Authenticate at Eastern Elements
Sue Amegod has climbed the ladder of success. Her first job was cleaning a furniture store for her father, then she earned a degree in interior design and now she owns her own shop, Eastern Elements.
"My father was in the furniture business and I grew up going to his store and I think that’s how I got involved in it," Amegod said of why she decided to open the store. "My first job was at the furniture store dusting and pushing a mop. After that I went to school for interior design and so that’s been my background. Plus, I’m done raising my two children now."
Generally speaking, there are two ways to get authentic antique furniture in your home: cross the globe and drag it back, or empty the kids’ college fund and buy it locally. Amegod and Eastern Elements supply a third.
She said she has not only tried to keep her prices affordable, but she also caters to designers and gives the proceeds from some of her merchandise to charity.
"I’m planning on selling pearls and, I haven’t even contacted the schools about this yet because I don’t have the pearls in, I plan to use the profits from the pearls to fund college scholarships for underprivileged children here in Park City," she said.
She will also be selling photographs of children in China and she plans to give those proceeds to an orphanage in China that her friends from Milwaukee run.
It was those same friends that helped her open her store and that bring back her merchandise.
"I had some friends of mine get me involved in this," Amegod said. "Right now they’re doing my buying for me over there. They hand pick the pieces in China. They go to the countryside, and sometimes into homes. I will be doing the traveling on my own eventually, but I’m just trying to get going right now, and I’m starting a store in Salt Lake also."
The Salt Lake store is also where her warehouse is, although Park City customers have the same selection as in the valley.
"I have most things in my computer on pictures if they need to select something we sell but don’t have in the Park City store," she said.
The pieces she carries are from China, Tibet, Mongolia and other Eastern countries, and are specifically selected to fit a mountain style and to survive in Park City’s climate.
"I try to get my pieces from higher elevation places like Mongolia and Tibet, drier places, so the climates are similar," Amegod said. "That way they don’t tend crack. Southern climates, some of the pieces, if you bring them up to this elevation and climate they will crack and that’s a common problem."
The store carries various types of furniture and decorative pieces, including but not exclusive to tables, armoires, calligraphy brushes, baskets, boxes, trunks, chests, pearls and pictures.
"What we sell is fine Asian furnishings that you can’t find anywhere else," she said. "We have some very rare pieces, but they still fit in well in any mountain design. My pieces are museum-quality antiques ranging from 80 to 500 years old. I really try to focus on the eastern element. We cater to designers that are looking for unmatched quality, but we’re a retail store. So anyone can find something they like."
"Nothing is a reproduction, she said. It’s all authentic. It all has a history and no two pieces are the same. Some of the pieces are very Oriental looking and others are not, but all would go well with country furniture."
Amegod, who recently remarried after losing her first husband to Lou Gehrig’s disease, said she is grateful to have good people to work with. Her husband, Jeff, runs a nationwide sales-training company in Park City and plans to help her with various aspects of the business.
"I also have a manager at the store, her name is Joi Sanders," Amegod said. "It’s going well. She runs the computers and takes care of the business end so I don’t have to be there 100 percent of the time."
Amegod said her location is perfect for what she sells. Eastern Elements is located directly under Suede at Kimball Junction, "tucked away and recessed from everything else," which goes along with her hard-to-find merchandise.
"I wanted to create a place that people would want to come," she said. "It’s almost like walking in a museum. It’s just a beautiful environment."
Eastern Elements is located at 1612 Ute Blvd. and can be reached at (435) 615-6644. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
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