European Finds Antiques Debuts August 15, 2017
Central Ohio resident Sheila Howell achieves dream of directly imported, high-end antique business
[Columbus, OH] – Fulfilling aspirations that began in a rural Ohio junior high history class and enacting a decade-old business plan, Sheila Howell today unveiled European Finds Antiques with an eye toward providing both interior design professionals and direct consumers access to carefully curated, exclusive European furniture and accessories that are distinctly different from offerings carried in typical US-based stores.
A longtime marketing executive for companies like Cheryl’s, L Brands and HSN, Howell has harbored an ardor for the European continent, for its handmade creations and more importantly the stories behind them.
“From the moment I learned about Versailles, I developed a burning desire to not only travel to Europe, but to make the culture and the history of the old world accessible and appreciated here at home,” said Howell. “I believe what will make European Finds truly unique is that I am personally collecting these remarkable items and chronicling each piece and wherever possible the great houses and families they have served over the years. As a marketer, I am a trained storyteller and it is a privilege to now combine my profession and my passion by providing what I like to call high-end antiques without the high-end attitude.”
Launching with 50 pieces from Howell’s recent trip across France and Belgium, European Finds will feature a full-range of antique furniture and vintage pieces including chairs, chests, desks, side tables, mirrors, lighting and smaller accessories. In the near future, she also plans to sell one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pillows made of period tapestries as well as a proprietary line of waxes and polishes.
Since writing her business plan over ten years ago after a particularly trying day at the office, Howell has honed her knowledge of styles, terms and identification techniques as well as cultivating critical relationships with antique experts, reputable dealers and informed guides across the pond.
“In an internet age, remote access to antiques has never been easier, but as I was executing my plan I heard repeatedly that what is lost in that type of impersonal transaction is the confidence in the quality of the piece and the provenance,” said Howell. “The reality is fewer and fewer designers and retailers are traveling overseas to personally procure inventory. With my regular trips to Europe, I am able to nurture relationships that result in undiscovered treasures that not only make my own heart flutter, but will be perfect additions to this country’s most beautifully decorated homes, hotels and anywhere else seeking the timeless essence, graceful lines and handcrafted imperfections that only antiques can provide.”
In addition to seeking items that speak to her, Howell will be taking custom orders from both consumers and designers. Whether the client is seeking a detailed French writing desk, enigmatic Bombay chest, ornate chair or a hard-to-find Mercury glass mirror, Howell will work with each client to intimately understand style, use and price point. She is committed to delivering the age, region, dimensions and historical relevance for each item.
The next trip for Howell and European Finds is slated for October to the cradle of Western Civilization and the Greek Isles of Corfu and Santorini in particular. As always, this trip will rely on local experts to discover unknown flea markets and area vendors to ensure quality and distinctive selection. Santorini in particular has a tradition of colorful pottery and highly-skilled artisans specializing in a wide variety of items.
“This trip is partially to challenge myself and to expand the scope of EuropeanFinds beyond the items already in the collection,” said Howell. “Although my business will focus primarily on antiques, it’s important for European Finds, as it is when considering interior design, to combine antiquity with modern and the more serious with the more colorful and fun.”
For more information on European Finds Antiques, to schedule appointments to visit the warehouse near Pataskala and to read stories pertaining to the pieces, please visit europeanfinds.com.
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