Last week, Jacqueline, Chris and I made our second annual road trip down to Brimfield, Massachusetts for the big Brimfield Antique & Collectibles Show. If you haven’t heard of this fair, it’s a week long, outdoor event with over 5000 vendors. The sheer scale of the show is incredible and I have yet to make it around to explore all of the fields on the mile-long stretch. If you like antiques or vintage things, even just a little bit, it is pure heaven.
Since this was our second year, I felt much more prepared in terms of what to expect, how to properly dress (two pairs of socks for the 6am start in morning, a winter hat & gloves) and which fields had vendors that I really liked. Last year we only spent a half day walking the fields, this year we planned for a day and a half and I thought it was the perfect amount of time.
Each of us had our mental list of things we were looking for. I was really just looking for some new stools for the shop. Jacqueline wanted a new patio set for her balcony and Chris is always on the lookout for jewelry and shoes. With so many incredible things to choose from and so much ground to cover, it’s good to have a strategy. When I first arrive, I like to spend a few hours by myself quickly skimming though as much of the show as possible. I focus on looking only the bigger items because I’d rather buy a few bigger pieces than lots of little bits and pieces. This is not easy! There are so many awesome tins, trinkets, accessories, and curiosities to spend your money on. By early afternoon, I had settled on a couple new desk chairs and three industrial stools. Jacqueline found her balcony set and a six foot wooden screen. Chris bought a huge glass liquor bottle for a friend. We basically filled the back of the van on the first day, so we knew that the second day would have to be focused on smaller items to fit in the cracks.
One of the things about Brimfield is that it is a week long show and and not all the fields open on the first day. Also, while most fields are free, some fields cost $5 to get into. Last year we had wondered what the difference was between the awesome stuff on the free fields and what might be behind the price of admission. On our second day, Jacqueline and I ventured into the New England Motel & Antique Market fields and were impressed right away. Most of the vendors had really great merchandising, turning their stalls and tents into cute little shops with enticing displays and vignettes. Plus all the stuff was pretty excellent too. I spent much more time on the second day looking through each booth, checking out all the interesting vintage what-nots. One of my strategies for not spending too much money is ‘shopping with my camera’. Somehow having photos of all the pretty things satisfies part of my need to own them. Weird, but true!
Next year, I hope to work up the nerve to do some people photos. There’s some great Brimfield fashion and in particular, I was loving everyone’s massive tote bags to carry all their goodies in.
You can see all my Brimfield photos here. There were some great vintage quilts and cross stitch samplers that we saw that gave me some great ideas for future projects. Last year’s post on Brimfield is here. Also, Grace has been posting her Brimfield trends here, here and here.