Seek and Ye Shall Find, MCM Style: How Custom Shopping Works.

IMG_6693.JPG
IMG_6700.JPG
IMG_6701.JPG

A while back, one of my clients asked me to keep an eye open for a nice walnut low dresser for her.  It's been on my mind overtime I am out sourcing.  Finally, I found a fabulous piece that was in great condition and I thought she may love it.  I sent a pic, and my initial thoughts on condition which I call a once over.  Meanwhile, my brain is going crazy processing the issues and trying to determine a strategy to repair and blend in the issues.  My initial pics were in the shop it was found and of course, these items do not last long so it was imperative that I pounce on it to secure it for my client.  I am lucky that she is easily accessible and we went back and forth via text for a little bit as I answered her questions, checked the dresser for smells, drawers work, structural issues and finish issues....plus the ever important dimensions!  She quickly decided this piece was for her (and I agree, that it is a totally stellar piece!).  There was a matching dresser and night stand and for as much as we hated to leave them behind.....I saw today they were already sold so no going back!  As soon as I had her blessing, I purchased the dresser and got it home to spend the rest of the day cleaning, touching up and filling a large gash on the left front corner.  As I worked, I really fell in love with this piece!  It was totally not the average low dresser and wow was it cleaning up fabulously!  I kept her posted with pics of my progress and she is totally excited to meet it!  Delivery is this Friday and I am so excited to see it in her home.  I love to get to clients homes since most of my customers are around the country, it's not always possible.  This lovely lady has quite the eye for design and it is a treat to see my awesome finds displayed in her amazing space.  Her color choices are bold and stunning.  The home is a sprawling MCM ranch in a charming neighborhood close to where I went to college. I always enjoy the visit! 

IMG_6710.JPG
IMG_6715.JPG

As I finished cleaning up this piece, I was contacted by a shopper on Etsy about a pair of dressers I had listed.  She was interested in both pieces.  (Yea!  I hate separating sets!!!!)  Would I deliver to Maryland outside of Washington DC?  Sure would for these pretties!  We set the delivery up for the following day and I get them ready and packed my car. The family and I headed down and delivered these gorgeous chests and we got them all moved in.  They were perfect!  My client sent us on our way with the most delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies I ever ate!  As we talked and she said she was interested in some more dressers for the other bedroom, I showed her a pic of another set that was for sale and I just loved so much.  She loved it too!  So today I got all the specs and did my run down on condition plus checked how much dirt was really on it and how it would clean up.  Well, this set is amazing in a kitchy and fun way.  I am happy to report I will be purchasing this set and getting it ready for delivery in early July!

IMG_6785.JPG
IMG_6790.JPG

Seriously shopping?  I get around!  I am always out looking and some things I choose not to invest in for various reasons including size, price and budget.  If i know you are looking for something, I would totally shop for you.  My goal is to get you a great price so that I can still price the final product under street value in my markets.  This means I will purchase on your behalf, go over it with a fine tooth comb trying to clean, erase imperfections as best as I can and tend to any structural issues that it may have.  Your freshly cleaned and touched up item will be shipped or delivered with the same care I take with the inventory I invest in.  You will get my honest opinion on condition and what I think I can do to get it up to snuff. I do not buy stinky or smelly stuff!  You can trust me to shop for quality items!  In most cases, I will ask for a deposit when I make the purchase with the balance due upon shipping/delivery.  If we have worked together in the past, however, you will have my trust on this. My services are offered in good faith that you will purchase the items secured for you.  Please reach out!  I will do all I can to help you find the piece of your dreams!  Good things take time, so do not expect an instant score and especially so if you give me a very specific list!  Walnut low dresser was easier to locate than say a Broyhill Brasilia 9 drawer dresser.  So the more flexible you are, the quicker this may go. 

IMG_6753.JPG
IMG_6754.JPG

Stock update:

Both Frank Lloyd Wright stretched fabric frames are complete and listed.  I can make more but have 4 of the smaller 'Design 107' pattern and 3 of the larger St Marks Print pattern ready to ship! They are very simple, fabric stretched over an artists canvas.  Please see them in the etsy shop.  Reach out if you would like me to order yardage from this line for you.  Even if you only want a yard, I would split the minimum order with you as they seem to require a 2 yard purchase.  They are also selling pillows made to order.  They are not cheap, but if you are interested, please check the schumacher.com website for available prints (search Frank Lloyd Wright and they come up) and I can work up a quote for you.  All pillows are 2 sided with the print you select. Expect to pay around $200 per pillow and most are 18" square but I saw they had the velvet in 16" square, most likely because the velvet is crazy expensive.  Reach out!

IMG_6599.JPG

We are shoving off on vacation in a few weeks.  I will be totally off the grid for most of it.  I will probably put my online shops on vacation mode so I don't have any mad shoppers.  Although I expect to get into town every few days and access wifi, I am positive we will not have internet out in the Adirondacks where we are primitive camping.  If you need something, please reach out to me before Jun 22nd.  I will most likely not be coordinating any deliveries that week either or large furniture shipments. Hit me up now if there is something you love so I can get it shipped out or delivered for you in the next week or 2.  I will be crazy packing as we will be living in our VW Vanagon for 10 days or so which takes a lot of planning!! haha  

Special thanks to Darcie and Debbie who have been the most gracious clients and I just adore working with you! xo Malissa

Web site redesign launched!

I fell down a rabbit hole last week adding myself to Houzz.  I went to add the button to my web page and then decided to completely redo it entirely!  Please pop over and check it out!  I have hopefully made it better to navigate and used a different layout, which I really like.  I am still adding things, so not all of my customized pieces are logged yet but hope to get to that this week.  I also added my blog sign up form to page one instead of a splash page.  I had a few people express that they did not like it and I get it, but generally speaking, people won't sign up unless it is in their face!  ;)  Please reach out if you find something not working or something is just awkward so I can tweak it!  xo Web page link

I ordered some caning/weaving books which are coming today as I am having trouble figuring out how the weave was done in my dining chairs.  Hopefully one of the 3 books coming will address it.  If not, I will pick one that is in there and go with it.  I am anxious to get moving on them so they are ready to list.  

I just ordered chair glides for the 40/4 stacking chair set I have.  I know I lost a sale a while back because of the glide issue and I also did not directly deal with the customer or I would have bought them and sent them.  So I sourced the parts and will be installing them so they are ready to go and will not scratch floors.  If you like the commercial/industrial look, need a solid heavy and sturdy chair set for home or office, give them a look!  The chair has great history and is in fact the chair that all subsequent stacking chairs have strived to be like.  An ingenious design and a sleek look, the matched set of 4 will make a great add for your seating needs.  Check them out here:  40/4 stacking chairs by David Rowland

I am very happy to move a few items that have been here for a while over the last week. (and 2 bus shipments that have once again reminded me how REASONABLE it is to ship a chair across the country on the bus!!!)  I am also gearing up for a few auctions ending today that I plan on bidding on a few things so will see if I end up with anything.  I have a friend who is also interested in buying so I am able to spend the day on Friday hitting some sales with her in North Jersey.  I am very excited and it will be a fun day.  Maybe I will even come home with some cool stuff!  Keep your eyes on my social media!  

Looking for something?  With all of these sales I am hitting, let me know if you are looking for something specific!  I will certainly look for you!  It's hard for me to keep buying on my limited budget!  Regional and local peeps, this means you!  haha  In an effort to expand my regional presence, I have been mailing postcards out to Interior Design and photography pros in the area.  If you know of someone in Berks, Lehigh, Montgomery, Bucks, Lancaster, Lebanon areas who may rent furnishings for shoots or staging or even someone who may just need to keep my card on file in case something comes up in the future, let me know!  Working with professionals in my own area is a goal of mine for this year.  I love servicing the nation, don't get me wrong, but I feel there may be a need for my services here as well if people know about it. 

NEW TO HOUZZ!  Click the widget below and visit my page!  I'd appreciate if any of my past customers would leave me a review to get me started! xo 

Thank you for your time and enjoy your week!  xo Malissa

UPDATE!  I had success at my auctions last night! The following will be available when I get them picked up!  

Danish Teak open bookcase! It is amazing! Can you see an awesome collection displayed here?! 

IMG_5368.JPG
IMG_5371.JPG

Another amazing piece! Glass top dining table featuring lucite legs and brass details.  27" tall by 52" diameter. 

I also got a cool champagne ice bucket on a stand and some mod serving pieces from another sale that I will be picking up on Friday!  I have a great north jersey picking adventure with a friend this week! Totally looking forward to it! 

The MCM Inventor, Robert Karoff of Karoff Originals

Typical tags that would be found on a Karoff item. 

Typical tags that would be found on a Karoff item. 

Hope everyone had a great holiday!  I am happy to get back on track with an informative post as I just picked up a fabulous foldable cocktail table that was so unique, I knew I had to add it to my inventory!  It has it's original label from Karoff Originals, NY.  A quick search showed me that Karoff Originals was well known as a purveyor of hostess gifts and other kitchen and knick knack tchotchkes.  The company also was known for a line of perfume packaged in unique bottles similar to the collectable Avon varieties. These perfumes were sold as early as the 1930s and into the 1950s for sure. The amazing discovery was that Robert Karoff boasts a slew of patents to his inventions and designs during his years and even patented the process to cut and fry carrots  to turn them into a crunchy chip like snack!  This was in the 1980's by the way, so he must have been competing with the famous Ron Popiel, infomercial King.  

A selection of clever perfume packaging designed my Robert Karoff for Karoff Originals. 

A selection of clever perfume packaging designed my Robert Karoff for Karoff Originals. 

I quickly found the patent to my table, officially registered as "HANDHOLD ACTUATED FOLDABLE TABLE".  It appears that there are 2 different styles as the first page looked like my metal legs, and a 2nd page showed what looks like wood legs.  The metal legs swing together and fit inside when the sides are dropped.  Very clever.  The woman I bought the table from said it was her mother's so my guess is she used it as a permanent table and quickly decided the eyelet bolt that was to serve as the carry handle was an eyesore and in the way as it was clipped off.  Because this appears to be a custom fabricated item, there is no way we can replace it, but perhaps a determined collector could attempt to have one made.  The good news is the veneer top is in excellent condition with only the most minor wear and does not have any stains, eyesores and or finish issues. I do think the boards are solid walnut.  The legs have some oxidation on the gold tone finish so I will be painting them to make them attractive again.  All feet glides are in tact which is always exciting!  This table folds into a very manageable size and is perfect for me to ship to far away places as the majority of my inventory gets shipped.  I have extensively searched for days and have not located any photos or write-ups on any in existence.  Mr. Karoff's obituary also states he was an 'inventor of foldable furnishings' but besides a collapsible bar cart entitled 'VERSA', and this table design, I have found no other references to furniture he designed.  There is a small table top folding buffet server which seems to pop up most in the secondary market and the bar carts are available.  This table, however, is a gem and appears to be quite elusive.  Would definitely love to hear from folks who may remember this table from their past or even have one of the 2 types of designs that show up in the patent!  

Meanwhile, this beauty will be finished up and listed in my shops.  If you are interested in it please reach out and I could give you first offer before I list. 

 

Blueprint sketch of the table as submitted with the patent. 

Blueprint sketch of the table as submitted with the patent. 

The table as found.  The metal disk in the center functions as the bolt that is also the swivel point for the legs.  Sadly the owner had clipped the eyelit loop that would serve as the carry handle when the table is folded. 

The table as found.  The metal disk in the center functions as the bolt that is also the swivel point for the legs.  Sadly the owner had clipped the eyelit loop that would serve as the carry handle when the table is folded. 

The horizontal leg set is on a center pivot and will sit tight on the wood wedges when in position.  Then swivel back next to the fixed legs so the table top can be folded for transport. 

The horizontal leg set is on a center pivot and will sit tight on the wood wedges when in position.  Then swivel back next to the fixed legs so the table top can be folded for transport. 

A view of the legs swung ready to collapse the top. 

A view of the legs swung ready to collapse the top. 

Folded up in a cute and tiny package for transport or storage.  

Folded up in a cute and tiny package for transport or storage.  

Original label intact.  Yes, this could easily have been lost over the years.  I will spray adhesive on this one to make sure it stays attached. I did search generically knowing that others may not know the maker and still no luck finding another!   

Original label intact.  Yes, this could easily have been lost over the years.  I will spray adhesive on this one to make sure it stays attached. I did search generically knowing that others may not know the maker and still no luck finding another!   

Keep your eyes peeled for Karoff Originals in your hunts!  I bet now that we know about them, we will find more items in the wild!

XO Malissa