William’s early beginnings as a dishwasher at age 15, led to a career path as a professional chef. He spent 5 years cooking aboard the USS Cavalla SSN 684, a fast attack submarine based out of Pearl Harbor. After leaving the Navy, he found work at a restaurant in the Bay Area. His last post was as Executive Chef and General Manager of the Union Hotel, a mid 19th century Victorian Hotel nestled in the middle of the sweet riverside town of Benicia, CA.
His love of all things French began when he lived in France from 1997 to 2000. After taking a year off, he eventually worked as a delivery assistant at a small Brocante (antique shop) in Neuilly Plaisance, just east of Paris. Working for French minimum wage, he delivered furniture all over Paris in tiny elevators, up ten flights of spiral staircases. Maneuvering large furniture into small spaces, with hall light timers often set to 45 seconds, made for lots of heavy lifting in the dark!
The wage may have been minimum, but the impact on the 33-old William was all encompassing. Working in an environment where no one spoke English, he was forced to focus on learning French while also figuring the French mentality in business. He also learned how to pack a truck properly to ensure all items would remain safe, the most efficient way to move heavy items, and the importance of taking breaks to have a short panache with the crew at the local bistro.
The brocanteur he worked for had a client that lived in LA and was using his storage to house French merchandise and load containers. His main focus was French Club Chairs. His name was Dominque Bamberger, and we want to give him a shout out here. There might be a few that remember Dominque from the Santa Monica Flea Market. He was at the top of the Club chair market. After helping him load 5-6 containers while working for Bruno le Brocanteur, Dominque graciously allowed him to send back a small load of goods in 5 boxes. It would have been inappropriate to enter the Club chair market at this time despite the fact that William already owned a pair at his home in France. Fair to say that he had already been bitten by the Club chair bug. Sadly Dominque passed about a year later and left room in the market for someone new to step forward.
That small load was the genesis of William’s Antiks and with an opportunity to fill that void William bought his first 2 pairs, then 5 pairs… and now, here we are.
Looking to the future, William’s Antiks will continue to refurbish or restore where necessary and continue to buy the best possible condition vintage French Club Chairs. Club chairs are such an amazingly versatile home furnishing element. They appeal to all ages.
Let’s make a deal.
French Club Chairs by William’s Antiks
“Great Product sold with Passion and Provenance”