What’s It Worth?

Our friend-customers came the other day. It is always great when they are here because we share so much more than just the buying-selling thing.  As we waved them out of the driveway, I felt that tug on my heartstrings, the one that sneaks up on you when someone special is leaving and you won’t be seeing them again for a while. I decided not to chase them down the road to ask for just a few more hours of their company since they had a trip of more than a day ahead of them. Instead, I sat down to think about how much my business is worth.

While I won’t pretend that the money isn’t of interest, I am thinking more about the value received from doing what we love, the intriguing layers of experiences, the things we see and learn and the variety of people we might never otherwise have known.  This is what makes us rich.

Bye Bye Brimfield

The truck and trailer are unloaded, the big stuff has melted into the barns and the smaller things lounge on the porches to be sorted and disbursed to the house, Bournebrook and customers who are waiting, I hope, patiently. I wonder who I am, where I am as I work my way back to real (?) life, so different from  crazy, frantic, wonderful Brimfield World. I’m glad to be home and wish I were there all at the same time.

I love every minute of Brimfield and my war stories tend to be ones that describe friends, great deals and good times (even the guy who gave my husband, Ken, a price of $2500 on a table and me…lagging less than 30 seconds behind…a price of $3000 made us laugh. We just can’t see the point of choosing unhappy over happy. And, let me just say that, at $2500, the table was $2000 over our price range anyway!)

I have to say, however, that I couldn’t run fast enough to avoid all of those other, negative kind of war stories. Some people thrive on grabbing the ear of any unsuspecting passerby to describe, in unattractive detail, the misfortunes of their lives, the lack of money, the ones who done them wrong. They don’t know how much they are negatively affecting their own lives and attracting more unfortunate situations. Not to mention how they bring everyone in their path down.  I have decided that enough is enough! I have a plan for Brimfield in September….

My textile dealer/friend, Sharon and her partner, Susan, have developed a fabulous line of colognes made from essential oils and crystals that are meant to affect changes in your system that allow you to attract clarity, happiness, prosperity, love, etc.  Come September, I am going to copy the department store perfume girls and just spray Sharon’s happy formula on anyone who looks, talks or acts in any way unhappy!  I will have a CD in my pocket playing that old 40′s Bing Crosby song…”you’ve got to accentuate the positive, elliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, and don’t mess with Mister In-Between”…….

Of course, this is only a day-dream, something to make me smile. But it sure would be nice to see Sharon’s cologne go global and everyone laughing their way through Brimfield in September.

PS…  If you would like to spritz your way to happy (or love, prosperity and other good things), contact Sharon and Susan of S Formulators (phone: 603-748-3790 or email:  sformulators@gmail.com ).  The scents are really devine….and who doesn’t want a good-smelling, good-feeling life?

Brimfield. July. Perfect.

It is Wednesday, 4:45 am, with just enough time to write a few words before dashing off to get in line for the 6am opening of New England Motel.

While most July Brimfields are so hot, hazy and humid that even the tiniest treasure seems too heavy to carry, this one is just perfect. It makes everything easier, more interesting, more fun.

We started Monday with Marrier’s Flea Market (nothing for us this time) and some of the tag sales along Route 32 where we found a few good pieces of furniture to re-upholster with German grain sacks.  Next, we headed for the always- wonderful Textile Show in Sturbridge and then on to assignations with dealer/friends in Brimfield.

Tuesday was  a very good buying day for us. We started at 5am and found more upholstered furniture, some hunky wooden tables with drawers and quite a few industrial tables and carts. Some favorite finds :  60 cakes of white soap…ca. 1940…with embossed people and lots of funky writing; a 4′ long builder’s model house with fabulous hardwood floors, electric lights, glass windows and bookcases; 4 dozen (authentic) silvered glass bottles; a large dome-top leather trunk; a full set of beautifully-painted organ pipes with the original hanging rack.

The crowds were there! People were buying and seem pleased. Everyone looked happy. The weather helps but, in the end, it’s all about the antiques!

Ooops! Time to get in line!

A Summer Full of Brimfield

Our summers seem to run from Brimfield to Brimfield to Brimfield.  No sooner has May ended than July is here, then September, and it’s over for another year. There are a million pleasing ways to while away the summer days, but, for us, nothing ever quite comes close to the thrill and satisfaction of Brimfield.

This past May, we set up at the Vintage Textile Show in Sturbridge, Ma. and Heart of the Mart at Brimfield.  We took hundreds of fabulous hand-decorated German grain sacks, furniture upholstered with grain sacks and industrial carts and tables for display. We had a wonderful time, sold most of what we brought, met some great people and spent  the other days of that week out in the fields buying.

We are not selling at any of the July shows so we will just be buying, seeing people,  and enjoying the whole experience. And, since we don’t have to get ready for any shows, we can spend our time talking about our favorite things at Brimfield.

Sitting in the food court at Hertan’s is right at the top of the list. Watching the people go by carrying everything under the sun, transporting treasures by any means possible. In May, we saw a man pushing a baby stroller. The stroller was bulging with antique loot while a poodle, presumably the normal occupant of the stroller, was happily riding on the hood. Also spotted, was a guy carrying a pile of chairs on his head. So many buyers ride bikes through the fields, later to be seen with both bike and rider loaded down with a virtual plethora of goodies.

Other things we love are the feeling on Tuesday morning when excitement is high and anything seems possible, the fresh-squeezed lemonade that just hits the spot after 3 hours of walking, the Pilgrim Sandwich even when the line is too long, the rush when the gates open, making it to your favorite dealer before anyone else, buying the coolest thing you’ve ever seen, the big chicken (or cow or man with a cane)…you know: the 15 foot tall wonder that took 6 strong men to unload, war stories, seeing your friend across the street carrying 4 chandeliers and knowing you would have helped her if only you hadn’t been carrying 6 yourself….

The buying and selling are fun and, of course,  great for business. But, it’s  the things that make us laugh, gawk, sneer or call our friends back home to report some amazing siting that keep us enthralled.