For the past sixteen years, French Metro Antiques has been traveling to France at least twice a year to seek and acquire beautiful pieces of furniture, art, and decorative objects to bring back to our clients. January buying trips mean new arrivals in the spring, and June buying trips bring a new container to our shop in the fall. So on January 9th, Harrison and I took our usual trip, looking forward to the hunt as well as to seeing our old friends and colleagues in the business of antiques.
After a successful buying trip, we were back in the Charles De Gaulle airport nearly three weeks later, and Covid19 had just begun to rear its ugly head. We saw some travelers wearing masks, and the word was out. We arrived safely back in Fayetteville on January 27th. Quite unaware of what was to come, we went back to work to our routine—tie up the transportation details in France, organize the transatlantic shipping, notify the customs broker, and create a marketing plan for our April arrivals. We set out to create emails for our spring shipment and decided on a theme of capturing what we as humans do in our leisure time. What are the simple pleasures of life that contribute to a rich life? What pieces in our new collection spoke to that? With our photographer, we set up vignettes in our shop for inspiration and let the creative juices flow. Then the world began to change. We, among all of our friends, family, and our whole community found ourselves at home, sequestered, sheltered, distanced. Our shop closed, many of our friends’ businesses closed. So where does French Metro fit in? What about this shipment arriving in April? Do we move forward with our usual routine? One thing we know is you can’t stop a ship on the water from delivering a container. Once it has set sail, a shipment is on the way. And so our container sailed in February and arrived last week.
Our French Metro team enlisted some trusted friends to help us unload, and then Harrison, Daniel, and I set to work—unpack, clean, restore, and arrange a shop that may not be open for weeks. Work is good for the soul, and being surrounded by beautiful things that we love reminds us that although the world is full of uncertainty, there are things that restore our spirits. For us, one of those things is beauty. So Harrison shined and polished. Daniel cleaned and restored. And Renee priced and decorated with Harrison playing multiple roles, moving back and forth between the workshop and the showroom floor for decorating.
The shop is closed, but we move forward. Our photographer has been here photographing everything to put on our website, and you will see our latest arrivals online soon. Our passion for all things French, our love of French history, culture, language, and antiques has not waned. Our theme of leisure time and pastimes is more a propos than we could have anticipated. To our clients, we hope you are safe and healthy. Perhaps you are rediscovering hobbies while you are at home or finding new ones. In some small way, we hope a little beauty from French Metro, if even only virtually, can give you a bit of respite as well.