Carol Hicks Bolton Antiquites
About Carol Hicks Bolton
PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY WHERE WOMEN CREATE
Q: How did you get your start in the world of antiques?
A: Tim bought a funky 1906 German rock house for us just before we got married. We were bitten by the vintage bug when we went to the Round Top Antiques Fair on our honeymoon. Tim grew up in the furniture business. In fact, that’s how we met– my Dad hired him to train our family to work in our furniture store that my Dad opened after he retired from his “real” job so when my parents gave us $25,000 to start our business, we bought a building on the main street of Fredericksburg and began filling it with all the things that we loved. With Tim’s expertise in retail and our love for all things old, we began building our little vision “one look at a time”.
Q: What was the idea behind opening such an incredible space full of old treasures?
A: We love going to museums and gallery spaces and like the idea of transferring that “curated” style to a warehouse full of old things, mishmashed up together to form what we like to call autobiographical style. We encourage buyers to fill their nests with old pieces that tell stories of them–perhaps the stories are truth or fiction, but the “style” is very personal and relevant to that person. We encourage “only old” except for beds which we make out of old parts and humongous dining tables (which you can rarely find old) that we bring over from a table maker in France. We love the mix of industrial British Colonial metal pieces mixed with antique french tufted sofas stripped down to their muslin. Antique medical cabinets hold collections of “souvenirs” from our travels. We are working on a collection of new sofas and chairs covered in vintage fabrics that exude comfort and family history. We like to believe that our shop is a laboratory of new and old that will help buyers come up with their own authentic style that tells their own story and will be unlike the stories that their friends tell in their homes.
Q: How far do you travel to find unique pieces for the store?
A: We buy a few things stateside, but we love to travel as a family with our children, Mac, 17, and Gussie, 13, so we combine buying trips with family holidays to France, England, Belgium, Holland, and India. Most of the things in the shop right now are French.
Q: Do you have any advice or tips for our readers who are interested in purchasing antiques?
A: Buy what you love! Don’t worry about what it is worth unless it is crazy expensive. If you buy a piece of vintage or antique, you can almost certainly get your money out of it, should you decide to trade up or change your look, as opposed to just settling for something new. Buy unusual antiques. Don’t be afraid to mix styles. If your authentic style is more modern, add in at least one vintage thing to give your room a bit of history or humor. Wait for the right piece. Use a huge pile of old books as an end table next to a chair, rather than buying a new, imported cheap end table while you are waiting for the right antique piece to surface.