A&E’s reality series Storage Wars: New York star Chris Morelli is the loud and impetuous half of the creative duo of furniture redesign. He co-owns a vintage store The Frayed Knot with his cautious and calm partner, Tad Eaton.
Two partners on polar opposites simmer with disagreements over rooms. Chris operates to bid first, think second with the expectation that his partner Tad will sideline him. Chris, however is like a runaway train that even Chris cannot stop.
Chris generously took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for OnlineStorageAuctions.com.
Chris Morelli Interview
A. Lot of kids in the neighborhood. Lots of friends. Usual mischief that kids do. Teenage experimenting. Had my share of getting in trouble until I woke up one day and decided to do something with my life and start with college.
Q. Who was the greatest influence in your life growing up?
A. No one in particular. I just admired successful people and wanted the same.
Q. What was your childhood dream?
A. It sounds silly, but wanted to be a SINGER.
A. Bachelor of Science in Textile Design. I wanted to major in fashion design. They are both very similar, but to know the engineering aspects of textile would increase my abilities in the fashion industry.
A. I would not trade that experience for anything. I was successful and traveled extensively to places like Japan, Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai, London, Italy, Korea, and Germany.
Traveled so much that I began to tire of it, though I did enjoy it and was fortunate to enjoy the companies I worked for at that time.
Q. Why did you venture into the restaurant business?
A. After near two decades in menswear and having saved enough money; I wanted try another dream of mine which was to own a restaurant & bar. I love to cook and love to entertain. So, I wanted to be creative in a different way. I gambled it all and opened up Morelli’s Restaurant Bar in Chelsea, Manhattan.
The process of turning a building into a restaurant that was not one before created a lot of challenges with red tape I never expected and the expenses that were enormous – but I did it! It was my first restaurant & bar and it did very well. But for many reasons I won’t go into, I began to burn out and quickly learned I could have done things differently. So after five years, I decided to sell which was easy and profitable.
Q. What were your first experiences as an auction hunter?
A. My first experiences at auctions was when I was building my restaurant. I would look through the New York Times auction section and would go to restaurant auctions, building supply auctions, furniture auctions, etc. I tried to keep my cost down in building the restaurant so I bought everything at auction. My restaurant equipment: refrigerator, stoves, the wood I needed the tile floor, the glasses, furniture, dishes, candles, etc. Hell, I even bought the beautiful brand new black toilets at auction. I was addicted to auctions.
Q. What circumstances brought you together with Tad?
A. I wanted to sell my restaurant. I happened to meet Tad at a time where I was feeling burned out from the challenges of trying to succeed in restaurant business and he was in between jobs. We just clicked. What lied ahead we ended up going through together.
The Frayed Knot · 601 Newark St. · Hoboken, NJ · 07030
Q. How did you and Tad decide to become partners and own a store?
A. After selling the restaurant it was a while before I had to worry so much about which direction I would go. But soon the time came and being that Tad and I had gone through so much already and were still friends, it kind felt good if there was something we could do together that we both liked. That could be ours and we work for ourselves.
So saying we started with nothing at the time is pretty accurate except for one thing – we had a beat-up pickup truck we bought for $300. That was a great to start picking up items we thought we could fix, clean, rehab, or whatever to sell and make money. Little by little we got better at our craft and learned more about furniture, antiques, restoration and everything that makes The Frayed Knot so unique today.
Storage Wars: New York
Q. How did you get cast on the show?
A. We had been on a few shows on cable and thought something right would come our way soon. This show I noticed had an advertisement. I sent our information and photos and soon after, we got the call. In addition, we offered our store to producers to interview other possible cast members.
Q. Why are you such an impulsive buyer during the show?
A. Because I like to gamble. If I think there maybe something good there, I would rather buy it and take my chances than not. Tad likes to see that there is definitely something there before we buy.
Q. Why do you bid against yourself on the show?
A. I think I get caught up in the moment sometimes and not realizing that I just bid… I bid again just make sure. It’s not done on purpose and I’m probably just not paying good attention.
Q. Why were you nicknamed, “The Loudmouth?”
A. Because I’ve been told I don’t always think before I speak and I say something that is better left unsaid.
Q. Describe your cast mates:
- John Luke: Why did they call ME loudmouth? The man is Loud but a likeable guy.
- Candy: Pretty and funny and it doesn’t get much better than that. I think of pixie sticks and elves.
- Courtney: Tough girl and lots of fun. You would want her on your team.
- Mike: Up for just about anything but impatient at times.
- Joe P: Give it a rest already. That was then, this is now.
- Tad: Everyone loves Tad.
Q. What surprised you most about working on a reality television series?
A. Nothing really. Kinda of what I expected.
A. It’s just my way of saying – Oh, yeah! Or when I’m happy and things went the way I hoped.
Q. What has been your best find at any storage auction?
A. Someone willing to buy the stuff I wish I had never bought.
Q. What would be perfect room to buy?
A. Has a lot of valuables yet easy-to-sell items. A room that everyone else wish they got, and a room that is easy to clean out.
Chris enjoys chatting with his fans through social networks. Please “Like” his Facebook page at Chris Morelli – https://www.facebook.com/chris.morelli. You may also “Follow” him on Twitter @thefrayedknot.
A. A pulse! (Laughs.) Someone that is funny and not afraid to take risks.
Q. What was it like for your family and friends when they saw you on that first episode?
A. Exciting. They always thought eventually they would see me somewhere.
A. It was a job we did through Novogratz, well-known designers in New York. We have in the past done several projects with them. We love working with them.
Q. How do you relax from it all?
A. Just kick my shoes and do nothing.
Q. What are your hobbies?
A. I like to build things from wood and drive around in circles.
- Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
- Risk big to win big.
Q. What’s your best attribute?
A. Reliable guy with a good heart.
Q. What’s your worst attribute?
A. My mouth. I need to stop and think sometimes before I speak.
Q. What’s on your bucket list?
A. Open another restaurant among others. But to just truly enjoy what I am doing and be excited about every day.
Q. How would you like to be remembered?
A. As a generous guy with a good heart… and maybe skinny.
A man of Travels. A man of Dreams. A man of Charm.
Check your local listing on A&E channel for episodes of Storage Wars: New York.
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