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FrenchGardenHouse Shops Europe with The Antiques Diva

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At last, I am ready to share my BIGGEST secret for shopping for antiques in Europe.  I “met” Toma online a few years back and applauded her fastly growing business, The Antiques Diva & Co.  Toma is an American living in Europe {I am a European living in America…we are kindred spirits in a reverse universe} and is the head Diva and owner of Europe’s largest Antique Shopping Tour Company.  I soon loved reading about her adventures on her blog, followed her on Twitter, and on Facebook.  She shopped all the best places, went to fabulous Antiques Fairs, in short, lived the life I have in my dreams.

When the opportunity came this summer to go to Europe on a buying trip, I knew immediately that along with my own addresses of European dealers I wanted to visit, I wanted to shop along side Toma.  I emailed Toma, she emailed me right back, and we began planning our tour.  Toma asked lots of questions about what, specifically, I was looking for, spent time looking at FrenchGardenHouse and the types of antiques I sell, and then planned a three day trip for Mr. FrenchGardenHouse and myself. I knew our tour would be amazing, filled with unusual treasures , I knew Toma would have secret sources in Europe, what I didn’t expect was that the best treasure of this tour was getting to know Toma herself.

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Here we are in front of a Petit Chateau filled to the brim with Antiques.

I loved her. From the moment she picked us up in Holland, I loved her warm, friendly personality, we shared stories about our families, our daily lives, we laughed, and we just had a fun, fantastic time!  I am sure that it was more work for her, she was, after all, working, but she made it all so very easy for me. Being able to shop Europe’s secret sources with an expert who has finessed the art of finding all the best dealers and places, Toma selected places for me to shop with my business in mind.

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She brought me to see unusual, hard-to-find treasures that it would have taken me years to seek out. In three days she packed our schedule full of to the trade only” resources, dealers that are seen “by appointment only” whom I would have never have found myself , and special shopping experiences it would take me years and years of “on the ground” research to ferret out. Not to mention that she was beyond organized, treated me like royalty and took care of all the details, allowing me to focus on what mattered most: selecting antiques that are perfect for all of you darlings.  The pieces I bought on this trip are truly amazing, creme de la creme antiques I know you, my clients, will love.

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Toma took us to a variety of private homes where dealers allowed me to “shop” their private rooms, wholesale antique warehouses, small out of the way shops, and a fabulous flea market filled with only the best dealers selling fantastic French, English and Dutch antiques.  And best of all, she was in charge of filling out the paper work, recommended the perfect shipper, and had such a wonderful relationship with all the dealers we met. Did I mention I love her?  I’m already trying to figure out how to go on on MORE buying trips with her. and soon.

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We shopped until we dropped for three days long, the first night we didn’t get back to our hotel until 9:30 pm. and still had to eat dinner. {thank you to my husband for not getting overly cranky, I know men need to actually eat dinner at night!} While shopping like this for business is work {lots of figuring out how much things cost in dollars for the Euros I had to pay, for instance} taking the Antiques Diva Tour was like shopping Europe with my best friendwho knows everything and everyone in the antiques business.

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My Diva Guide was the true GEM. Irreplaceable, worth more than anything else on the tour. Personal, professional, kind and caring, a true treat.  She kept me focused, has a “great eye” as they say in the antiques trade, and helped me to score antiques at wonderful prices.

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The Antiques Diva® & Co European Tours has Antique Buying Tours in 10 countries – France, Belgium, Italy, England, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Denmark and Sweden. To book your 1-14 day tour email toma@antiquesdiva.com or visit www.antiquesdiva.com for more details.

If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.

6 Responses to FrenchGardenHouse Shops Europe with The Antiques Diva

  1. Thank you Lidy, for sharing your experience with this touring company. I have taken a private tour once before in France, and was so disappointed. Toma and her tour company sounds so professional, and wonderful, that I noted her website in my favorites and might try again. Sandra Levingworth Fellowes

  2. Hello, I am new to your blog. But it’s fantastic! I have read many of your posts about certain antiques, your recipes (noted a few for future dining experiences) and so enjoyed reading about your buying trip. As a designer, I enjoy reading about your experiences, and am always looking for trade connections. Thank you.Paul

  3. What a fun trip. I can’t wait to see what you bought. When will the European treats be on FGH? I am still looking for the perfect lighting for my lounge.

  4. I am expecting the container at the end of Oct. and some things should be on the site by mid to late November.{they have to clear customs first!}

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