|Taking the Plunge|
|Providing a thrill|
|In the shop|
As a result, Mosheim no longer exhibits in galleries. He's had some recent success working with interior designers and architects, but it's not his first choice.
"There are so many complications as to how interior designers and architects charge for their time," he said. "I prefer to work directly with the client for a number of reasons. Generally I want to get what they want, not what the designer wants. The other thing is that it can complement the flow of information if it has to go from the customer to the designer to the builder to the guys on the shop floor."
Mosheim has learned to take his own photos of his furniture and has found that to be quite helpful.
"It makes you look at a piece of furniture differently. It makes you look at it in a variety of different lights. It really makes you look at what it is that you have done. You see it differently than if you were just carrying it out the door."
Providing a thrill
About four years ago, Mosheim started taking in restoration work, which he and everyone in the shop finds as a source of enjoyment and education.
"It's a nice break from making something new. You get to see how people did things that you would have never thought of. It's always an interesting problem: what do you do to fix it and what do you leave alone. When people pick their stuff up they are invariably thrilled, like more thrilled than if they got a new piece of furniture. The only stuff that's worth the kind of money that we have to charge to fix it is stuff that is really nice or has been in their family a long time."
With the economy what it is today, Mosheim is experiencing an off year. However 2003 to 2006 were extraordinary.
"I don't know how companies can keep increasing their sales every year without exploding. I can't. Our sales are down, the hours that we are working are down, but we're still paying the bills. We still have a good supply of work coming in; we have a decent backlog right now.
"I have about 60 percent repeat customers every year; I have to find about 40 percent of my new business every year. And some of these people have really expensive collections of stuff. They have a way that gets our best stuff out of us. They're fun to work with; they're engaged in the process. They know when to push for what they want and when to let go and let us do what we know best. They are supportive so when I ask them for money, they pay me. It's just wonderful and if I had to say one thing about my business it's that the people I work for are so supportive almost without exception. If they don't hold up their end of the bargain, we leave. People that are really good, they get really good work. I hope they feel that our prices are fair. A lot of selling a piece of furniture is educating people as to why it costs what it does. It becomes part of people's lives in a way that when you buy from a furniture store it doesn't necessarily become."