Old Dog, New Tricks
So it turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. Here I am back where I started many, many moons ago. I began in the antiques and home decor business 8 years ago. Since I tend to chart my time in “kid years” now ever since becoming a mom - that is, “How old were the kids when “that” happened?” - Kate was only 3, Riley was about 4 months, and Finn wasn’t even on the timeline. I set-up my first blog shortly thereafter but I never seemed to have enough time to post. Maybe it was the midnight feedings or endless colic and food allergies or maybe it was just having three mommy-magnets attached to only two hips but I had lists. Lists of topics I was planning on writing about: how-to's on reviving antique and vintage discards, the ins and outs of hunting for finds, DIY home projects... and then life happened. The blog never took off but the antiquing and passion for interior design has never stopped.
September 2008 was my very first Brimfield show. My sweet friend Keri Seery of Antique Therapy somehow talked me into setting up with her. At the time, I was three months pregnant and in the throws of the most hateful of pregnancy symptoms: morning sickness. So in between staging furniture and chatting with customers, I’d be hauling it down to the porta-potties a few times a day to wretch. But it was worth it! That’s when the super-stars used to go shopping at Brimfield. You could easily run into Ralph Lauren, Rachel Ashwell, and Martha Stewart. Tommy Hilfiger, J. Crew, and Anthropologie used to send out their scouts to scour Brimfield for treasures to use in their catalog shoots and store displays or to steal some inspiration.
Keri and I brought the band back together for another encore performance this May 2015, and set-up at New England Motel in Brimfield. Turns out we missed our old spot in Shelton’s field in what is now referred to as “Decorator’s Row” but we still had lots of laughs, good sales, and met some very interesting folks. As the years have turned, our styles have evolved a bit but we are still true to our French/Nordic-style roots.
So welcome back! What started as Thistlebees is now Oldfield. As we fast-forward the years, Kate is almost 12, Riley 8, and little Finn, 6, will be starting kindergarten this fall. Lots of things have changed since I started in this business. The economy has bruised our bottoms a bit, finding treasures is much more difficult and competitive, and I’ve moved from focusing mainly on large pieces of furniture to antique smalls and mediums and hand-crafted, artisan goods.
My tagline for Thistlebees was “Dickens, a cup of tea, and a palm sander.” Some would say not much has changed but with age always comes wisdom. Oldfield is taking that old tagline up a notch. It’s moving from hobby to lifestyle. It’s blending the literary life I have always loved to teach and write about and making it a movement - a society where like-minded friends can share their passions for home, stories, and heritage. Oldfield is where bits and pieces of those Dicken’s novels will come to life. And if you’re wondering how in the world I am going to do that, I think you might want to go make yourself a spot of tea and settle down because this story is going to be good!