Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Exhibitor Spotlight: 20th Century by HKFA

An interview with Heather Vieira of 20th Century by HKFA

What's your specialty?: 
20th Century by HKFA is all about antiques. Fine items with character, tradition and provenance. These pieces are the foundation of every classic interior. These are the pieces that you'll bequeath to your heirs and they'll sell at auction for an incredible return... Start them off right by buying a few pieces here. Whether you're the Old Master type, fine American furniture connoisseur or somewhere in between… we'll probably have that piece that is somewhere in between Old and Fine.

20th Century by HKFA is all about modern. Fresh items with color, wit and whimsy. These pieces are the focal point of every new interior. These are the pieces that your friends will secretly covet, hate you for having the guts to buy, yet compliment you profusely on your style... Help them to get their yellow smiles shining brightly. Whether you're looking for an 'in your face' statement piece of art, an 'over the top' piece of furniture or something completely different… we'll probably have something else entirely.

Where do you sell? A shop? Shows? Online?: 
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
The 20th Century by HKFA showroom is always on the move.
Keep up with new finds and the show schedule through social media.

Shop with me every April and October in High Point,
May, July and September find me in Brimfield.

Shop with me on 1stdibs any time!

How did you get started in the Antiques/Design business?: 
From early mornings in New York City to sunny travels in Rio de Janeiro, history lessons in Philadelphia to the Southern charm of High Point, my journey now finds me on the South Shore in beautiful Hingham... And all along I've been sourcing the important and rare finds in antique, vintage and modern.
I'm Heather Karlie Vieira, welcome to 20th Century by HKFA. I suppose it all started back in the 1980's when I'd be in the flea markets of rural New Jersey with my family. I'd be walking along amazed by all of the offerings... from Queen Anne chairs to Freddy Mercury records, crystal chandeliers to ball gowns, brass side tables to ships models... it was all there for the offering. Fast forward to 2002, I had moved to New York City with the dream of becoming an antique dealer. With a six month sublet and six hundred dollars, I set out into the City that Never Sleeps. It was here that I happened upon the world famous 26th Street flea market. Every weekend dealers brought their freshest finds and the buyers lined up with flash lights in hand to buy them. I had found my passion in antique and period picture frames, so a specialist I became. Soon thereafter I established myself as a serious dealer in fine picture frames and found my clients throughout the coveted Upper East Side and all along upper Madison Avenue. With a selection of frames on my shoulder and a swipe of my MetroCard I was transported from my studio apartment in the West Village to another world. A world of Picassos and Kandinskys, Cassats and Sargents, Titians and Tintorettos... it was magical. As the years went on, my eye became drawn to art, furniture, lighting, case goods, accessories, you name it! I was now a regular exhibitor at the Pier Antique Shows and the downtown Armory Antique Shows. My client roster was growing and so was my family. I met my husband while waitressing (because everyone in New York City has more than one job) and we welcomed our first daughter in 2008. Buying and selling continued to grow and so did our family. We welcomed our second daughter in 2009. New York City had given me a profession and a family. Life was wonderful. By then we were living in the same tiny West Village studio apartment that I had moved into back in 2002 and it has become just a bit too small for the four of us. So we pulled up stakes and moved to Cidade Maravilhosa, Rio de Janeiro. My husband is a true Carioca and I immediately fell in love with the rhythm and beauty of Rio. I soon discover Praca Quinze, the famed flea market, as well as a new passion - Brazilian modernist furniture. I had soon bought enough to fill a container and ship it back to New York City. The market was ripe for the ultra fresh, ultra exclusive finds. We slowly wound our way back to the States and settled in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Beautiful scenery with the added bonus of proximity to New York City, we were enjoying it all. After a couple years there we headed to my hometown of Philadelphia. Home of Rocky, the cheesesteak and our Founding Fathers. It was a great move as the buying in Philly was particularly strong and it was here that I discovered the Antique and Design Center of High Point. Through my dealer friends, I began to learn about the twice yearly event of High Point and more importantly about the exclusive Antique and Design Center - a vetted showroom of over 70 dealers in antique, vintage and modern furnishings. I am proud to say that this coming April will mark my seventh exhibition and sale there... the sky is the limit! It was here that I had the pleasure of selling to top design industry icons who regularly grace the covers and pages of the finest shelter magazines. Life and business are always running at a fast clip. My showroom is mobile, that is I'm always on the move. Buying and flipping, selling at shows, selling on 1stdibs. You know, a rolling stone gathers no moss. I'll be looking forward to seeing you! All the best, Heather

What do you love about antiques & the business of antiques?:    I love the camaraderie in the antique and vintage business. I'm going to share a story with you about mentors... Mentors are invaluable assets for they have trudged the paths, climbed up the learning curves and made the mistakes. They have been there and are willing to share their stories, successes and failures. I’d like to tell you about four different mentors that I had and that each of the four were connected to the Chelsea flea market. The first is a dealer in important American and European Twentieth Century design - a dealer who has been and continues to be a feature in the top New York, Hamptons and Miami high end antique and design shows. This dealer taught me to appreciate the scale, form and line. To believe in the pure beauty of the object. And to buy the best that you can. I think it is Miles Redd who is quoted as saying, “Buy the best, and you only cry once.” Needless to say, I have shed a few tears when shopping through the years and will no doubt continue to do so. But I’ve always had a smile on my face afterwards. The second mentor is a team of specialists in antique and period picture frames. An expert team who devotes their lives and careers to the study, understanding, restoration and appreciation of picture frames. From this husband and wife team of specialists I learned that focus and determination are essential building blocks to creating a strong foundation. And the third mentor is a renowned New York City estate buyer who has bought and sold some of the most iconic antique and decorative furnishings to pass through the five boroughs. He taught me to always look a little deeper and to explore the backstory of each object. He taught me that more often than not, your first offer is your best offer and to always be ready for the next adventure. And the fourth mentor. Ah, the City itself. The City that welcomes so many to test themselves and to dare to dream. This mentor taught me that good things come to those who hustle. And hustle I did. You didn’t think that I simply showed up, opened up shop and sat back while the money rolled in? No. I worked day and night and every weekend. Days spent working for my mentors and seeing clients. Nights spent working at any one of five different night clubs, working till 4am and then heading directly to the flea market. Nights spent waiting on the City’s hottest celebrities and days spent researching and selling the City’s finest treasures. These four mentors gave me the best advice, shared their experiences with me and helped to shape me into the dealer I am today.

What is your favorite purchase ever, the one that was hard to let go of, or the one that got away?:    My favorite purchase was the one that taught me humility. You know, learning curves are a funny thing. The slow and steady ones allow you to push forward solidly, steadfastly - but slowly. It’s those sharp learning curves, the ones where you’re racing uphill enjoying breakthrough after breakthrough, only to stumble when you’re so close to the next peak. If you can’t hold on you’ll slide backwards down that steep slope and find yourself back where you started. But, if you can hold on, gather yourself up and re-group - you will have learned a valuable lesson. That mistakes and missteps will happen. The proverbial zigging when you should have zagged. My career has had its fair share of mistakes. Take for example an early Saturday morning in 2003 when I was sourcing antique frames in New York City. I had been growing my vocabulary of frames and felt that my knowledge base had grown exponentially in just a short year. Feeling ready to step up to the plate, I bought a near mint example of a period Louis XIII frame dating to the mid Seventeenth Century still retaining its original finish, original size and original hand carved ornament. Worm holes and all. I couldn’t get the $750 out of my pocket fast enough. Beaming with pride I headed directly to my good friend and mentor’s frame gallery in TriBeCa. His eyes widened as he took one look at my recently purchased masterpiece. “It’s a good one”, he said “for a copy.” … What? “Yes, this is a reproduction dating from the early 20th Century. As long as you didn’t pay too much, there’s always a market for these.” Feeling myself starting to slide backwards, knees buckling, stomach lurching I managed to utter, “Ummm.” That was all he needed to hear, for he had also been there. Been in the place where you think you have it all figured out - only to see that you’ve been looking at it all wrong. I took a step back, re-grouped and saw the situation for exactly what it was. A valuable lesson. For even as I was buying the frame, there was a little voice inside me saying to slow down. But I didn’t listen. Because I had been racing uphill along this learning curve, I chalked up this little voice to self doubt. Quickly pushing it away because I couldn’t be bothered - I mean, I had already learned so much about frames in the past year! Luckily this mistake and bravado cockiness was something that didn’t push me backwards. I used it to propel me further, through humility and the understanding that learning curves are a vital part of the antique and vintage business. Stay sharp!

Justin Shaulis Guest Suite at the Christopher Kennedy Compound at Palm Springs Modernism Week - Vintage items sourced by 20th Century by HKFA
WHY DO YOU LOVE HIGH POINT?:    High Point, every April and October, is an incredible feast for the senses, a reunion of family and friends, a history lesson, and so much more. Just a few of the reasons why I love High Point.

The booth at The Antique & Design Center will be stocked and ready for Spring 2016 High Point - April 14th through 20th, 2016! Everything from antique to mid century, seating to sculpture, classic design to on trend pieces. I'll be debuting my new Modern Look Book concept.

I look forward to helping so many designers find the perfect item for their hard to shop for client. With hundreds of items packed into my space, clients will be sure to find that perfect… chair, lounge chair, pair of chairs, set of dining chairs, set of bar stools… floor lamp, pair of lamps, wall sconces, chandelier… coffee table, pair of tables, console table, dining table… vase, basket… painting, sculpture, frame… book ends, obelisks, candlesticks, boxes…

This Spring Market join me as I explore #ModernLookBook!
Email:    info@20thcenturybyhkfa.com
Social Media Links:    Facebook:






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