Keeping Collected

What do you do to unwind and keep yourself grounded amidst the rat race?  Besides spending time with family or having a glass of wine with girlfriends, reading a book or even keeping your golf game sharp?
How about a hobby?
Personally, I'm a collector.  I've discovered a lot of professional women enjoy this pursuit. While coins, figurines, dolls, even shoes are popular items to save and cherish, my particular passion is blue and white pieces - blue and white anything!  Plates, pitchers, jars, vases, cups, bowls; I love it all. As Brent Feigner said in the collectibles magazine "Playthings," collecting treasured items is like "something you can't get enough of.  You get one, you gotta have more."
I find collecting to be a fun and inspirational pastime. In many ways, it's like a puzzle I never tire of solving.  I enjoy the hunt - the thrill of discovering just the right piece to round out a particular display or grouping that I'm trying to complete.  I look high and low for new pieces to add to my collection.  I can often be found roaming the aisles of Marshall's, poring over their eclectic and inexpensive offerings. In fact, I found one of my favorite pieces there - an antique periwinkle blue covered sugar bowl that looks like a little Chinese house.
What helps you to stop and smell the roses?
I've mixed inexpensive pieces from Marshall's with more expensive high end finds, even Blanc de Chine pieces, which emanate from China's Ming Dynasty.  A lot of times, it's the piece I'm not looking for that falls into my lap through serendipity; I find a way to make it part of my blue and white family.  What I love about my collection is that when I get inspired, I can move them around the house, mix and match and make things look fresh and new.  There are a few sets I have that I can put fresh flowers in, especially around Christmas time with holly, berries and it just gives them another personality.  It is almost like a wardrobe change!
Ever since I was a little girl, blue has been my favorite color - I think I get it from my Tia Chela, my aunt in Mexico.  Some of my earliest memories are visiting Tia Chela in Mexico and sitting on a stool in her kitchen, which had cobalt blue and white tile from the floor to the top of the ceiling.  As pots of soup simmered away and flavorful meats sizzled in a pan on the stove, I would spend countless hours admiring all the beautiful blue and white plates and shiny blue tiles around her kitchen.  Once I had a home of my own, I began to build my own blue and white collection.  My first piece was a blue and white vase from The Bombay Company.  It sits today on my kitchen window with an ever-changing arrangement of fresh flowers. 
I don't follow any hard and fast rules for collecting.  However, if it's something you'd like to try, here a few tips to keep in mind:
  • Collect what you love, be it trains, teapots - even purses! This way, you're less likely to have buyer's remorse, because the value of the item is priceless to you.
  • Don't be afraid to mix the old and the new together. This will give your collection character and make it even more unique.
  • Read up. Become knowledgeable about what you're collecting by learning as much as you can about the history. Not only is it fun, it can help you negotiate prices for costly items.
  • You can also bring pieces from your collection to the office. It can be a great conversation starter and you never know - there could be business associates who share your passion, which could turn into an opportunity.
Happy hunting! 
Pulido Sanchez Communications, LLC.
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