Get to know MAI – Memorial Antiques & Interiors in this month’s showroom spotlight. From roots in Round Top to a 20,000 SF showroom in the Houston Design Center, learn about this antique institution’s hottest pieces and new ways they have adapted their business.
MAI – Memorial Antiques & Interiors
Your name and role in the showroom
Kathy Swartzfager – Manager
Can you give some background on MAI?
In the fall of 2006 when MAI came in to being, I was a vendor in several Houston antique “malls” and at Round Top. I had a reputation of always “displaying my booth” with never-ending changes in display, to attract customers. When approached to manage an antique mall that really wasn’t a mall but rather a design-focused shop with antiques and interior items, I jumped at the chance.
I believe this is what has made MAI unique. Vendors at MAI understand that showing customers how to use items in their home with ever-changing displays inspires the inner designer in all of us.
What makes MAI unique?
First, the concentration of so many fabulous vendors under one roof, open to the trade and public 52 weeks a year is rare! Also, we love window displays. It gives designers an opportunity to blend items from all over the shop into a “look”. Customers love the inspiring window displays.
What do you see people buying the most of right now at MAI?
We sell a lot of art, much of it modern. It pairs well with antiques and bringing interest to home décor. Also, we sell items that are one-of-a-kind that you don’t find available everywhere.
Do you have a favorite piece or style at MAI right now?
To me, any style is wonderful…if it makes you happy to have it in your home, it’s right for you!
Do you have any tips for buying antiques or incorporating new items into your home?
Many times I have kept items too long. Don’t be afraid to move items around or change something out. Change is stimulating and happy. I see this all of the time when customers come in and react to changes at MAI.
“Don’t be afraid to move items around or change something out. Change is stimulating and happy.”
Is there any MAI news you want to share?
YES! We now have all of MAI virtually available online to our customers 24 x 7. This has been driven by the changes in business to accommodate more at-home shopping and has benefitted MAI in that we can sell to anyone anywhere. Our staff is well equipped to answer questions and sell via social media.
Visit our website at www.maihouston.com. Click on the EXPLORE NOW button to navigate through each suite. It does take a little practice, but the aisles are at your fingertips.