I recently had the opportunity to spend three hours with the entire cast of Auction Kings, Discovery Channel’s newest hit reality series. After speaking with owner Paul Brown, office manager Cindy Shook, picker Jon Hammond and handyman Delfino Ramos, one thing quickly became clear. These folks are about as genuine as they come. They all have a real passion for Auction Kings and Gallery 63, plus they operate as one big happy family. It’s this enthusiasm, coupled with their on- and off-camera chemistry that brings the spark to Auction Kings. And viewers agree. After just one season, the ratings prompted Discovery to order 26 new episodes for a second season. It’s all good news for the stars of Auction Kings. Here’s what owner Paul Brown had to say about his hit TV series, how it has impacted his business, and what lies ahead for Auction Kings and Gallery 63.
Interview with Auction King’s Paul Brown: Owner Extraordinaire
The owner of Gallery 63 is a southern native who was born and raised in Atlanta. When his dreams of becoming a rock star didn’t quite pan out, he worked in his father’s antiques store, Red Baron, for 20 years, learning the business from the ground up. In between, Paul earned a degree in English Literature from Georgia State University, which came in very handy when writing ads and sales literature for Red Baron. Finally, Paul decided to branch out on his own and opened Gallery 63 in Buckhead, an upscale neighborhood located in northeast Atlanta. Like all new ventures, Gallery 63 experienced peaks and valleys, and was really feeling the pinch of a down economy when owner Paul received a phone call from a TV production company. The producers explained to him that they were interested in producing a television series based on an auction house and that they chose Gallery 63. They sent Paul a FlipCam to record daily happenings at the auction house for a week, which he did and sent back as directed. The production company edited the footage and produced a sizzle reel for Discovery Channel. Focus groups loved the video, so Discovery ordered a pilot episode and eventually a full season of 20 shows. The rest, as they say, is history.
So, how did Auction Kings change Gallery 63? “The energy was amazing. It was like a renaissance,” Paul told me with great enthusiasm. He went on to add that after the premiere aired on October 26th, he received 300 e-mails and that his answering machine was full the very next day. “The show unleashed a torrent of interest,” he explained. “We tapped into this treasure hunt mentality of America.”
Since the premiere of Auction Kings, business at Gallery 63 has been booming. Before the show, auctions typically pulled in 200 attendees. Now, it’s standing room only! Before the show, Paul would typically have about 200 lots to auction off. Now, he auctions off about 1,000 every month. Plus, viewers see the show and bring in items of their own, so Paul has to advertise much less these days. “The show unleashed a cavalcade of interesting items,” he said during our interview. “People love objects and we have a marketplace for everything. The auction can turn anything into cash.”
With 8,000-20,000 website hits per day, the future of Gallery 63 and Auction Kings looks brighter than ever. “We’re free-wheelin’ and wide open,” Paul Brown said of Gallery 63. “If you have fun, then I’ve had fun.” To keep up with increased sales, Paul Brown decided to hire two new employees and upgrade their computer system. He currently has no plans to expand the physical location. Instead, the successful owner wants to improve his business model to make Gallery 63 run as efficiently as possible. He’s thinking about franchise opportunities, but that’s still in the distance. “My goal is to run the best business I can right now.”
Auction Kings has two more new episodes for season one that air on Tuesday, January 25th and February 1st at 10/9c on Discovery. If you haven’t yet caught an episode, it’s great TV that follows the happenings of Gallery 63 and its quirky, but definitely interesting and always entertaining cast of characters, including owner Paul Brown.
To learn more about Auction Kings, check back all this week for my exclusive interviews with sassy office manager Cindy Shook, new picker Jon Hammond and always-happy handyman Delfino Ramos. Plus, just in time for next week’s season one finale – an upcoming article talking about the stars’ favorite finds and best moments from season one of Auction Kings.
About Gallery 63 from Auction Kings:
If you live in the Atlanta area, you can attend a Gallery 63 auction. Below are the upcoming dates for auctions as seen on Auction Kings:
- Sunday, February 13th at 11:00 a.m.
- Thursday, February 17th at 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday, March 13th at 11:00 a.m.
- Thursday, March 17th at 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday, April 10th at 11:00 a.m.
- Thursday, April 14th at 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday, May 1st at 11:00 a.m.
- Thursday, May 5th at 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday, June 5th at 11:00 a.m.
- Thursday, June 9th at 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday, June 26th at 11:00 a.m.
- Thursday, June 30th at 4:00 p.m.
Gallery 63 is located at 4577 Roswell Rd., Atlanta GA 30342. It is usually open from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. It’s also open for auction preview the week prior to an announced auction from 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m on Monday-Saturday. For more information, call (404) 252-2555.
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