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April 27, 2017

Selling in Brimfield for the Very First Time! (Part 1)


Many dealers in Brimfield have been setting up at the show for years. Perhaps even decades. If you are a regular Brimfield shopper you probably have at least a handful of dealers you hit up every time you come. They're in the same spot and they may have different merchandise each time but their set up remains pretty consistent.

Alternatively, there are dealers at every show who are selling there for the very first time. You may not know who they are or what went into them being there. It may not be obvious that it's their first time. But chances are good that setting up in Brimfield for the first time is a big deal to them. It's not exactly an easy show to do for a lot of reasons and there's a lot to consider.

In this post we will take a closer look at three dealers who will be selling in Brimfield for their first time at the May 2017 show.

Autumn Harvest Woodworking

Pair of colonial glass front cabinets - Autumn Harvest Woodworking
Roger Madore in the man behind the magic at Autumn Harvest Woodworking. His pieces are all custom made with fine woodworking techniques. It's a side business that he is very passionate about and he is really excited to be debuting some of his beautiful pieces at Central Park site 66 in Brimfield in May. Use the app to find him!

"My business focus is on country colonial style pieces. I sell mostly free standing cabinets, tables, kitchen islands, vanities. Most is sold by word of mouth and Craigslist and Facebook on my page. My team is just me and I've been doing this for 3 1/2 years beside my full time job at a aerospace company. I like doing one off pieces with character to them. I come up with ideas in my head and build them off of that with no written plans."

Roger has shopped in Brimfield for years. He has used the show for ideas and inspiration for his pieces but finds it a bit overwhelming because there is so much to see. He is very anxious to see what kind of response his pieces get at the show.

Since he isn't selling authentic antiques his options of which fields to set up on were somewhat limited. Some fields are more strict about this than others. Choosing a field to set up on can be tricky business and location can sometimes make a big difference. It takes some dealers multiple shows trying out different fields or different spaces on a field to find what works best for them. There also isn't an easy way securing a spot, especially for the May show. You have to contact each field individually (and there are 20+ fields!). Many don't have websites and you are also limited to spaces that longtime dealers have not already secured.

Glass front cabinets - Autumn Harvest Woodworking
There are such a wide variety of dealers in Brimfield. Some sell smalls, some sell glass, some sell furniture, some selling clothing. What you sell can make a big difference in what challenges you have with setting up. Roger is bringing large pieces of furniture. They will fill up his 20x20 booth fairly easily but as someone who is running his business on the side, he is renting a truck to get everything there and isn't sure what to expect for the following weekend when it's time to pack up and go home. There are lots of unknowns when you are doing any show for the first time.

Roger is also doing the show solo which will have an impact on his week. That's not unheard of by any means but it does add some extra challenges. Especially for someone doing their first show. It makes running to grab food or use the restroom tricky and doesn't leave much time for shopping. But Roger is really looking forward to spending the week talking to customers and meeting new people.

Red farmhouse island with butcher block top - Autumn Harvest Woodworking
Be sure to make your way over to Central Park to say hello to Roger and see his beautiful work in person. You can use the app to find him! And if you are in the market (or expect to be) for beautiful custom made furniture, be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

Thrifty Sisters Vintage

Jon and Danielle Coleman are the couple behind Thrifty Sisters Vintage, which is named for their three daughters who inherited their love of vintage and antiques. Danielle's mother was an antique button collector and the "thrill of the hunt" runs through the whole family.

"We bring our eclectic, coveted mix of vintage and antique finds to our customers in the Hudson, NY shop: Antigo; in addition to the Brooklyn Flea as visiting vendors. As artists, we find the aesthetic as important as the history. Vintage and antique artifacts are given new life once we have unearthed them from their past and connected them with their future. We have been in business for the past 8 years."

Miscellaneous bling - Thrifty Sisters Vintage
As an artist, art teacher, collector, and mother, Danielle says she is intrigued by colorful, unique oddities from the past. Their wares range in size, age, era and style but often include mid century modern furniture and textiles, vintage/retro and antique clothing from the 1800's to the 1980s', fun and funky jewelry, industrial components, ephemera and vintage kitchenware.

Last summer they took a picking adventure. "Blue Ridge Parkway and the Smoky Mountains proved a most fruitful collecting and exploring trip. We came home tired, enlightened, and packed to the brim with a profusion of goods to reclaim and pass on."

Heywood Wakefield chairs - Thrifty Sisters Vintage
Danielle acknowledged that choosing a location within Brimfield to set up for the first time was overwhelming. They have shopped Brimfield in the past but shopping and selling are very different from each other (although most vendors do end up shopping while they're there!). Social media helped them find vendors with similar interests and ask for recommendations. They ultimately decided on Hertan's and will be at space 184 (you can also use the app to find them!).

A show like Brimfield can be a challenge for families with young children. We can certainly attest to that! Since it will be their first time doing the show they are reluctantly leaving the girls at home this time around so they can focus on making the most of the show. Whether you take them with you or leave them behind, it is still difficult to balance everyone's needs when the week is such a whirlwind. Another benefit to Hertan's is that they open on Wednesday (many other fields open on Tuesday) and they are planning to stay until Friday so their "week" will be a bit shorter than if they were there Tuesday through Sunday. Some dealers also prefer to do a show that opens later in the week so they have some time to shop too!

Beautiful woodworking set of drawers - Thrifty Sisters Vintage
Generally speaking, dealers tend to be a pretty social group. Jon, in particular, is really looking forward to the opportunity to meet and talk with people from all over the world. "Through our travels and shows we have made friends, learned the stories behind some amazing artifacts, and come to love the human connection. The mutual interest in all things old."

Please make your way over to Hertan's to say hello and support one of Brimfield's newest dealers! You can also follow them on Instagram to see their latest finds!


Nomads' Novelties is another couple-run business run by Seth Matteson and Emily Mantell. "We are a girlfriend and boyfriend duo who share a common love for ‘junk’ and the story that it tells. Our shop is the result of an Instagram account that we created in 2012, where we shared our thrift store and flea market finds. Our followers started asking if we would ever sell what we found, but at the time we were only sharing items from our personal collection and we were both full-time college students with part-time jobs, leaving us with little to no time to even think about selling."

A recent weekend haul - Nomads' Novelties
In 2015, they finally decided to open an Etsy shop to earn extra income to make ends meet while they were still in college. They set aside a space in their closet for a storage tote to hold their inventory. It eventually snowballed into the full-time endeavor it is today.  "What was once a tiny container in our closet has now transformed into a studio as well as a storage unit, and we are hoping to expand even more in the near future."

They pride themselves on their eclectic mix of items. "In the same tent you’ll be able to find late 1800's lithographs, early 1900's industrial furniture, 1940's day dresses, mid century modern d├ęcor, southwestern jewelry, and 1970's/80's band shirts."

Nomads' Novelties
They have shopped Brimfield in the past and say it gives them a "Christmas morning" feeling every time. (If you are reading this, chances are you can relate to that!). It will be interesting to see how selling at the show will compare to buying.

There was a lot that went into the decision to sell in Brimfield for the first time but ultimately they felt like it was an opportunity to be at the show to purchase new inventory while also getting their name out there and networking. They have friends who set up in Shelton's and have shopped there in the past so they decided to set up on that field themselves.

Turquoise jewelry - Nomads' Novelties
Since there are two people they will have more opportunities to shop than someone who is running their booth solo, but how much will setting up and running the booth cut into their shopping time? "The hardest part will definitely be not being able to be out buying, as we normally would be. Forget about moving all of the heavy furniture off of the truck or deciding how we will be staging the booth… we’re scared for all the amazing treasures we will see go right by our tent that we didn’t get to buy!"

Please make sure to stop by their booth at Shelton's (use the app to find them!) to see all these novelties in person. And if you love what you see or aren't able to make it, check out their fresh finds by following them on Instagram and purchase through their Etsy shop. They also have a studio in the Velvet Mill in Stonington, CT which is open by appointment.

Let us know by commenting if you make it to any of these great new booths and we will be doing a follow up post after the show to hear about how each of these veteran dealers but Brimfield newbies fared. Did the show meet their expectations? What worked and what didn't? And the big question: Will they be back?

Stay tuned!
Kaitlin

The Brimfield Flea Finder app was developed specifically for the Brimfield Antique Shows. The app is free to download in The App Store. Visit www.brimfieldapp.com for more about the app and www.brimfield.com for general show information.

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