After years and years of missing out on the excitement and sometimes hysteria that is Brimfield, I finally made my way up to the triannual event two days ago. I was invited by Steve Marks, owner of Persons of Interest, to be his copilot. We left late on Wednesday night and arrived in a small town outside of Brimfield after only 3 hours on the road – crashed at a hotel and woke up early the next morning for what would be a full days work of digging for American treasures.
Different fields open on different days and for the regulars the excitement builds to a crescendo minutes before the gates open. Images of Black Friday lines come to mind but without any of the rewards. Dealers are still setting up their tents when you get in. Even though there are top of the line vendors at Brimfield, there’s also a lot of junk. It takes endurance and a good eye to see past this and to uncover that diamond. With a bit of ingenuity and care, that rough can become just the gem you were looking for.
For some vendors, fold out tables and tarps didn’t cut it, instead they were equipped with circus size tents, supple arm chairs, and industrialized fans. Some took extra strides to merchandise their goods. Howard’s was one of them. With his canvas tents and perfectly stylized props it felt like you were on set of Moonrise Kingdom with the help of a RRL stylist.
Being a rookie, I was directionless and wandering without any plan. However, it was a different story for Steve. He had a mental grocery list of things to outfit his two barbershops with. Textiles were on the top of my list and there was no shortage of them. Rugs and quilts were in abundance. But without the knowledge, I hesitated and couldn’t pull the trigger and left the day empty handed. Steve scored some choice finds including a lit sign that will adorn the outside of his shop in a few weeks.
It’s possible to do Brimfield in a day, though some may argue with that. It just depends on what your goal is. A clear head and a plan will be in order for the next visit if there is any loot to be had. Read More