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Meg Wendy, who runs the company with her mother Diane, says: “The antique world is changing rapidly and our innovations reflect a desire to remain a fresh force in the market.”

Their presence in Manhattan continues to expand and the company has changed the title of their Seventh Regiment Armory fairs on Park Avenue to the New York Armory Antiques & Design Show.

The addition of that word “design” opens the door to 20th century and contemporary works and Diane explains: “We hope that these dealers will draw younger buyers and teach people to mix and match instead of sticking to a single period or look.”

Responding to market conditions, the number of shows at two longstanding Wendy fixtures have been cut back. For the upcoming season there will be just one show in White Plains, New York, from November 5 to 7, and two in Morristown, New Jersey, October 29 to 31 this year and then January 7 to 9 in 2005.

“The decision was made because the economy has brought a sense of constraint to purchasing non-essential items” said Diane. “People in the suburbs are not available to go to two or three shows a season and buy at each.”

But the search for new customers goes on. Wendy have just taken on a new advertising agency, New York’s Avrett Free & Ginsberg, whose clients include St. Regis Hotels and Van Cleef & Arpels, and their brief is to revamp the company’s image.

“Our aim is to appeal to a new audience in addition to our old one,” says Meg.