This article was originally published in Antique Trader
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SUCCASUNNA, N.J. – JMK Shows is proud to announce its 40th year in the antiques show management business. The very first show was staged in June 1972. The company was founded by Rona and Jesse Kohler, who sought to provide shows that had quality antiques paired with affordable prices. The Kohlers had worked with several charities, including UNICEF, the American Cancer Society and the Lion’s Club, running antiques shows. Everything changed when, in 1972, several dealers who had done their charity shows approached the couple and asked them if they would take over the Meadowbrook, N.J., show, which needed a new manager.
The Meadowbrook changed from a dinner theater to a disco in the late ’70s, and the manager took a new job at a place called Birchwood Manor; the show continues in that location to this day.
In 2001 their daughter, Allison, took the reins, and is now president of JMK. She has worked to build on the foundation created by her parents, and now has 14 antiques shows, plus some beer festivals.
From the exhibitors’ point of view, JMK provides extensive advertising and publicity, always with the dealers’ success in mind. “If the dealers don’t do well, they won’t come back, and then there is no show,” said Kohler. “We do everything we can to make the dealers welcome and comfortable at our shows.” If an exhibitor has an anniversary or a birthday, there will always be a friendly acknowledgment of the event, perhaps a wine basket or a birthday cake; this is a tradition begun by Rona and Jesse Kohler. They would even cook a Thanksgiving dinner for the dealers during their Thanksgiving show, and would throw a New Year’s party for the exhibitors at the New Year’s show. And from the point of view of the public, Allison Kohler is always there to greet the customers with a smile, and bid them farewell as they are leaving.
For a complete listing of events, visit JMK shows.