhealthy stuff.

All that changed two years ago. He embraced health and fitness with a newfound discipline. I ran with him recently, but turned back home, tired and footsore, at mile three. He continued merrily down the road for another seven miles. After he completed two other marathons successfully - with times of 4:54 and 4:35 - JT's running club helped him secure a coveted slot in the world's most prestigious race.

We salute JT and all the runners who will pit their will and their endurance against the challenge of running 26.2 miles. Our family will Runnersjoin JT today at the Runner's Expo in Boston, where he'll pick up his bib number and race instructions. Tomorrow, we'll carbo-load a pasta dinner at Mom's. On Monday, we'll be cheering when he crosses the finish line.

The marathon brings tens of thousands of runners to Boston, and we're always delighted so many stop by our stores during the weekend. (Here's the tip-off: they're wearing the blue jackets with the yellow stripes, and they're as lean as greyhounds.)


So if you are running the marathon, why not keep on going? Our Chestnut Hill store is only 6.3 miles from the course. Hanover is another 33 miles - we'll have a water stop set up for you. And Plymouth is only another 24.3 miles. Please, folks, just don't ask me to pace you, but if JT hasn't expended all of his energy maybe he will lead the charge.


Topics: marathon, runners, running, manomet, family, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, 2013, newton, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, brother

Ready For Normalcy

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, March 12, 2013 @ 10: 28 AM

"Quit it!" I snapped irritably without taking my eyes off the computer screen. "Ouch!" 


My Boxer had been swatting my left hip relentlessly for an hour. I was engrossed with plans for our third store. She was clearly miffed. "What about TV?" she pouted. "You and me? Our favorite shows? Homeland? Hoops? The evening news? Just us on the couch while you rub my ears and scratch my neck. What did I dophoto(1) wrong? Come upstairs, PLEASE!" 


For the last eight weeks, I've been poring over cash-flow projections, organizing employee schedules, and managing inventory with one big goal in mind: opening our third store. Just about every evening, I ignored my dog.  My thigh endured swat after swat of paw and nails. Eventually, I got calluses.


Normalcy.  Even the family dog knows when something is amiss, and she didn't like it. Normalcy is what we all enjoy until we get the urge to make a big change - like getting married, having a baby, starting a new job, buying a home, going off to college, launching a career or opening a new store. Normalcy is what we crave once we've made that change and got where we are going.


We finally opened the new store. Yes, we did it! We had a great open house, inviting family and friends to see what's been on our minds - and our to-do lists - for the last couple of months. We hope you visit the new showroom in Plymouth, or either of our two other stores soon. All of them are open seven days a week now. That's a big change, too. We used to be closed on Mondays.


But now we need some normalcy.

With all three stores fully staffed and packed with beautiful furniture, I finally got to sit down and click on the television. I put up my feet on an ottoman that I got from a pretty cool furniture store and rubbed my dog's soft, beautiful, floppy ears. After all the excitement of the last few months, the dog and I are ready for some normalcy.

Topics: normalcy, frucci, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, kingston

A Visit from Christmas Past

Posted by Jay Frucci on Wed, December 26, 2012 @ 03: 43 PM

When I was ten, I desperately wanted all the actio3792628202 1845368a76n figures from my favorite movie, Star Wars, for Christmas. Imagine my joy when I tore the wrapping paper off just about every character worth owning: Han Solo, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Best of all, I got Luke Skywalker, the X-Wing Fighter Pilot, decked out in his orange jumpsuit - with helmet and lightsaber.


Within an hour, though, joy turned to tragedy. I was staging a wrestling match with Han and Chewbacca when, suddenly, I heard a snap. Han's head popped off his body and bounced a couple of times on the carpet before rolling to a stop. His angry eyes glared up at me. I swear.


"Mom!" I howled, gathering up the broken toy and heading for the kitchen. That's when our youthful Miniature Schnauzer moved in for the kill, digging his teeth into Luke Skywalker. Up the stairs he dashed and slid under my brother's bed. I finally wrestled the toy away from him, but damage had been done. Luke's arm was mashed by dog teeth. He couldn't even hold his lightsaber.


The lack of any swear words in my ten-year-old vocabulary, kept me from accurately expressing my despair.  


I remember that day as if it was yesterday. Isn't that one of the greatest gifts of Christmastime - all the memories of long-ago holidays?  


Last Monday, I spent an evening with a group of people who are as close to family as you can get without actually being family: our employees. We reflected on Christmas Past at Furniture Consignment Gallery. Seven year ago, there were four of us in the break room eating sandwiches. This year, we numbered 24, and we celebrated at a local restaurant.  


Times change. We always hope they are for the better.   A day to reflect, to appreciate others and to think about how how things in our lives could have been better or worse. Imagine if I had never opened those packages that Christmas morning? What if I saved them and sold them thirty years later on e-bay?    


Nahh... I like the way things turned out.  


Merry Christmas. 


Topics: consignment, boston, MA, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, christmas

Mr Jay's Wild Ride

Posted by Jay Frucci on Wed, August 15, 2012 @ 11: 22 AM

"New Jersey has the best tomatoes in the country," the gentleman reflected thoughtfully. He'd stopped by our store to ask me to evaluate a rug for consignment. Not this week, I said. I had plans for a road trip - to New Jersey. Don't forget to stop at a farm stand, he advised. You don't want to miss those tomatoes.

     Here at Furniture Consignment Gallery, we've always said that we will go far to fill our truck with good stuff, and we mean it. This week, we made the trek to a fine estate in Livingston, N.J.moving truck fcg

     Getting there was a battle. We dodged kamikaze drivers from Boston to New York. At one point, we put the truck in park and sat on sweltering concrete for several hours. So hot was it in fact, that off to the side of us, a car literally caught fire and went up in flames. By the time we got to the Garden State, I wanted to hurl some of those famous tomatoes at the welcome sign.

     Our escapade took nearly twenty-four hours, but we returned unscathed and with tons of, juicy, ripe furniture: Henredon, Ralph Lauren, Mitchell Gold and Althrop. Also among the bounty was an extraordinary leather sectional and ottoman from Bloomingdales, creamy and soft as butter.

     We also scored some beauties closer to home this week. You won't want to miss the mahogany Stickley dining set that came in from North Reading with some upholstered pieces from Ethan Allen. Or the Hickory Chair sofa from Rowe's Wharf. Or the Council Craftsman inlaid table, chairs and server from Wellesley. That home also sent twenty other great items to our showroom that are not yet on the web stie.

      "Have truck, will travel."

That's our motto. So be sure to stop by today. The good stuff goes fast.  


Topics: new jersey, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, gallery, brookline, comedy

No Bone Thrown

Posted by Jay Frucci on Thu, July 05, 2012 @ 12: 32 PM

I needed dog food, four wood screws to fix auIMG 9206sm wobbly table, a few basics at the grocery store - and all I had was an hour for these errands. 

     Since I'm a merchant, you'd think I would take my time and see how other stores do business. Nope, not me. I cannot stand waiting in line. I hate searching the aisles. And when I'm done, I want out. A shopper I am not.

Still, there are a few things I just don't get about retailing these days.

     At the pet store, I lugged a forty-pound bag of dog food up to the counter because I don't want to track down one of the shopping carts left scattered around the parking lot. I waited in line with a bag of rawhide in one hand and the dog food slung over my shoulder. By the time I got to the counter, I was sweating.

     "Do you have a rewards card?" the clerk inquired.

I searched my wallet for the card that is a ticket to nothing. I've never gotten any rewards from that store. They've never thrown me - or my dog - so much as a bone.

"Would you like to donate your change to the Rescue Dogs of America?"

     Now, I'm sure Rescue Dogs does wonderful work, but I don't know anything about the organization. Does the money actually go to the dogs - or to support some swanky fundraising operation? I declined politely. The cashier shot me a dirty look that accused me of being a dog-hater.

     At the hardware store, I found the screws. I had the sixty cents ready.

     "Do you have our rewards card?" the clerk asked. That stumped me. She offered to look it up, pecking away at her keyboard patiently entering every phone number I've ever had without finding a single record of me. She offered to sign me up. I declined. As I left, she was scowling.

     guy waving bye mdRacing against time, I hurried into the grocery store for the bare necessities: bananas, ice cream, OJ. I hit the express line only to find an older couple who apparently were stocking up for nuclear winter - and they had to write a check.

     My bill turned out to be $3.80 more than I'd calculated. "If you don't have our saver's card, then you don't get the sale price," the clerk told me. I couldn't find the card, so I asked her to help me out. That annoyed her. She went searching for a supervisor, who grumbled but gave me a break.

     I finished my errands feeling unwelcome and unappreciated. I vowed to go back to our showroom and thank every customer who came in the door. Heck, I'll even carry your purchases out to your car - and give you a friendly wave as you leave. I'll never forget: we are lucky to have you at FCG. And you don't need a special card to get that special treatment from us.  

Topics: store cards, difficulties, consignment, boston, chestnut hill, Furniture, Hanover, gallery, brookline

Flipping Over When There is No Catch

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, June 22, 2012 @ 04: 18 PM

   Cruising in and out of beautiful inlets on a borrowed jet ski, I spent Memorial Day on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee, trying to forget about furniture for a day. Suddenly, I caught sight of a big man in a little kayak. His fishing pole was being yanked to the very core of the earth.

     I stopped to watch the struggle and he waved me closer. Already, this was more entertaining than schlepping a chest of drawers down the stairs of the showroom. He said he had been waging war with this fish for over an hour. It was a giant lake trout, he exclaimed, a native of the cold, deep waters of Winnipesaukee. He asked if I could help steady him. The powerful fish seemed intent on toting his little vessel around that massive lake like the shark in the film 'Jaws.'

     I moved in to help, but the fish wiggled free and vanished.  This formerly ecstatic fisherman was now just exasperated and exhausted from his long battle with Moby Dick. He asked me to tow him to shore so he wouldn't have to paddle. Wary of my clumsiness on the jet ski, I hesitated, but finally agreed.

     Within minutes, we were on our way. Roll 2Turning to check on my new friend, I noticed he was wobbling in my wake. I fumbled with the controls and inadvertently hit the gas, rocketing forward. Instant capsize! He was being hauled home at high speed - completely underwater.

     When I reached the shore, I paused and my new friend swam to the dock, drenched and defeated. Head down, his flooded sneakers squished with every step. Clearly wishing he had never made my acquaintance, he was, nonetheless, a good sport and nodded good bye.  

     As for me, I have managed to overcome every minor annoyance this week by invoking the hilarious visual of that poor schmuck upside down in his kayak while I raced to shore. Mea culpa, man. 

     A warning to all: keep me away from the heavy machinery. That's why I leave the truck driving to our stellar crew Nick or Matt, and I ride shotgun position.

     We all have our place in life. Mine, apparently, is in the showroom.

Topics: jet ski, fishing, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, gallery, brookline, comedy, swimming, flipping

Gone Global

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, June 15, 2012 @ 09: 47 AM

      When we assumed the reigns at Furniture Consignment Gallery 7 years ago, all of our efforts and energy was focused on serving our local customers. But that's not true anymore. Now, it is global. Consider one of our new customers, Bob, who lives on an island called Hilo in Hawaii, 6,000 miles from Hanover. He found Furniture Consignment Gallery on the Internet, and in our inventory, he discovered the perfect dining room set. Shipping, he conceded cheerfully, would almost be prohibitive, but living on an island in the middle of the Pacific takes a certain can-do attitude and he was up to the challenge, so we sent the set off to a customer we'd only met over email and the phone. Here's what we heard a few weeks later:







Aloha, all!

     The dining set arrived in a total of seven pieces, not 500, as I had feared.  Six thousand miles over road and ocean - with no problems and no breakage - may not be a record, but it impresses me. I am attaching photos of the pieces in their new home with their westward view over the Pacific. The table and chairs look more at home in the land of taro and ahi than in the land of the bean and cod.

Thank you,








  Only a few weeks later, we got another call from the Pacific Coast. This was from a man who was outfitting a yacht in sunny LA. He was looking for a desk small enough to fit through the door of his stateroom, and thanks to our website, he'd found the perfect piece on the showroom floor in Hanover. Once again, the piece was packed up carefully and shipped across the continent. Here's the note we got from Nick: "What a gorgeous little desk. Looks like it came with the boat! Now, I need a larger dresser!" Thank You, Nick The Internet has rattled every corner of the business world, even ours. Bob and Nick taught us two important lessons. One: Customers will go a long way to find quality and value. Two: No matter how far out we can cast our net, our customer still wants that personal relationship and attention that only a small business can provide.

Topics: HI, voyage, boat, consignment, boston, MA, massachusetts, Desk, Furniture, Hanover, used, gallery, hawaii, aloha, shipping, ship, sea