I made a small dent at the Brimfield Antique Show this past weekend and found some AMAZING vintage jewels. In the coming weeks I'm planning on reworking these into some modern charm necklaces, bracelets, and single asymmetrical earrings. I can't wait to share them with you! The below picture is just a handful of the pirate's treasure I discovered.
In this post I'll share tips for shopping the market and some of my favorite booths.
Brimfield is a HUGE, magical flea market in the heart of western Massachusetts. It's known as the biggest flea/antique show in the country with their largest attendance this year. It happens 3 times per year in May, July and September and each show spans 5 days. Plan on a commitment of 2 days ATLEAST if you want to cover everything.
The Brimfield website leaves a bit to be desired, but its a fast place to get show updates and market dates.
CASH IS KING!
Bringing cash will help you budget and also allow you to negotiate better prices. Many vendors will tack on the 2.75% fee that Square charges for using their swiping service.
If you have a Tax ID #, make sure you bring it along to avoid paying tax. I keep a picture of my certificate in my phone for fast access.
I've learned that the repeat vendors are in roughly the same spot each show. So, if you meet someone you really love, get their info and booth number. You can build a relationship with these vendors and they"ll keep their eyes peeled for items they know you'll love. You may even be able to get better deals!
see my favorite vendors and found objects below.
The above photo was snapped at Silk Road Handicrafts. This booth was filled with beautiful rugs, baskets, and hand carved wood blocks. I scored some of the old Indian coins from this basket and a woodblock stamp with a beautiful geometric floral pattern.
We happened upon a few booths of African beads and castings. This suitcase was filled to the brim with weird metal creatures: snakes, turtles, alligators. I found a happy little snake with a beautiful copper patina.
A FAVORITE booth from the show was Seed to Stem. They have a brick and mortar located at 174 Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA. This booth was a magical shire filled with plants, skulls and gemstones. A must visit for anyone who takes inspiration from nature. Seed to Stem is located in Shelton's Field near the east entrance of the show.
Mala beads were a staple at many import booths. These strands are typically made up of 108 beads and used to keep count while chanting or reciting a mantra. These particular beads were a wonderful quality and polished to a beautiful subdued shine.
Lastly, Gerry Harris's collection was OUT OF THIS WORLD. I discovered many of the charms I'm using in my new work at this booth. Her booth is called Those Were the Days. She doesn't have a web presence, so you'll have to visit her at Brimfield in September. Her booth is located in Mahogany Ridge.
All of the fields that house vendors have different owners and there is currently no database to search ALL Brimfield vendors. A great way to discover booths is through @BrimfieldFleaFinder. They run an Instagram page dedicated to connecting buyers and sellers at Brimfield. Dealer photos are posted on their page often with both numbers. You can also tag them at #BrimfieldFinds to share your flea market scores. It's a great way to help navigate the VASTNESS of this miles long antique show.
I'll definitely be back at the show this September. If you have the time you should definitely try to attend. It's a great place to get inspired, see some new and unusual eye candy, and make some great deals!
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