How many auctioneers can boast that their career got a boost because of a sore throat? Strange, but true, Carrie Hands life as an auctioneer took off because of a throat virus.
Like most auctioneers, Carrie hadn’t planned on becoming a caller. When she graduated from high school, Carrie landed a job with the Royal Bank of Canada in her hometown of Brockville. Carrie was so good at what she did that the Bank promoted her and sent her to Toronto to work in their main office as a Customer Sales Supervisor.
In June, 1984 following her husband’s footsteps she graduated from World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa and in November of 2000 became a member of the Canadian Personal Property Appraisers Group. Carrie competed and won All Around World Lady Champion Auctioneer in 1986, 1987 and 1988. In March, 2007 she graduated from the Certified Auctioneers Institute on the University of Indiana campus in Bloomington, Indiana to earn her CAI designation.Time passed and Carrie returned to Brockville, only to meet John Hands and marry him. But Carrie didn’t just wed any man when she married John, she also wed an extremely well-known auction company. John was the son the legendary Country Auctioneer, Clayton Hands. In the auction industry, it almost seems that it’s a time honoured tradition for the partners of auctioneers to get seduced into the business, and so it was with Carrie. Inevitably, she began working with her husband on a part-time basis.
John passed away in February, 2000 and for the next 9 years Carrie juggled two companies – Hands Auction Service Ltd. and Hands Home Furnishings. However, in 2009 Carrie decided to devote all her time to her first love, the auction industry. Carrie handles antique, estate, jewellery, art, business liquidation, farm and real estate auctions. Carrie has also been a instructor at Canadian Auction College in Barrie, Ontario.
The fact that Carrie has been elected and served her time on the Board of Directors of both the Auctioneers Association of Canada and the Auctioneers Association of Ontario, is proof of the extent of the approval she has received from “the guys”.
At present Carrie is a director on the board of Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce as well as Chairperson for Brockville Women’s Scholarship committee. Carrie has also served twice as President of Brockville Women’s Network; been a People’s Warden for the St. James Anglican Church; and served as Board Director for the Brockville YMCA/YWCA. Carrie doesn’t let the grass grow under her feet.
Carrie may not be able to zero in on which type of auction or audience adds a special zing to her day, but she’s especially focused when it comes to knowing exactly the image she wants to deliver when bidders come to her auction house.
When Carrie puts her goods out on the table for an auction, she doesn’t want them just to sit there; she wants them to sell themselves. So a flair for display and merchandising is brought to bear when setting up for every sale. There’s also a dress code for staff. “I like to think we present our auctions in a more professional manner.
We give the seller good value for the commission we earn,” says Carrie. “It’s very important at the end of the day that my vendor is so satisfied that he’ll pass the word to anyone who’ll listen about how good we are at Hands Auction. Word of mouth advertising can’t be bought. You have to earn it. And there’s nothing that can compare to it for selling your business.
A third generation of Hands has learned the ways of their mother, father and grandfather. While Carrie’s sons, Jason is Territory Manager for Oyster Bay Wines, Eastern Ontario and Matt is Channel Sales Manager for RIM in Dubai, UAE, both are graduate auctioneers. “Both my sons grew up in the family business,” Carrie comments, “and, as a family, were very much part of the day to day activities. It was certainly a way of life for both boys!”
Nowadays, Jason is on hand at all the auctions with his own talented style of auctioneering. Matt is still involved from afar discussing and evaluating all corporate decisions. Carrie’s brother-in-law Jim Hands, wife Judy and nephew Trevor operate a successful auction business in Perth, Ontario. Truly an auction family!