Shown below is an article published in the Spring 2013 issue of the Brimfield Antique Guide that talks "About Us"
Brimfield Barn: “The Best Little Flea Market”
The Brimfield Barn Flea Market is one of the most recognizable "flea market" fields in town. Located in the westerly end of the Main Street "show strip," the lofty barn is a favorite photo backdrop for locals and visitors alike. In fact, Country Living Magazine chose a full color shot of the barn for their Brimfield coverage, and the curbside structure has long served as a highlight of countless TV news segments as well.
Dubbed "The Best Little Flea Market" for its quality dealers that draw shoppers from around the world, the Brimfield Barn field is host to 8 inside and 7 outside dealers that set up shop three times a year. Owners and former Brimfield residents, David and Patricia Schultz, have been operating the antiques show field for the last 26 years.
This issue of the Brimfield Antique Guide chats with the Schultz's about their field, its history, and what drives their success.
Q: Tell us about your field. How long have you been hosting dealers? And how many dealers set up in your fields each market show?
A. The Brimfield Barn Flea Market is a landmark on Route 20 and the corner of Prospect Hill Road. In May, 1986, my wife, Patricia, and I purchased the property from a local auctioneer. We have operated antique shows at the Barn for 26 years, that's 78 shows. This May we will celebrate our 79th show, and they get better every year!
The dealers inside the Barn are known for their fine hand- painted porcelain, art pottery, glass, fine art oil paintings, estate jewelry, silver-plate, sterling silver hollowware and flatware, and other wonderful treasurers - all of which are locked up at night and protected from the elements by the building. Under the tents around the Barn you will find architectural treasures, retro 50's, 60's, and 70's furniture and items, early American and European furniture, a large selection of vintage lighting & lamp parts, vintage jewelry, and an array of eclectic antiques and collectibles.
At this time, we have 15 quality dealers, more-or-less, at the Brimfield Barn, and we are known as "the best little flea market in Brimfield." Our dealers come from all over New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Kansas and Texas - many of our dealers have been with us since 1986. We invite you to visit our website and blog at www. Brimfieldbarn.com to view our dealers and their shops.
Q: Why did you decide to buy the barn and host the shows? (i.e., were you collectors, etc?)
A. For many years, we were avid buyers and sellers of antiques and collectibles – I specialized in European silver and Patricia specialized in American vintage fabric. In March 1968, we stumbled across an ad in the Sunday Boston Globe stating “Own Your Own Flea Market” and thought “WOW” - bought it that day – and the rest is history. The antique shows have flourished over the years and we have made many long-time friends.
Kristi & Eric, our two children, have grown up at our sides in the operation of the shows. For those who know the kids, here’s an update: Eric operates an antique and display business with many fortune 500 fashion industry customers. He sells customized furniture and recycled salvaged materials as décor and his merchandise is prominently featured in te shops and showrooms of such well known companies as Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Coach, among others. Kristi is now a teacher in Florida where she teaches science to gifted children. She also works at the Florida Aquarium Education Department where she scuba-dives in the shark tank. (Early training in Brimfield pays off when she swims with the sharks!!)
Q. What are your predictions for the 2013 season?
A: Dealers at the Brimfield Barn are predicting a very good season.
Q: Your barn is very recognizable, and has been the subject of many “Brimfield” photos. From your vantage point have you observed the shows changing through the years?
A: Yes, apparently the Barn is very photogenic and we were thrilled to see the full-page photo of the Brimfield Barn in the 2011 issue of Country Living Magazine. Regarding the changing of the shows, over the years, traditional antiques and collectibles have been a staple item and in demand at the Brimfield Barn. There are, however, new decoration and fashion trends towards retro 50's, 60's & 70's items, salvaged re-purposed factory & mill items, and steam punk, etc. Buyers can usually find what they are looking for at the Brimfield Bam.
Q: Brimfield continues to attract big crowds, and in fact seems to thrive, despite a stalled economy. To what do you attribute the continued success of the shows?
A: Brimfield has always been a "must stop, must see" highly visible market drawing huge crowds. The Brimfield Barn and other Brimfield shows have been featured on ABC's Good Morning America, in Country Living Magazine, Martha Stewart Living magazine, and Sunset Magazine, as well as Home and Garden Television's antiques show, The Antiques Road Show, and Flea Market Finds. These media moguls recognize there is a continued interest in American and European nostalgia, that is, traditional antiques and collectibles but, now coupled with the new retro, re-purposed (go green) furniture, the salvaged materials look for the younger buyers, and the steam punk look for the hip buyers, they will continue to feature stories that promote the Brimfield markets and send buyers to the shows. I believe they will keep up the good work.
Q: Being exposed to all the great offerings here, do you shop the shows yourself? What do you collect?
A: Patricia and I own an antique shop in Florida and are always looking for great buys to sell in our shop.
Q: What advice would you give to first time Brimfield show attendees?
A: Make your lodging reservations early. Plan on spending a few days at the markets - there's a lot of ground to cover. Leave your pets and young children at home. Wear comfortable shoes and layered clothing. Always be prepared for rain. Bring lots of money, and be polite to sellers when you negotiate a price.
Q: How would you describe the "Brimfield experience" in one sentence?
A: From the buyer's point of view, chances are very good you'll find what you're looking for in Brimfield. From the seller's point of view, Brimfield provides an opportunity to sell your merchandise at the best known, longest established, well promoted, and largest antique show in the East. And for buyers and sellers alike, it's a wonderful way to spend some time in the beautiful New England countryside.