Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Brimfield Wrap Up

It was my first time as a vendor at the Brimfield Antique Fair. But that didn't stop me from
doing a little shopping of course.  Brimfield is an amazing place, and if you like to decorate
using older things, it is worth the trip.  Every category imaginable is there~from old fixtures and 
doors, to mid century modern, farmhouse and my favorite, French items.  
The best thing about this trip to Brimfield was sharing the experience with my son,
Justin Power, who has been running his Boston shop, Pioneer Goods Co. for the last 
two years, after starting with me in my shop, Maison Decor.  
The other best thing was the chance to meet in person, some of the folks I have
admired online, including the Swedish furniture and clock guy, The Lone Ranger,
and a brilliant artist, Jennifer Lanne.  I walked away with one of her barn board art panels,
painted to look like a mora clock.  It fits my home perfectly, a bit of whimsy, the mora obsession thing, and the duck egg blue color that I love.  But that is starting at the end of the story, so I will get back to Brimfield and do a little show and tell with the photos I snapped.
(Me, setting up our tent before we opened on Tuesday)
Tuesday was our set up day.  Hubs drove our stuff out in the big trailer, dropped us off
and then Justin and I worked our butts off trying to make sense of it all.
 It took us forever to get it looking how we wanted, mixing the french
 with the rustic americana was harder than we thought.  
Eventually we just put my stuff in one area and that seemed to work best.
Tired and exhausted, we left to check into our (fleabag) motel to get some shut eye.
Opening day had arrived after only 5 hours of sleep...
The sun was just starting to come up, and it was freezing outside. We arrived at our tent, only to discover we couldn't get inside!! We had been advised to close it with zipties, but we forgot to bring scissors or a jack knife to cut them off. hahah!! I went to a neighbor and she happily lent us her scissors.  
We got inside the booth, and got ready for the mad rush we had been told to expect.
Then right at 6 am, it began!  People were dashing in and out of our tent as if on an Easter Egg hunt.  We had no immediate sales and I quickly grew nervous.  But after about 45 minutes, sales started and didn't stop all day long.  It would be our best day of sales and we were quite thrilled with how it was going! 
 This is a shot of our tent, located in the New England Motel field. 
(Brimfield is a series of fields with names, and many have different opening dates and times.)
You can see Justin in the blue hat and the shoppers entering the tent.  
The guy with the baseball hat had just bought the blue metal garden chairs.
All of the garden furniture seemed quite popular, but our prices were great,
and we didn't want to take any of it back home with us.
 As things sold, we would need to revamp quickly and sometimes it was too hard
 to rearrange things so we would do it at the end of the day, or first thing in the morning. 
 This shot is inside our booth, and shows off an early pine step back cupboard and 
an old pine farm table, covered in old bottles.  All our garden chairs and tables and the like sold quickly.  Justin's early rustic style was translating into sales, clearly his stuff was popular.
 My style of vintage French was not selling at was a big surprise to me. 
 Thank goodness I never had the wild idea to do Brimfield with just my stuff!! 
Victoria, a blogger (Trois Petite Fils), came by with cupcakes and 
a fabulous pink french chair that I offered to consign for I was 
worried that maybe her French chair wouldn't sell either.
But it sold in about twenty minutes, and had three interested parties in it
right from the start. Two were photographers who thought the chair was
perfect for that cool kind of portrait shot in an antique chair, and one of them 
snapped it up for a mere $110. I told you we had great prices!

 So as Justin sold more and more, I would go on walkabouts looking for things
 I might want to take home.  And I had every intention of finding the dealers in the past 
who load up on the Shabby Chic French stuff.  My favorite dealer, Donna, was now
 on the main drag in our field and I couldn't wait to get a break to go see her booth.
 Her booth was bigger this year, and absolutely loaded with wonderful things.  She sells under the name of Corrabelle Rose, and I am pretty sure she sells on eBay as well as all the big shows.  
 Donna sells all things pink and shabby, like old windows and doors and vintage 
paintings and fabrics embellished with roses.
 This is another shot from her booth. I bought two old pink silk lampshades from Donna as well as a painted backdrop of Hollyhocks. Justin was back tending the booth sales, and I had left on a quick "bathroom break" which meant I found the long way back to our booth, stopping in at those that caught my eye.  After Donna's tent, I made my way to finally see Jennifer Lanne's booth.
Jennifer Lanne is a NY artist and she was selling her fabulous floral paintings and her new line of textile art for the home.  Big squishy tuffets and eiderdowns and pillows covered in her paintings or old wallpaper from her old NY home are reproduced into fabrics for the home accessories. 
 I had recently bought a pillow and now I wanted to check out her mora clock
paintings that she does on barn boards. 
We had met quickly the first day during the setting up phase, and now that we were on day 3 I had more leisure time to check our her booth and see if I would find some art to take home.
And there it was....right behind her she had two of her clock paintings, one already
marked with a sold tag.  I claimed the other in a heart beat!  She is just so talented and 
I love her whimsical style and upbeat personality that comes across in her paintings.
 Right next to her booth was Flax and Bloom, a booth owned by Sandra Kelly
 and decorated with quite a bit of Jennifer's artwork. 
 It was the most magical booth in all of Brimfield!  
I found so much inspiration here, it was Swedish Gustavian and whimsy 
all rolled into one big yummy ball!  I briefly spoke to Sandy 
but she was busy as all get out with the mobs in her pretty and popular booth.
 The next exciting booth I wanted to check out was the Lone Ranger! 
 He sells Mora Clocks, and you can see them tied to the posts all around his
 enormous booth. Prices range from about $2000 for a simple clock to $5000 
for a decorative version.  His clocks have reproduction faces with battery clock works,
 but the cases are true antiques, although many are restored.  
Simply exquisite!  
The interior of his booth had loads of Swedish and Gustavian style furnishings
one more desirable than the next.  I enjoyed a long conversation with him on 
a Gustavian settee and he was incredibly nice and generous with his information
about his business.  What a breath of fresh air!  He has legions of fans, and I can see why.
I hurried back to the tent, my "bathroom break" was way too long!
 Whenever I would return to our tent, the scene was always the same, with Justin selling...
The shoppers were never ending, and we were on our toes for the hours the field was open.
 More "bathroom breaks" for me so I could visit more French style dealers.
  Our field at New England Motel has the best French dealers!! 
 This wonderful French booth was a few doors down from ours.
 Jenny had the most beautiful things, and her friend who helped her run the booth, Suzanne, recognized me from my blog on the first day while I was setting up. She was a delight!
Jenny's business name is Two Cherubs and she travels yearly to France bringing 
things home to sell.  She has a shop in New Jersey, and her inventory is amazing.
I loved shopping during my breaks and checking out all of the lovely things 
in our New England Motel field.  I never made it any other field.
  Then  I would head back again to find shoppers, like these ladies debating to buy this long farmhouse table we had in the center of our tent.  Although not old, (a farmhouse reproduction piece) they passed on it, and suddenly it occurred to me that I wanted the big plank top table for MY dining room!! So I told Justin I wanted which he said, lets mark it up and if it sells at a ridiculous price then so be it.  So thats what we did, but it never sold. As a matter of fact it was clear to us that many people were just random shoppers looking for crazy bargain prices.  With a few exceptions, like decorator sales for their clients, we noticed that price was everything for most shoppers.  And I mean crazy low prices....ugh. 
 By Thursday afternoon things were slowing down, and I decided to return home because my 
feet and back were telling me they needed a break. Hubs was telling me I had loved ones at home and a needy puppy to get back to...I really wanted to sleep in my own bed too.  So after spending Mothers Day loading trailers and Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday on my feet lifting furniture, I departed Brimfield.  Justin would be on his own til Friday, when Colin went out to help.  
 The amazing thing about Brimfield is the quality and quantity of antiques you can find.
These urns were amazing, and priced for the wealthy. 
 They were still there on closing day. 
Off to another show until they find their forever mansion.
 Back in our booth, we cut and slashed prices and most of our inventory sold. 
 Justin's shop is closing, and we had no place to bring back our inventory to sell...
that is another story to tell, the closing of the amazing Pioneer Goods Co store. 
Next July and September when Brimfield returns, I will be back as a shopper.  Its 
such a wonderful experience, and I love the fun of it all.
 You never know what you are going to come across that makes you fall in love...
On my way to the dealer parking lot on Thursday, I ran across this mirror.
It said, Take me Home.
And so I did. 
One more thing...
This was an extra special experience with my son, Justin.
I loved doing this with him, he is such a great guy~so helpful to 
the solo women vendors who needed a helping hand, and a real trooper
for sticking it out for the entire week. Well done Justin! 
You make me very proud to be your mom.

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  1. Awesome to finally meet you and chit chat!
    You seem to have captured the essence of Brimfield! There's nothing else quite like it.

  2. Thank you for sharing "your" Brimfield. Always great seeing things through your eyes. But, now I'm sad -- Pioneer Goods Co is closing????? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully Justin is on to something else that fuels his creative soul and let's us tap into his world.

  3. Oh the images!! What a fun adventure although tiring too..but wonderful things to see and people to meet. I loved your booth and the ones you visited. Really something for everyone to be had. Thank for taking the time to share and post.

  4. This is a wonderful NEM wrap up. I loved setting up on that field. The energy is great and film crews seem to like it. We had a lot of fun at New England Motel. Sorry to hear about Pioneer Goods. Best Of luck to Justin.

  5. I have read about Brimfield for years, but from buyers. Your insider take is fascinating!

  6. Thanks so much for the pictures
    I have wanted to go to Brimfield for years
    Loved those painted boards that looked like a tall clock

  7. I so loved this tour Amy, nothing like that here in Australia that I know of anyway. Loved all the pics I would have loved to have been there. Sorry to hear about Justin's shop closing down but atleast you both gave it a go and can move on to the next thing. I am in the process of opening shop now something I have wanted to do for years. I am just waiting for the keys. Your photos have given me some inspiration on how to cover the bare plain walls of the store. Always love your posts.. take care.xx

  8. I loved this tour! I may never get the chance to go shopping there so it was so nice to see up close and personal pics of things I like. Your booth looked great! I'm sure that was a lot of work! Sorry to hear that your son is closing his shop too. You'll have to let us know what he plans on doing next. I always think of the show "Flea Market Flip" whenever I see Brimfield Antiques.

  9. Oh, I see so many great things! So good to see Victoria. I miss her blogging like she used to. So is so artistic and creative. I love the painting of the clock you got. Whimsy is good!

  10. What a wonderful post Amy! First, it makes me want to go to Brimfield SO BADLY! We have so little antiques sources here in Los Angeles; the Rose Bowl flea market is about all we have and it's expensive and rarely has any European or French items at all. I want those white Frenchy urns so badly!! And the other thing I am so touched by is your tribute to your son. I'm sure it is sad that he is closing his store, but how lovely that you shared this experience with him.

    Maybe I will get there one day:)


  11. How fun going back to my Brimfield days....brings back a lot of fun memories. You caught a lot of gorgeous pictures, those urns...YES!
    Pioneer Goods is closing? I hope this means Justin is moving onto another exciting chapter, when one door closes another opens...and with you by his side I know great things lie ahead!

  12. So sorry to hear Justin's shop too is closing :-( It's a hard life being a shopkeeper. All your inventory, all your retail space has to be paid for every day, all day whether or not anyone comes to the shop. Not to mention unless one can hire employees, the shop owner has to be there daily.

    But for those years when you and Justin had your shops, the buyers got fantastic and wonderful things for their homes. They'll always love knowing they "got their treasures when......"

    Love your style Amy! ....and of course that gorgeous little puppy too! :-)

  13. I am so sad reading that Justin will be closing his store. As a store owner I understand all the reasons that brought him to this decision.

  14. Hi Amy!
    First, I want to tell you that I absolutely LOVE your blog!! You are amazing!! I look forward to every post! :)
    Second, how cool is it Victoria showed up?! I follow her as well and really enjoy her blog.
    Lastly, I'm wondering a few things...did you bring that table home and will we see it? Did you ever put the trim on your French, reupholstered chair? Can you supply a link or something to Corrabelle Rose? I tried a search for her on Etsy and came up with nothing.
    I hope you have a great weekend and thank you so much for your creative, warm, totally beautiful blog. You are the perfect mix of great talent and warmth! :)

  15. Looks like a wonderful adventure, I wish I could have been there. So sorry to hear your son is closing his shop. Must be off to new adventures! It is surprising that your french pieces were not selling. But Farmhouse style is so big right now. I myself am still loving Shabby Romantic Country French style with a touch of elegance. I love your home tour and I like all the things you create.

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  17. The booth looked amazing! You're such a great momma, Amy! xx


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