Mike Robuck Biography

It all started in a town named Poth

antique-statueI began buying antiques around the age of 21 while attending the University of Texas on a football scholarship. I was never a good student but I did well with my athletics. I attended my first auction while still in college and I was immediately hooked. From then on, I spent all my extra money on antiques. I had many collections when I was young; rocks, arrowheads, stamps, bird eggs, bird nests, marbles, and other objects. But as I got older, antiques became my passion. Finally, when there was only a path to the stove, my bed, and the bathroom, I had to start selling. I had very limited knowledge of antiques. So I decided to go to work for the best antique dealer in Austin – Howard Hand.

Working for Howard I obtained the knowledge to go forward in this business. I worked for him for 20 years (most of them for 7 dollars an hour), and I obtained a great deal of knowledge on where to buy, what to buy, how much to pay, and whom to sell it to. While working for Howard I rarely even took home a paycheck because I always owed him more for my purchases than he owed me for labor. I took several jobs after and before work hours to support my family. He also allowed me to sell in his store. After my collection got too large to keep in his store, my mother and I started our own store in the town where I was born – Poth, TX. We operated out of Poth for many years until my mother’s death.

Then other opportunities followed. I opened a second business specializing in moving and shipping antiques and furniture – Robuck Moving. Robuck Moving eventually became Rancho Buck Moving and is now solely managed by my son Everett Robuck. I also opened a small antique shop with my son Shane Robuck (Robuck and Co.). Robuck and Co. is now solely operated by Shane. Then I took on a partner in another venture – Ansley Antiques. All the businesses thrived for many years. With these all these endeavors and businesses, I continued to acquire a bigger and bigger inventory. After my mother’s death, I inherited her inventory and I could no longer house all the pieces in Poth, TX. So we had to find a bigger warehouse – much bigger!

I looked all around the Atlanta trying to find the right place and we eventually found a warehouse for rent in the West End. Here we finally had a place big enough to house everything under one roof. After several years, we were able to purchase the warehouse and this is the current location of The Atlanta Auction Gallery.

The economic meltdown in 2008 was a tough period as antiques are a luxury good, it was a tough time to stay afloat. This coupled with the fact that our location isn’t in the best part of town made it difficult to attract the clientele needed to support the business. Although the area has improved dramatically over the past 10 years, it is still a struggle to this day.

So with the hard economic times, I with the help of Dan Birx decided to start the Atlanta Auction Gallery roughly 8 years ago with the idea of shedding off the excess inventory in our building. The auction has had many ups and downs but I have struggled greatly to make it profitable. Very recently, I debated giving it up all together and selling everything and cutting my losses. When along came Vance McCoy to my rescue with the idea of using my inventory and positioning the company as a prop house for the burgeoning film and TV industry here in Atlanta. His ideas and effort are finally starting to pay off. It is good to have young blood in the game. Dan and I are looking to retire and spend more time with our children and grandchildren. I have 10 children and 18 grandchildren. Five of my children have followed me into the antique business and my sons Everett and Nicholas have taken over the moving business.

Maybe now I can take a few days off!