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 décor, 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!

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

A Brimfield Love Story by Eat Sleep Vintage

Brimfield dealers all have their own personal stories of how they found their way to the epic show. Most started as buyers and eventually worked their way into selling. Some have been coming since childhood while others discovered it later in life. In this post, Maureen of Eat Sleep Vintage, is sharing the story of how she fell in love with antiques and how Brimfield found a place in her life. Enjoy!
- Kaitlin

Eat Sleep Vintage. This name personifies me and my love for antiques...I'm not sure how I fell in love with them. I didn't grow up with them in our home, but I remember being about 17, and happened to stop at a garage sale while out and about one day and I found an antique sideboard and it was cheap! Maybe $30...What?? The craftsmanship was beautiful with carvings in the tiger oak. The gentleman told me about the history of it and I had to have it. I got it home somehow and put in the basement, saving it for when I would be out on my own one day. From there my addiction started...scouring flea markets and garage sales, learning about antiques, the beauty of them, the history, and the stories they told. Making numerous friends with dealers and shop owners, and acquiring a ton of things, storing them away for "some day"...I remember my father yelling, when are you going to get rid of that junk, as the basement was now full. It amazed me what could be found out there for little to no money..such treasures! What is wrong with people, don't they realize what this is?? My heart raced just thinking about some of the things I was lucky to find.

Eventually, I did move out and furnished my apartment with all of my finds, and years later, I opened an antique shop! I loved that store and all the years of buying and displaying and telling people the stories of where they were found or what they were, and sharing my excitement for these things...Throughout all of those years, I had always heard of this place called Brimfield. I remember when I was young seeing Martha Stewart on TV at this gigantic Market, having no idea where it was, but my heart....just watching her. I had to go there! As I bought from dealers over the years, they would point to a rare piece and say, I'm saving that for Brimfield...What the heck is this place.......

Finally, in 2004, I said, that's it, wherever this is, I'm going! So I mapped it out and emptied my truck, and off I went. It's was a 3 1/2 hour drive, but well worth the trip. When I got there a day ahead of the show, I ventured out to see what everyone was talking about. I couldn't believe it! Everywhere you looked there were tents and fields and people and things and nonstop antiques, with things you have never seen before. Whatever you collect, it is there. I almost fainted, and thought, I am going to be broke!...and i was..but after a week, my car was loaded to the brim, with things tied to the roof..and had so much fun meeting all of these new people and hearing their stories...What an adventure..I went almost every year.
So fast forward to now...Last year, I decided, my big ideas, I should sell there! Why not? I only run a retail store and a wedding event planning business...I have time...I go there, I shop I love it...why not set up a booth? well...think of it as joining a carnival for a week, because that is exactly what it is takes months of preparing, thinking of how I want my booth to look, finding the right pieces, etc..making signs and tags, envisioning the feel I want when people walk in...renting a giant truck..loading up for 2 days and packing it to the brim..Then driving it up for 3 1/2 hours..Have you ever driven a large rental truck? When you get there, you check in and go scour the fields for a porter to unload you, they're all over the place but you ask for recommendations...and you shop around and you make new friends while you're out..and buy things! You spend money before you even begin...Then there is the set up..setting up your booth like a little store...creating vingnettes and pretty displays..hanging and tagging things, borrowing tools and ladders, getting everything in place in just a day or two... Meeting all of your fellow dealers around you, listening to their tales of the shows before. Most of them will sleep right in their booths or in their cars on the field for the week....O.k..why not? save a few dollars in hotel fees...sure...So I stayed in my truck the last show, thinking, lets try it?, it was now empty and like a little apartment! So I dragged in my blanket and pillow and set it up on the floor, brought in a lamp, with a 100 ft extension cord going out to find power..pulled down the back door part way and viola! So what that it's hot and there are bugs, so what....And you get up in the morning and walk down to the showers...lugging your bags and your clothes...and wait in line to try to freshen up and get ready for the day, venturing out early trying to find coffee and maybe a food truck with something to eat, then back before 6 a.m. as it's opening day!! They are piled up in front of our field in a hoard just waiting for 6 for the gates to open. And so it begins...the madness...the rush of the dealers running through your booths trying to find bargains and get deals..but you wait, there is a whole week ahead of you. And the day goes on and its all a blur, but you've met so many interesting people from all over the world and talked about their finds..and wished you were out there...and after 12 hours, we freshen things up and close our tents and get ready for tomorrow. The dealers on the field walk around and ask how you've done and who sold what and we tell our tales..there are drinks flowing and music playing and we are all exhausted, but we will do it all over again in the morning...I have so many stories from that week, so much fun and have made some great friends...Thanks to my tent mates, who would watch my booth while I ran for "coffee" and perhaps a giant 8 ft barn door that I saw right there!! that I had to buy while waiting in the starbucks line...and we'd scour the new fields on their opening days as others kept watch...Everyone does look out for one's a wonderful group of people, these dealers from all over. All with a love and appreciation for these beautiful things..and it's crazy and so fun and a ton of work, but I will do it all again in May and I can't wait! You see?? my heart! I eat it and sleep it and dream it and love it...and I'll take you along on my journey, but you really should try to come!! See you there!
- Maureen

You can find Eat Sleep Vintage at New England Motel. Use the app to find her exact location using GPS! Follow her on Instagram and Facebook to get sneak peeks at the beautiful items she finds.

Want to learn a bit more about other dealers? Check out some of my previous profiles of Rustored Salvage, Anthony Rosa Modern, Juniper Hill, Knock on Wood Antiques, Heja Home, Walker Homestead, Juniper Vintage, and the good home!

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