Find Your Essential Objects at MEO Offering Art and Vintage, Mid Century Furniture and Decor

By Jon DeStefano
 Morris Olivas started his business with a small booth at Colorado Antique Gallery about seven years ago where he curated with the owner Chris Rodriguez and assisted him with his marketing and instagram. He did very well there selling mostly vintage and vintage mid-modern furniture and furnishings.
 He originally named the business MEO his initials, Morris Edward Olivas. He changed the name to My Essential Objects which he decided would be a better fit for a store front business.
 He realized he had the right product and services which would allow him to be successful on his own. He thought if I go on my own with what I know works I can attract customers in greater numbers who were interested in mid-mod sectionals, vintage couches and coffee tables.
 He looked into purchasing a commercial store front on South Broadway but came to the conclusion that it would be smarter to rent a store front in a place with a strong residential base of higher income residents as well as in a commercial store front. Then he found the perfect space at 445 S. Saulsbury St. Units E and F in Belmar in the art block. Here they offer original art as well as Vintage, Mid Century Furniture and  decor.
 Morris focuses on quality objects which he finds on his treasure hunts from numerous different locations. Everything must be in very good condition or reconditioned. He says, “I   curate very well and coordinate the staging at all locations. I have a unique eye. It allows me  to brand the items and stylize them so people can visually see how they can use it in their space.”
 With his advertising and marketing skills Morris has, from the beginning in the midst of Covid, been very successful. He admits he has a knack for doing this work which he feels he has actually been doing  most of his life. “I’ve spent a lot of time helping not just customers but also different friends bring vintage decor into their homes and at a much better price and quality than they can get in the big box stores.”
 Morris says you can follow him on Instagram: @olivas   morris and on Facebook: @morrisolivas.
 Morris and his partner Danyl Cook adopted a homeless family and helped them fix up their home, raising donations and getting appropriate furniture and furnishings, making it not only functional but also very special for them. The program is sponsored by Bonfils and The Giving Tree. Art becomes a part of it. Danyl, a very accomplished and successful artist in his own right, creates or finds the art.
 The art is always a part of it and has become a part of their brand.They use it to stylize the staging and it provides a special context that relates much more to customers and helps them visualize the furniture and/or art in their dwellings in a much more realistic way. Most of the art is provided by Danyl but they also use a lot of art from other well known local artists. You can follow Danyl on Instagram @ danylcookart.
MEO customers are spread out. Many people shop for their home or personal work places. They have many business customers and even hotels. “People want to make the places they spend a lot of their time a Happy Zone and businesses want that happy zone for their customers.
 Doing staging is not magic but to do it well takes something special and not everyone can do it. People want an environment that fits them, that they want to be in.
 Morris is quick to note that he is not a designer. He has no formal education in it, but he has a knack of pulling things together very quickly and people trust him. He credits Chris at The Antique Gallery and Slavica at Art District Antiques for helping him find his way in the business. “They have been a great inspiration for me and believed in me and my work,” he says. “When Dan and I first opened they were there to support us. A lot of our initial customer base came from Chris and Slavica.”
 A lot of their customers are a younger crowd who understand the difference in good quality and the big box stores. Too old for college but they are a younger crowd in their 30’s and 40’s. A lot of their customers are also seniors who live in or near Belmar. A good mix.
 Morris says, Danyl Cook and I have been business partners for a long time but we’ve been partners in life a lot longer. We’ve been together for 23 years.
 Dan states, “The furniture and art together was Morris’ idea. He had a vision that staging art and furniture together help people figure out their space. People love it.”
 MEO is open on Fridays, noon to 4, Saturdays from noon to 6, Sundays noon to 4, and also first Fridays 4 to 8. They bring in new stuff regularly so it always feels fresh. During Covid they learned people wanted to come in, to see it in person and to touch it. They figured out their purpose then. They want to make people happy, to provide an authentic service, to make their experience very personal and to make their work joyous.
 There is no doubt that they are succeeding. Because they fulfill their purpose regularly and are truly an exceptional business which makes sense because they are each exceptional people. They use furniture and art together to create a context for each other. That is their brand. You can find them through, Facebook, Instagram or their QR code. You can also find them in Belmar. Any way you find them, you’ll be glad you did.

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