Upon entering White Glove Antiques you encounter a broad, fascinating collection of interior design elements. This is not your great auntie’s antique store however, where chairs are corded off like museum pieces – although some pieces are worthy of display in a permanent collection.
“I buy things that make me feel as if they belong in a home, that have a sense of harmony,” said owner Monique Rudnick of her ever-changing collection. “Today people don’t treat houses like homes. People follow trends, then once the trend is over they throw it away. Vintage and antique pieces bring a warmth into a home that new pieces just don’t have.”
Some pieces might appear to have a little loving wear to them, and to Rudnick that adds character and warmth.
“I like everything eclectic, and prefer if people don’t want pristine pieces,” she told SFGN. “In fact, I would rather work with people who don’t want a piece in perfect condition.”
This does not mean that pieces at White Glove Antiques are in “bad shape.” Instead, her pieces show that they were used and loved by the original owners.
Rudnick was raised in Columbia and trained in fashion design at the University of Milan. She fell into working with vintage furniture and ephemera quite by accident. However, her success has been anything but accidental. It is not unusual to find designers from leading interior decoration firms wandering around examining her wares. Her pieces have been shipped as far away as Russia. She says her experience working with Russian buyers has been great.
“A client in Russia wanted me to open a store there,” said Rudnick, who admits she would hate the cold of Moscow. “Other clients want me to open stores in France, Italy, and San Tropez, but I love Wilton Manors. There is a European feel to it here, it’s very laid-back, and friendly.”
So is the owner of the boutique, who treats her clients like “guests” and offers wine for happy hour on Friday and Saturday. The ten-year-old location is also a very user-friendly environment on Wilton Drive. Rudnick does not follow clients around and chase them out if they’re merely browsing.
“Browsing makes you want to buy sometimes,” said Rudnick as she walked me through her store. This especially makes sense for a store dealing with vintage and antique pieces, that are purchased because they catch the eye. “If someone comes in and simply falls in love with a piece I lower my price. It makes for good business. Sometimes they return to purchase more from me.”
The variety of colors, styles, textures, and looks at White Glove Antiques extends from vintage clothing – that would be the envy of Endorra on TV’s Bewitched, 1970s chrome sofas recalling Boogie Nights, delicate Victorian artwork, to an oversized lamp with painted harlequins from the 1950s. Some pieces are consigned from other dealers – such as a dramatic stone and iron table formerly in the Design Center of the Americas.
It is not surprising to see a customer beaming over a retro bag, while a set designer searches for a “cool” piece of vintage electronics to round out a set, and an interior decorator searches for the perfect piece to being back to an ultra-sleek South Beach penthouse.
“I had two interior designers come in today,” she said with a smile while sipping Merlot. “A lot of designers come in looking for a client. Then they come back to buy for their own homes.”
For more information please visit their location at 2340 Wilton Drive, or call 954.567.2340