PAT BLANCHAT

JOB DESCRIPTION: Co-owner of the Eclectic Company, an antique and architectural salvage business she runs with her husband, John Blanchat, 16101 S. Switzer St., 913-897-4067, www.theeclecticco.net

What got you started in the antique business?

About 40 years ago, we had a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old and twin babies. We lived in a Prairie Village ranch house, but we were house poor. We had a rather empty house with not much furniture. So we started going to auctions and finding things for cheap. Eventually we had a garage full of furniture and then we started selling. And we had another child, so five all together.

How have antiques changed since you got into the business?

We've seen so many trends come and go. When we first got into the business, oak was hot and heavy. Now nobody really likes it. Architectural salvage is big now. For example, people in big suburban houses use big pieces and have them turned into furniture. It's interesting how things change.

You've earned a national reputation for your antiques.

Yes, people will drive from California looking for pieces. Kansas City has good prices for antiques. When the gas prices got high, people quit coming for a while. They're starting to come again.

What's popular now?

Industrial is hot. Things from factories. Prices keep going up.

What are your favorite pieces in your home?

Old blue doors from New Orleans. (They flank the sofa in the living room).

Do you collect anything?

Not anymore. We once collected Berlin work (19th century embroidery on wool) and old doll molds. A long time ago, there would be pieces we wish we'd kept instead of sold. But in the business, you have to sell to buy more.

| Stacy Downs, sdowns@kcstar.com

Posted on Sat, Oct. 10, 2009 10:15 PM


In Pat and John Blanchat's garden, old windows turned into mirrors hang on sheds and barns and reflect the flowers.


An apothecary cabinet the Blanchats are selling is made of tiger's eye maple and features milk-glass labels.


The Blanchats like Art Deco pieces, such as these lights. In the middle: a water fountain.


An avid gardener, Pat Blanchat grows passion flowers (blooms last one day).