August 2005 My First Semi Tractor Trailer Load Of Antique Furniture Arriving From Pennsylvania
No I am not coming back to Cumming, Georgia to hold Metro Atlanta antique auctions? At least not anytime soon though Connie and I have talked about it a couple times LOL! However the quality of antique furniture featured at our January 5th antique auction certainly reminded me of my years of building, managing and supplying My Hart Auctions, Inc. As I was responsible for the buying and hauling or financing the shipment of 50,000 plus pieces of elegant mahogany and walnut antique furniture to Metro Atlanta to be sold at auction from 1995 through 2008. If you visited Atlanta's antique shops, antique shows or antique malls during those years you most likely saw pieces of antique furniture that I hauled or had hauled from the Northern United States.
Late in 1995 I responded to an ad in Antique Week placed by the manager of an auction company located near Cumming, Georgia. The auction company needed a hauler to supply antique furniture for it's antique auctions. I had dreamed of hauling antique furniture for a living for many years. Even driving to California in the mid 1970's to check out several auction companies. Earlier in 1995 I had attended an antique auction at the Cobb County, Georgia fairgrounds. From watching that auction I realized that the prices for mahogany furniture were much lower in the Midwest than in the Atlanta, Georgia area! The first few loads of antiques that I hauled from the Midwest were sold at E Hudson Auction located on Drew Rd near Cumming, Georgia. Which is now the site of the West Forsyth High School. However after a few months it ocurred to me that starting an antique auction company featuring my Midwestern antiques would be a great idea. As we would have better control over how the auction was operated. As with any new business venture selecting a great name was very important to us. One morning while in the shower the perfect name occurred to me. Why not call the new auction company My Hart? I had selected the first two letters of my partner's name Myrna and the last four of my name Reinhart. Thus My Hart was born though we soon found out that we couldn't get the name My Hart Inc. approved with the Georgia Secretary of State for a corporation. However by adding the word "Auctions" the name My Hart Auctions, Inc. was approved on the second try for our new corporation. Five of us had set down to layout the plans for the new auction company myself, Myrna, Walter, Wayne and Jackie. Walter filed the legal papers with the Secretary of Sate and the corporation was in his name breifly. Because I was married at the time I choose not to have my name on the corporation papers. As I suspected a divorce was in my future and I didn't want anything to come in the way of building our new antique auction! A choice I was to regret many years later!
I selected July 4th, 1996 for the date of our first antique auction. Which was held at the Cumming, Georgia VFW. Because of limited availablity of the VFW building we held our auctions on Thursday for the first few months of holding antique auctions. Seeking a permanent location to conduct antique auctions was quite an experience. As you need more than just a building you need parking and a good location for your auction customers to easily locate. Not to mention that the auction gallery needs to be large enough for 150 plus customers to view the antiques and the auctioneer while he is selling. Finding all these requirements was quite a challenge for us. Myrna, Wayne my auctioneer friend from Ohio and I looked at numerous locations from Roswell to the Northern end of 400. As is often the case we were overlooking the perfect building for our new auction gallery. I had noticed the old Talent TV building on Bethelview Rd south of Rt 20 as we drove by it quite often. Finally I suggested stopping and taking a closeup look at the building. Certainly not the newest building we had looked at but it had plenty of parking for our customers. Myrna's son talked to Weldon Talent at church and a time was setup to look at the inside of the building. Walls needed to be removed, restrooms added and a heating and cooling system installed. After much work we were ready for our first antique auction on Bethelview Rd early in 1997. The auctions for several years at the Bethelview auction gallery were held on Friday nights. As we became more established I decided to change the day of the month we held our antique auctions on to the 1st Saturday of each month. Because of the heavy Atlanta rush hour traffic on Friday nights. Changing to Saturday nights made it much easier and quicker for our Atlanta customers to make the drive to our auction location. Some years later while receiving semi loads from Pennsylvania I added a second auction each month on the 3rd Saturday of the month so as not to fall on the Scott Antique Show weekend.
By January of 1999 long before there was an AuctionZip.com for Atlanta auctioneers and auction houses to feature their auction pictures on. I was searching for a better way of advertising the antiques and antique furniture that I bought, hauled and sold at our metro Atlanta antique auctions. I was considering bill board advertising however the cost would have been quite prohibitive! Starting an Atlanta antique auction website occurred to me a few days after considering bill board advertising. While buying antiques in Michigan I had attended an antique auction which used digital images displayed on a TV to hightlight the antiques being sold. The internet certainly hadn't reached the importance in January of 1999 that it has today. However it seemed to be a great way of displaying "color" images for our Atlanta auction customers to view. Which was not possible with the black and white auction flyers that I was laying out for mailing at the time. However owning a website in 1999 certainly was not as easy or inexpensive as it is today! Best I remember my monthly cost was over $100 for hosting and the software necessary to display my antique auction pictures on MyHart.net.
For almost ten years on a weekly basis I made trips to the Northern United States from Georgia to pick, buy and bring back to Cumming, GA a load of elegant antique mahogany and walnut furniture. At the time the picture to the left was taken I was headed back to Metro Atlanta after buying a box truck load of antiques in Pennsylvania. This continued until July 2005 when because of health issues I decided to have semi tractor trailer loads of antique furniture delivered from Pennsylvania. Myrna had been in the hospital because of serious lung illness and Dr Hleap of Cumming felt I was driving way to much for my health. During this time frame I invested $30,000 to have these loads of antique furniture delivered to our Cumming, GA auction house. The shipment of semi tractor trailer loads of antique furniture continued on a twice monthly basis until early 2008 when without notice or full repayment of my original investment the antique furniture shipper quit. After our furniture shipper quit I decided buy a larger box truck and again haul antiques from the Midwest myself. With the help of many loyal local consigners we were able to keep the auction furnished with a good supply of antiques twice a month. Through my internet promotion of the antique auctions we even brought in a new antique hauler from Michigan. But 2008 was not to end in a good way for me! As on October 5th, 2008 at approximately 10AM while driving to an auction in Ohio. I was told much to shock and utter disbelief that I would never again be allowed to attend another My Hart Auction. By the next day I found myself locked out of the AuctionZip.com account I had spent years building. As well as the auction customer email list hosted on AuctionZip that I had built and paid for.
Having invested much of my inheritance from the sale of two Ohio farms plus my going deeply in debt over the years to build what I thought was my future. I soon found myself without anyway of earning a living. I had one option left and that was prayer. What I didn't realize at that time was that someone else was also praying.
Continued at The Return of MyHart - Part II
Author: John Reinhart