Mediterránia: Importing history and educating customers
Marc Galante, owner and founder of Mediterránia, explains the importance of educating his customers about antiques.
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Everything in the antiques business is predicated upon integrity and trust.
The public has every right to know about what they're buying because if they're buying an antique, they're buying a piece of history.
Hi, I'm Marc Galante, founder of Mediterránia in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
When we opened our doors, our original mission was to find, restore, and preserve Spanish Colonial antiques from disappearing, to introduce them into the United States, and to educate our customers as to antiques from both Spain and Latin America.
I do all the buying myself. I go house to house, village to village, looking for unrestored things in southern Europe, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy.
When I look at an antique, I have to process, "How much am I going to pay for this? What is it going to cost me to truck this to my warehouse in northeastern Spain? How much is it going to cost our crew to restore? What's it going to cost to pack, load, and ship, and import into the states?" You have to do that very quickly.
What I've always tried to do is plan our finances so that we always have a cash reserve on hand to be able to buy special pieces when we find them, and that's key to our business.
Working with our personal bankers at Wells Fargo has helped us become proficient at buying euros online, sending wires, saving me a ton of time and money.
Because if you're working with hundreds of thousands of euros in purchases per year and you're saving on every euro you purchase, that drops all those savings to bottom line. That's pure profit.
We're selling a unique product. Every piece is different, just as every customer is different.
Even though we'll probably do more online business in the future, I think there's always gonna be a place for unique establishments that sell special products, unique products, and cater to a discerning public.