Business Success Stories: Interview with Fortuna Auction’s Seth Holehouse

Fortuna Auction’s CEO Seth Holehouse was interviewed on Delpino.net, a site featuring web-based entrepreneurs. Here’s his Q&A:

What kind of business do you run? When did you start it and where is it based?

Fortuna is an auction house that specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. We began in 2012 and are based in New York City. In the world of auctions, we are fairly young—and that’s a good thing. Having a narrow focus on jewelry gives us an edge over traditional houses, especially in the internet age where the buying landscape is so fragmented. Our auctions are hosted 4-6 times a year. We have bidders live in the sale room, over the phones, and through online platforms from all over the world.

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Fortuna Auction’s Spring Jewels Sale Excites at Waldorf Astoria

The May 17 Spring Jewels auction marked an important milestone for Fortuna Auction, one of the world’s few boutique jewelry auctions, and the only one headquartered in New York City.

Past auctions were always held in our showroom on 5th Avenue. It was a big step for us to hold our preview and sale in such a prestigious hotel, and we were overwhelmed (emotionally and logistically) with the turnout.

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Maine Antique Digest—A Small Town Approach in the Big City

By Mary Ann Brown

Maine Antique Digest

Fortuna Auctioneers and Appraisers, owned and operated by partners in business and marriage Seth Holehouse and Anna Lin, GG, is a relative newcomer to the jewelry auction scene in New York City. The company held its fine jewelry sale on January 19.

Lin and Holehouse started the venture about four years ago, and the auction house complements a separate business they created seven or eight years ago. Anna Lin Antique and Diamond Jewelry (www.annalin.net) “is mostly focused on searching for and finding investment quality gemstones and old jewelry for people in Asia,” according to Holehouse. They travel to Asia “a few times a year, finding buyers for important Art Deco, Cartier, Kashmir sapphires, and such.”

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THE RIDE: Competing With the Big Guys

By Mildred L. Culp

Knoxville News Sentinel

Rarely does a founding entrepreneur launch in a big way or a start-up become large overnight. Size, or lack of it, spells “obstacle” for many entrepreneurs.

Seth Holehouse, managing director (now CEO) of Fortuna Auction in New York, N.Y., works less than two blocks from Christie’s, the largest jewelry auction in the world (www.fortunaauction.com). “Our main … obstacle is gaining a name and building it with wholesalers and store owners,” he says. Interacting face-to-face with domestic and international buyers is essential for a fine jewelry auction to build trust. He does a lot of it, shaking hands and meeting gazes.

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Financial Times—Alternative auctions: Boutiques find niche in an underserved marketplace

By Syl Tang

Financial Times

For decades, the only reputable option for watch and jewellery aficionados looking for something vintage or collectable were the big name auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, where buyers were assured of authenticity and quality.

But, with global marketing of large auctions leading to record-setting hammer prices, deals have become increasingly difficult for collectors to find, never mind wholesalers hoping to acquire for resale.

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NY Observer—Get Your Rocks Off: Kissing the Ring at Fortuna Auction’s Fall Fine Jewels Preview

By Drew Grant

New York Observer

… Everywhere we looked was gold, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, diamonds, diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Mauboussin, Tiffany & Co., and David Webb all made appearance in wearable form, as well as several items from Ms. Yarmak’s personal collection. Michele Gerber Klein, Elena Moussa, Mickey Boardman, Cass Almendral, and R. Couri Hay mingled among the champagne and baubles, occasionally trying on an especially transfixing piece before circling its corresponding number in the catalog.

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Fortuna Auction Jewels on Display at Helen Yarmak’s Fifth Avenue Penthouse Party

Up top at her Fifth Avenue penthouse in the Crowne Building, Moscow-based designer and furrier Helen Yarmak was in New York last night to welcome in some fine jewelry pieces to her showroom, part of the Fortuna Auction Fall Jewels Preview to Benefit the Couture Council.

Fortuna co-founders Seth Holehouse and Anna Lin welcomed over 100 tastemakers to a private cocktail party at the showroom where guests included Patricia Field (who often used Yarmak’s pieces when selecting costumes for HBO’s Sex and the City), Janna Bullock and Mai Hallingby who perused the two million dollars worth of stunning antique, contemporary and estate jewelry and designs that will be up for bid at Fortuna’s Fall Fine Jewels Auction on November 29th.

Throughout the evening, Fortuna’s Jewelry Director Yoram Saidian was kept busy helping guests try on the exquisite pieces from famed design houses, including Cartier, David Webb, Tiffany & Co., Hermes and many others.

To assist with Hurricane Sandy victims, Ms. Yarmak has added a stunning pair of diamond and gold tulip earrings to the auction and will donate 100% of the Buyer’s Premium relief efforts. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from sales of her furs at the preview event benefited the Couture Council.
There will be over 400 beautiful, unique antique, contemporary and estate jewelry pieces up for bid at Fortuna’s showroom at 608 5th Avenue in New York City on November 29th, as well as by phone, through absentee bids or online at www.fortunaauction.com

Republished from HauteLiving.com