01 Tell us a little bit about the origins and history of Sourced & Sold?
The name Sourced and Sold explains literally what I do. It covers what I love doing; going around, where ever I am, and finding/discovering beautiful/interesting things and then selling them. I source and I sell. All based on my own eye and attraction to things.
I look for treasures in about a dozen European countries. From the Netherlands and Belgium, to France and as far away as Hungary, Slovenia and even Bosnia. My criteria for buying something, or leaving it for the next person is very simple. Navigating on my personal taste, my gut feeling. Would I have this piece in my own house or not? If yest, then I buy it and deem it fit to re-sell."
02 What was your background prior to starting Source & Sold?
I started Sourced and Sold by “accident” or even “necessity”. Prior to running Sourced and Sold I was in marketing, I had my own agency. We were a small full-service boutique agency aimed at the fashion/apparel industry. We did well from the start. Had two big clients, both American companies. Carhartt and Wrangler.
In 2008, when Lehmann Brothers collapsed, these clients reacted strongly to the crisis that came forth out of that collapse. Our two main clients started killing projects and slashing budgets. Our numbers went down and pressure went up. The fun was gone and I decided to close the shop. Did not want to file for bankruptcy. So when we closed the agency I took all the tables, chairs, lights, cabinets and decor pieces. Also took over the lease of the smaller one of two offices and turned it into a shop for the kind of furniture that I liked; industrial antiques.
03 Do you remember what first drew you to collecting ‘vintage industrial’ pieces?
The first thing that really triggered my interest/love for industrial/utilitarian design were the “ten-o-six” Navy chairs by Emeco (model: 1006). I first came across them when I lived in NY in 2001 and 2002. At the time I worked for a general contracting company and saw them on a project site. It was love at first sight. The story behind them is great. Perfect execution of the briefing.
04 Where do the majority of your pieces come from?
Majority of my pieces by now come through industry connections. Like in any other business, the longer you are in it the more and better connections you get.
But I always keep my eyes peeled. So ultimately I can never really tell where my next treasure will come from. But that’s exactly one of the exciting/romantic parts of what I do. I still find things online, at auctions or on road trips etc. Although these days most of pieces come in through big dealers, the guys who have been in this business for decades. They practically own this business. They get tipped of on the most interesting things first. Key to guys like me is that I get first dibs at what ever they get their hands on. Overall I now get things from roughly a dozen countries across Europe.
"That feeling of knowing you’ve found a “raw diamond” and all others overlooked it. The chance you’ll get of extending the life of that piece. A piece that already survived so much and just needs that little bit of TLC. "
05 How important is provenance to you when sourcing pieces to refurbish?
It might surprise you but provenance is not that important to me. Not that I don’t like to know where something is from or what it’s history is. But in this business it is often very hard to exactly know where pieces are from. When you buy from big dealers you have to rely on their stories etc. Never 100% accurate.
By far he most important thing for me is the “falling in love” with a piece. Regardless of the brand, the designer of what ever historical fact. Seeing the beauty in a piece even before it is cleaned or treated in any way. That feeling of knowing you’ve found a “raw diamond” and all others overlooked it. The chance you’ll get of extending the life of that piece. A piece that already survived so much and just needs that little bit of TLC.
I know, it sounds foolishly romantic… Like I said before; I strongly navigate on my gut feeling. Would I put that piece in my own house to use and look at? If yes, than it is fit to buy and re-sell to your clients.
06 What if any distinctions are most notable between the industrial vintage pieces that could be found here in the states versus the types of industrial pieces that you often source from Europe and beyond?
Not sure if there are that many distinct differences. Europe is the “old world” where we saw the first two waves in the industrial revolution (England, France). All of of these folks went to the America, the land of opportunity. Both in terms of design and in terms of quality I like pieces from both sides of the ocean. They are somewhat different, but not that much in my opinion.
07 Are there particular designers or manufactures of great lighting that you gravitate towards and why?
Oh yes, definitely. There are some brands out there that are simply outstanding. One of those is of course our Dutch national pride Philips. They’ve always been specialists in lighting. They made beautiful pieces. Some of them have become real classics. Harder and harder to get your hands on. Other great brands are Mazda (France), Jieldé (France) Siemens (Germany), AEG (Germany), Midgard and Rademacher (East-Germany, DDR), Dugdills and Maxlume (England) On the American side brands like Benjamin, Crouse Hinds, Appleton, O.C. White, Westinghouse, General Electric. They’ve all made such beautiful pieces!
Un-paralleled quality and detailing. Awesome stuff. More common here in the US, less so in Europe.
08 How would you compare peoples interest for ‘vintage industrial pieces’ in Amsterdam or other parts of Europe versus here in the United States?
Wow, another very good question. Not so easy to answer, if I’m honest. I always like to break things down to sort of an abstract level. Simplify things. People constantly look at each other, follow each other, want to feel as if they’re part of something. Pretty tribal actually. These behavioral patterns we see mostly in fashion and interiors. It’s constantly changing. Like with most “future trends” industrial antiques roughly started making their way into interiors in about 25-30 years ago among a small group of people in Paris. In mysterious ways the trend caught on and grew. Often very in-explainable ways, very nicely described in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point.
And finally, I really like to see myself as someone who navigates beyond trends. I’m now at an age where a pretty much know what I like. The kind of furniture that I source and sell will always be around me. The kind of clothes that I wear, and have been for the last 20+ years, will remain in my wardrobe. It is who I am. And that actually touches a few of my key values that I like to live by; genuine, loyal
09We’ve always been fans of mixing new and vintage pieces together to create spaces that are ultimately more timeless as they don’t belong to any one-particular era. As a designer yourself, how do you approach incorporating the vintage pieces you source into interior projects?
I totally agree with your approach. Too much is simply too much. So to fill up an interior with pieces from the same style/period/designer/color etc. is no good, in my opinion. Eclectic is the way to go. Not easy, but when done right there’s nothing like it. An interior has to tell a story about that person. It has almost be a manifestation of that person’s character and how he/she looks at the world.
In my humble opinion you have to have a genuine connection with the pieces in your home. An interior is also never really finished. Through life you stumble upon things, fall in love and gather. Whether it’s your local flea market, an auction or a road trip. An interior takes time to grow and for all the pieces to tie in nicely together.
The above also explains why Modern Anthology was on my radar immediately when I was thinking of coming to NY with my business. It is a well put together place. Carefully curated. It tells is genuine story. It tells me that the people behind it believe in that broader approach that many of us call “life style”.
From small to big, from in-expensive to expensive, from old to new. It can, and should, all exist together to tell that story and create that experience. Eclectic is the way to go! On all levels.
10 What are some of your favorite places to shop, eat or relax in Amsterdam?
Places in Amsterdam…oh boy, always a tough one to answer. But here’s a few that I like
•Six and Sons - fashion/life-style/interiors
•Concrete Matter - the ultimate man’s gift store
•Tenue de Nimes - best curated denim store in the country
•Neef Louis - vintage furniture
•Wildschut Antiques - antiques
•Marqt - food market
•Stach - food/coffee
•Gebroeders Niemeijer - food/coffee
•Bakers and Roasters - best breakfast/brunch in town
•Lot Sixty One Coffee - best coffee in town
•Espresso Fabriek - coffee roasters, high-end
•Koevoet - one of the best Italian restaurants in Amsterdam
•Kahmann Gallery - photography
•Stedelijk Museum - one of the best in world
•Toscanini - legendary Italian restaurant in Amsterdam, an institution
•Small World - tiny place, super cute neighborhood, ext level sandwiches, coffee etc.
•Skins - cosmetics, best in the country by a land mile
•Sunday Market - first Sunday of the month
•Noordermarkt - vintage and biological/farmer’s market, best on Saturday and Monday morning
11 Now that your setting up shop in New York, what are your plans for Source and Sold in the coming months?
Wow, that’s so hard to say at this point. I just landed. New York is such an incredibly competitive city. The proof is always in the pudding. Let me first see if people are at all going to appreciate what I have to offer. At the end of the day I have to pay the bills and make a living. Ideally I’d like to have a showroom/store front and a stronger online presence. And not to forget I will have to get myself out there and build on my existing network of colleagues and clients. Collaborations with kindred spirits like yourself could also make a difference. I’m a strong believer in collaboration and co-creation.