I am bored with TV. The over-paid programming executives (except for the USA Network!) have ruined TV. There is nothing new and plenty of old that has been re-furbished to look "new". I watched the trailers on the new ABC TV program called "V" and thought I had seen all of this before. I did. About 20 years ago. Reality TV is cheaper to produce so we get to see races and hear the filthiest insults from so called adults acting worse than children. Why in the world would I ever want to buy their designs or eat their food is beyond me. And HBO, once my favorite place on TV, has grown old and wary. I am paying well over a hundred dollars a month for cable TV and getting little that really interests me. That is until I found the Sundance Channel's new series "MAN SHOPS GLOBE".
The program follows Keith Johnson (buyer-at-large for the Anthropolgie stores) as he goes around the world looking for antiques and objects that he can take back to the US where his company can either use them as marketing displays or as a prototype that can be reproduced for resale. He seeks out things that nobody has seen before or he creates new things by re-interpreting old things. Example: on a trip to Belgium he found a beautiful old wood headboard with lots of character. Nothing new about that. But he found this talented graffiti artist and told the guy to create. I know we have all seen painted furniture, but what this kid did was entirely different.
Keith Johnson tells the viewer the purpose of each destination and the general types of things he seeks. On his trip to France he wanted a few really grand one-of-a-kind pieces that could be used as major display items in the Anthropologie stores. He shared his frustration with over-priced items in Paris. He took us along to Avignon to the flea market and later to an artists studio. He gave up a lot of information on price negotiation methods. I'm not sure he really should have done that. His negotiating style was definitely worth watching.
The series' official website MAN SHOPS GLOBE has lots of helpful information about each destination Keith Johnson visited. There are useful links and some great photographs that provide more detailed information for someone like myself who was just totally taken by this series. You can watch full episodes ON DEMAND or when they appear on the Sundance Channel.
Keith Johnson is quoted as saying
"The flea markets in France are legendary. The best part of the Saint-Ouen Flea Market in Paris is the Paul Bert Section. It has the most decorative things. My advice on buying is to ask yourself, "How much is this worth to me?" Then bargain, be fair and be willing to walk away. The truth is that you'll only regret the things you don't buy... you'll never regret what you do buy. In the context of the market, surrounded by similar objects, a piece may not seem special. That's the hardest part of being a buyer - taking things out of context."The thing I appreciate most about Keith Johnson is his collegial style. He's obviously successful but he does not come across like some know it all that talks through his teeth with disdain for little people. Instead he asks opinions of others and gives them the opportunity to create.
Go to the Food Network to learn how to cook something or watch DYI to learn how to fix something. But if you want to learn how to shop and get something you really want, watch "MAN SHOPS GLOBE" on the Sundance Channel and take shopping lessons from an expert. If you are thinking of buying a place in Key West keep Keith Johnson's admonition in mind "The truth is that you'll only regret the things you don't buy... you'll never regret what you do buy."
If you want to go real estate shopping with a Keith Johnson wannabe, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty Inc. in Key West, Florida.