Where the Wealthy Go for Luxury Items

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Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) –- 1stdibs.com Founder Michael Bruno discusses how he went from real estate agent to luxury marketplace visionary and how he would scour the world looking for unique and beautiful items for customers. He speaks to Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)

World of fine arts and antiques and go back to san francisco.

My first and only other career was in the real estate business.

I am a real estate junkie first and foremost.

I love houses.

Old houses look better with old things in them.

I was in that business for about 10 or 12 years.

I moved from ohio to step in cisco -- to san francisco.

I was fortunate to be there during the.com boom.

Our customers were looking at houses.

Young kids wondering why there was not a way to search online for the things for the housees.

I did a very unusual thing and moved from san francisco to start the website in paris.

Everybody wondered why i did that.

I knew that paris was ground zero, the center of the most beautiful things on earth.

I thought it would be a good place for me to do what i wanted to do.

Can you describe what it was like to the in paris and walk through one of the flea markets and have that right place, right time moment where you think, yes, it is the way to do this.

Get the gallery owners and connected to the customers.

The right time, right place moment actually happened in seven cisco --san francisco.

I used mls.

I realized the design community did not have that.

I realized there was a need for it and i was in the right place, right time.

It did not exist.

I moved to paris and had the fun of visiting the markets and realizing that most of what is being sold in the day in paris was going to the state.

I asked every dealer, where is it going?

When we started, i wanted to focus on marketing in one way which was america.

I didn't think we have the opportunity at that moment to be a global marketing machine.

What did you do?

Go one knock on the doors and visit all the gallery and shop owners and say, excuse me, i am starting something, would you like to put it up online?

If we had and how work i would tell you the whole story but, it was a door-to-door operation initially and seeking out what was going to work with the dealers.

We were using polaroid cameras at the time.

They were having to do business by wire transfer.

They still used fax machines, they do not have to peters in the gallery.

This idea of an american coming in who did not speak french who is going to create this website to export these wonderful things in france to europe at first was not a welcome idea.

How many gallery owners do you represent?

We are shy of 2000. i have visited about 75% of them and whenever we open a new market, that is the pleasure of the job i have now.

I go and open a new market.

We have spent the last few years focusing on europe.

Once i thought we had full market saturation in the u.s., we decided to return to europe and fill out the rest of the market.

Start off talking about some of the items to give people an idea.

1941 when the -- plymouth woody car.

It is a deluxe station wagon.

Give us the transition.

How does this work?

That is an unusual item being offered and they ask for a couple of things.

Only pick things from this week because i want people to see that every week very unusual things that are website.

I have boys wanted one of those.

-- i have always wanted one of those.

It is the kind of thing that probably will sell quickly so i will be curious to watch.

Is the price put up for every item?

Vendors have the option of putting a price or not.

I would say 85% to 90% of the vendors realize that they don't put a price, people don't take the time to contact them.

Once you have your woody, maybe you can have someone made diamonds in the background.

What do they call a 16.5 here a diamond ring?

-- carat diamond ring?

That was something that came on this week.

It is a special piece.

And really large caliber diamond.

I thought that looked like something i would want somebody to give me if i was getting married.

I want to talk about the art part of it.

Richard cera.

We have many of the world's best art galleries.

Art is the last holdout for online luxury.

We have a substantial art business.

There are other businesses chasing the art market and has been one of the last areas to transition online.

We started with antiques and moved to gjewelry and circled back to fine art.

It is a growing part of our business.

The richard cera piece was quite interesting.

Do you buy a lot of or most of the stuff that you use in your homes?

I would say 90% of what is in my various homes is from the website.

I have about five garages full and i keep buying.

You are a collector.

That is how i became interested in the first place.

You have a passion for the collecting part as much as you do for the business.

It comes together.

I don't think i realized it was a passion for the collecting part unless the rent -- until i ran out of space in cap the buying -- kept buyying.


That is when you realize you become a collector.

I am just beginning to understand what that is like and i'll have to learn to deal with that.

You have everything.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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