Surviving the Test of Time: Jere’s Antiques ~ 45 Years in Business
Jere Myers loves what he does – finding and selling the best antiques in the entire Southeast since 1976.
For the past 45 years Jere’s Antiques has unloaded a 40-foot-high cube container of fine 18th, 19th and early 20th century antique furniture every two weeks into his 33,000-square-foot antiques store located on 9 N. Jefferson Street in Savannah. Myers works from his own warehouse in England and has buyers that work for him throughout Britain, Belgium, Holland and France. Myers sells to other antique dealers, designers, decorators, auction houses and individuals throughout the United States.
My inspiration was my father who owned a store that sold everything from a mule to a suit of clothes. I would go to work with him, earning 10 cents a week for emptying the trash and tidying up. However, when I was 10, I bought my first piece of furniture, a little lamp table for $5. I sold it the next day for $6 and that $1 of profit was worth 10 weeks of work. From then on, I was hooked on the idea of owning my own business.
If you could change history
I occasionally wonder if I should have chosen another name for the business! With my name on the front of the building it means everyone expects me to be here all the time. But in all seriousness, I have had a charmed life and there is not much that I would change.
I am very proud of the business that I have built in the last 45 years. I am so blessed that after 45 years I still enjoy and love what I do for a living.
Starting a business is not easy. My best advice is to find something that you love, something that you can be passionate about, and be prepared to work hard on all aspects of the business, from sweeping the floor to keeping the books.
One of the biggest challenges for me would have to be changing trends. About 10 years ago there was a major shift in what designers were recommending to their clients. Suddenly the color of natural wood was out, and they were pushing painted furniture of all colors. But there was just a minor dip in demand. There were then, and are still now, plenty of people of all ages that care for, appreciate, and want a beautiful piece of fine-quality antique furniture.
Motto to live by
Treat others as you would like to be treated. Help them find whatever they may be looking for at the least amount of money possible.
Secret to Success
I think my secret to success is that I want every customer to be provided with exceptional value for their money spent. I truly want everyone to love what they purchase from Jere’s Antiques and enjoy it for the rest of their lives.
Average number of employees
Jere’s Antiques donates auctioneering services for a variety of fundraisers throughout the year in addition to supporting many other charities.