A couple of weeks ago I loaded up the car and Tikka and I took a short trip to North Carolina. We were on our way to Greensboro, where I was taking several boxes of china to sell to Replacements as part of my ongoing process of refinement and elimination. This doesn't mean that I don't still own more than enough china, I do, and I have assorted partial services accumulated over four generations, all of which I like to mix together. But there was also china I never use anymore, a lot of it the more modern, but sometimes antique pieces, especially the higher contrast black/white, black/silver, or high contrast color patterns. My style in general, both in clothing and home, seems to be settling into a softer more muted palette, one that speaks to me at least of comfort.
I had already photographed everything and sent in a request to sell, so we arrived with purchase offers in hand, but there was still a wait while my china was inspected for quality issues. During that time we took the tour, which was fascinating. There is a showroom (of course) but the tour also includes the various warehouses and workrooms.
Replacements is pet-friendly, and Tikka was welcomed everywhere but the break-room. Employees can also bring their dogs to work. But there were people zooming around on carts, and it eventually got overwhelming to a small dog, so Tikka rode around in an LL Bean bag that I keep in the car for groceries and the like. Notice that although I have now eliminated my stash of black high contrast china, there is still some black in my wardrobe. Both the shorts and the tank are favorites for their fit and shape, and will have to be traced off. But that remains a future project.
We passed through the workroom where employees are examining pieces that have come in for sale. Somewhere, on one of those tables, someone was looking at my china and crystal.
The tour also included a few of the museum collections (not for sale) including this display of presidential china patterns.
There were workrooms where china could be reglazed, chipped glassware repaired, and silver could be repaired and refurbished. They also have a workroom were ornate patterns are cut into silver as shown in this display. Apparently this kind of work sells very well, which both surprised me, simply because the younger generations in my own families seem uninterested in old ornate things, and made me happy, because I love the idea of reusing and refurbishing old things, and keeping them in use.
The tour ended and we only had a few minutes to spend in the showroom before we were paged to come back to the workroom as our offerings had been appraised. It was a fascinating tour, and a fascinating business; one I am happy to support.