By Natalie Alatriste for RiseMiamiNews.com
Bonnin Ashley Antiques seems like an ordinary antique shop on first glance. The 20,000-square-foot store is plopped right in the heart of Miami’s Bird Road, and sits quietly in a nondescript shopping plaza.
But the shop is far from ordinary.
It’s full of life and rich history. The owners, Sorne and Michael Flick, travel around the world to handpick each piece in the shop.
They opened the store together in 1986, and named it after their first daughter, Bonnin Ashley Flick.
“The search for an object of beauty and desire is exciting,” Sorne said. “Culling through many possibilities to find that one piece is very rewarding, something akin to gathering the most exceptional shells on a beach, but a lot trickier.”
Twenty-nine years later, Bonnin Ashley Antiques is a leading dealer in South Florida.
The furniture is mostly 18th and 19th-century pieces from Europe, America or Asia.
The Flicks run the entire shop with the help of a few employees. Michael Flick restores each piece to make it more than just a renewed antique piece—he makes sure its practical for present-day needs.
“I enjoy working with my hands and being creative,” Michael said. “Bringing these pieces back to their original splendor is an exciting process. Everyday affords a new challenge, too, since no two items are alike.”
And now, the Flicks are trying to share their love for their furniture and its history with the rest of Miami.
The storeowners recently implemented a new series of tours, which takes guests behind the scenes at the Bonnin Ashley showroom to learn more about the culture and history of its pieces.
The owners want to bring a new cultural and artistic experience to the Miami scene.
The themed tours will take place every third Saturday of the month, right before the Bird Road Art Walk. Dubbed “Bonnin and Bubbles,” guests can enjoy complimentary champagne and hors d’oeuvres at the events.
Saturday, July 18, kicked off the first Bonnin and Bubbles event.
“The purpose of establishing Bonnin and Bubbles is to offer a special platform from which to share our commitment and love for antiques with our community,” Sorne Flick said. “We share a passion so willingly with our customers, and we hope to show that through this event.”
July’s theme was The Regency Era, where Sorne focused on pieces from the early nineteenth century and spoke of renowned author Jane Austen’s history.
Intrigued guests lined up and followed Sorne around the showroom as she took them through a historic journey.
There were two tour times: 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sorne, who is very fond of Jane Austen’s work, was the guide for both tours.
“Tying what was happening at the time relative to the furniture’s manufacture gives the pieces an important context and offers greater meaning for me,” Sorne said. “I like to stand in front of a piece of furniture — the way I would in front of a great work of art at a museum — and let the piece talk to me.”
The next scheduled tour will take place on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. The first tour is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.
The theme for this event will be “Spice Road,” which will work together with Miami Spice to bring a unique experience to an already-loved event. Bonnin Ashley plans to partner with a sponsor to bring fun flavors to its guests.
For more information on Bonnin Ashley, visit www.BonninAshley.com.