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The latest style in interior design is following no set style at all.
At least, that's the philosophy that Kate Jonas, an antique curator and interior designer based in Richmond, Virginia, lives by. “There is no trend,” she tells me over Zoom, while two symmetrical turquoise paintings in vintage gold frames hang behind her desk. “It is what you feel comfortable with in your home.”
Jonas started working within the antique curation world after over 10 years as a bank teller and manager in Richmond,. At 22, Jonas plunged into the world of financial management and clients in crisis. “I could be dealing with a widower one minute, and the next, someone who's just gotten married,” she says. “You're changing hats constantly.” The job was not her passion, but taught her skills that would lead her to it. In 2016, Jonas sold her first five antique products on her Instagram @electriccurator and never looked back.
She says, “(Finance) helped with relationships, which is what the antique business really is built on.” I could tell Jonas had experienced every mood known to man while sitting at a customer service table. During the interview, she asks me questions about my hobbies, proving her friendliness cannot be hindered even by all the awkwardness of the Zoom format.
Jonas moved on from bank telling to antique curation after realizing it was her favorite thing to do. The process of finding products, learning about them, and selling them “tickles all of my serotonin and dopamine receptors." She adds, “It's just the thrill of the treasure hunt.” Filled with energy and wonder from a day job many would consider a dream job, Jonas is still stunned that finding and photographing antiques for Instagram makes a profit: “Making money from doing that, I get goosebumps talking about it.”
Jonas did not always turn a profit from buying and reselling antique pieces of porcelain dalmatians and 1940s vanity mirrors, though. In the beginning, Jonas juggled raising two young children while starting her online curating business. “I was sourcing items just when I could when the girls were at school,” she explains. To keep up with her busy schedule and unpredictable hours, Jonas turned to Instagram, making her business easily accessible at home and on the go. “Running the business on Instagram from my house was necessary because I had two little children,” she says.
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