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Shop Tours, Travel

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

February 9, 2016

I just returned from a beautiful trip to Paris, then London, so I have a great deal to share with you but first, the highlight. My day at Merci in Paris with Artistic Director Daniel Rozensztroch. First, it was a dream come true to meet with him, not just for an interview, but for a store tour, lunch together and frequent chats throughout the day. He is such a creative man, a true artist, and I loved learning more about his life and travels which I’m thrilled to share with you now through my words and photographs.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

As Artistic Director, he is solely responsible for the overall image of this famed concept store which is a major design influencer in not only France but worldwide. Before coming to Merci, he was with top French interiors magazine, Marie Claire Maison, for 22 years as Editorial Advisor (Conseiller de la redaction). Now with Merci for 8 years as Artistic Director (Directeur artistique), it’s clear his attention to the brand, the customer, what’s happening globally in design and his own inner radar for what’s appealing fills his mind constantly and is something in which he possesses endless passion.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(One of the cafes in Merci, the Used Book Cafe, with walls of books to peruse while sipping espresso. This was born from Daniel’s creative imagination.)

Daniel combs the globe for inspiration and products to take under his wing and bring into the store but additionally, he organizes and curates massive installations in-store that frequently change, all based around themes which range from microtrends (he has the power to set them) and rising trends in either design, fashion, lifestyle, cooking or movements in thinking. He’s always watching the news to see how current events may influence or shape ideas for upcoming shows at the store. He likes to bring awareness to particular themes while also inspiring Merci customers. He likes to make people think. It’s not all about selling product to him, his passion reaches much farther than the wallet – he wishes to inspire collective consciousness to motivate people to consider their lives and the everyday decisions that they make to move towards greater positivity and joy. And products can certainly help aid in that, if you are shown the right ones, which is something he believes in as well – the power of the object and its ability to bring harmony to life.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

The current theme, for instance, is sports and wellness and is called Sport in the City. Clearly an important topic as cities globally are expanding awareness on the topic and more juice bars, sports clubs and fitness apparel shops are bursting open. Paris is currently experiencing a great awareness around health and fitness too. I observed this clearly as I saw about 50% less smokers than in times past when I had visited the city.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(We loved the Lumio lamp and walked away with one of the Marshall portable systems)

After the fitness theme, he gave me an insider’s tip that he’s worked with a team of talented people to develop a monochromatic theme based around African prints, patterns and design, which I cannot wait to see because I only think of saturated color when I think of most African textiles and furnishings.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(The men’s pop up shop, shown above. Daniel went home with that great camo coat and my friend Toni left with the camel jacket he is shown wearing. We had a great shopping day!)

What I noticed immediately upon meeting this talented man is that he listens more than he speaks. He believes in moderation, kindness, compassion, and in creating a meaningful home over time and certainly not to impress others. As we spoke, I sensed that he soaks in everything; which in turn helps him to later decipher what would be an interesting topic to explore for the store or for a future design (he is also a Designer). As a listener, when he does speak, there is something of substance to hold on to and consider later. I really appreciated this because it meant that conversation held more value and meaning, and wasn’t full of the typical surface topics which never really move you closer to the core of the person. He’s a lovely man to chat with, for sure.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(Adidas are so hot right now in Europe, especially these with the black stripes.)
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

I also caught on rather quickly that Daniel is obsessed with everyday items that are aesthetically-pleasing but also practical and functional, from a collapsible strainer he showed me in the Kitchen section along with a Japanese hand broom, to black matte cutlery on the floor for Home. His obsession clearly is what makes him so great at curating, his attention to detail and his dedication to collecting are inspiring because I also get excited over the little things so his passion was completely relatable to me.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I loved that they have an Aesop pop-up shop on their ground floor, I grabbed the geranium hand balm from the Auriga kit.)
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(Upstairs, they have a gorgeous paper shop. Swoon!)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

With a home in central Paris (where he tends to his small garden, a huge trend in Paris at the moment is this sort of renegade gardener) and another in the South of France, Daniel is frequently flying between homes but even more, frequently between countries – he travels to lands far and near in search of something that will catch his eye – it could be anything and generally, not always what is obvious. The sign of a true artist is to see something in what others may walk by, tapping into one’s imagination. His imagination is always running wild and his heart, completely open and free to explore, which makes him perfect for what others may consider an overwhelming responsibility to oversee and curate one of the most influential design stores in the world.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I spotted a sweet marbleware lampshade that I liked immediately as I began photographing the lower floor near the cafe.)

While lunching at Merci on the lower floor near the gardens, I was seated at a lively table with many languages being spoken, delicious foods constantly arriving before us, a bottle of wine because it’s France after all, and I sat across from Daniel and just felt nothing but warmth and joy as he spoke. During lunch, we spoke about Instagram (he isn’t using it currently but maybe soon, wink wink), social media and blogging in general, his role at Merci and how he decides upon the next big thing to show in-store. Here is Daniel below, this portrait of him really captures his personality well.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

It was a pleasure to be meet with someone with such a rich background who doesn’t bring ego into it. Our chat was relaxing and made me realize that there is no need to try to impress people when you are impressive enough, you know? Daniel doesn’t need to prove a thing. He is who he is and his confidence reflects that and it’s an endearing quality because it makes others feel at ease. When you leave ego out of your work, you can get REAL work done. You can do what is important.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I loved these glass vessels in their Home section and below, all of the ceramics – quite gorgeous. I walked away with the white/black basket shown lower left on the floor for Aidan’s toys to discreetly tuck away in our living room.)
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

After spending nearly a day at Merci eating, shopping, meeting lovely people and photographing the store with Toni, I walked away more excited to follow Daniel’s work going forward and to keep an eye on the Merci blog and IG to see what he will do for the next installation, and the next, and the next. I also want to return again soon to visit him and maybe steal some time for a coffee because I just liked him as a person. I can’t wait to see where he will go next with his imagination. For me, I loved meeting with someone who brings so much wisdom and value into his work. He’s not fresh out of college or eager, he isn’t insecure or naïve. He’s a seasoned professional, a creative guru, who has seen it all, done it all, and wants to do even more in a fresh, creative and better way.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(Their linens are to die for. Seriously, the best linen and the best quality ever. They have table linens and an entire room of bedding, as well. You can also order it all online. I also loved the Massimo Castagna flatware with the openwork handles. 

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I loved how many styles and periods they mix together but also how global it all is – it doesn’t look Scandi or French or Italian – it looks well-traveled and interesting, the contrasts are unique and add healthy tension, the focus is on comfort first.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(Many of their pieces are handmade, one of a kind, like the lighting show bottom left. These are all sourced and made by hand and sold exclusively at Merci.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(The stunning handmade Japanese pitchers on the table was a real highlight. I wanted so much to take one home and fill it with field flowers.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(White enamelled metal flatware by Stefania Di Petrillo definitely had my attention and was something else I desperately wanted to take home with me. I also loved the black and white marble enamelware plates, which is trending currently in Europe for the tabletop. I saw it in London in all of the best stores, too. But I spotted it at Merci first!)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I had to photograph the flowers and the simplicity of this tabletop. I loved the scalloped edges of this vintage farmhouse table. There is a lot of love in a table like that, and memories too.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(So nice to see mustard and black, but even more, the pottery and linen… and glass. Everything was so cozy looking and welcoming but also stylish and current.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I went home with the gorgeous chair above bottom right from HAY, I had to have it.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

I wish Daniel (shown throughout this post and above, with me) nothing but the best and thank him from the bottom of my heart (and my colleague, Toni, also thanks him too) for treating us like family and with such kindness – this was surely a highlight in my career that I’ll never, ever forget. And a big thanks to Toni for being the best travel partner ever and for all of the help, I couldn’t have done this without you!

Holly

(Photography: Holly Becker except bottom two photographs by Morten Toni Vinther)

Home Tours, Shop Tours

Studio Tour: Snug Studio in Hannover, Germany

September 25, 2015

Hello dear friends and happy Friday to you! So! I decided a few months ago to shake things up and challenge myself to a new project – to focus on my photography and build my skills in that area. I’ve been hiring photographers on projects for years but lately, I’m shooting more for clients and even for my next book which has made me happier than I had expected. My uncle and grandfather were both professional photographers so who knows, perhaps it’s a little bit of a calling? I’m not becoming a photographer but I thought I’d challenge myself to take better photos outside of my studio and home and shoot in other locations where I’d be forced to deal with different lighting, objects, people, work with others, make them happy, be in new settings… You know, stuff you need to do in order to push outside of your comfort zone.

Studio Tour: Snug Studio in Hannover, Germany

I made an appointment several months ago with snug studio, a local design firm that I’ve been following since they launched, and yesterday I visited them to put together this little story for all of you.  This creative firm consists of three friends, Berit, Kerstin and Heiko and their assistant, Bettina. Above is a glimpse of their Continue Reading…

Interviews, Shop Tours

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

November 8, 2013

Hi again! Next, I want to share this incredible homewares shop called Shelter 7 that I found through Tara Pearce, a brilliant photographer who wrote in earlier this week about Shelter 7, since she recently shot it and hoped I’d be open to sharing it on decor8. Of course, I said YES!

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7
Styled by Sami Johnson, this shop shoot came out so nice! I thought though that I’d go above and beyond sharing her amazing visuals and so I made contact with the shop owners to learn more about who they are and what they do. I’ve included my interview the Shelter 7 founders, husband and wife team Rebecca and Terry Meyer, below.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

 

For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

First of all, where are you located?
S7: We’re at 131 Ryrie Street, Geelong, Victoria Australia

How did you come up with the name Shelter 7?
S7: The name took a long time to come up with. We wanted an original name to capture the essence of where we live, so we went back to basics and came up with Shelter 7.

Can you tell us about your shop – the inspiration behind it?
S7: The shop is very much an extensions of mine and my husband’s love of unique and inspirational pieces. A combination of travel and vintage pieces sourced across the globe and some unique and very clever Australian designers.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

 

For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Describe your style in a few words:
S7: A combination of old, new, unique and well designed.

What are some popular brands in your shop?
S7: Pony Rider, Kip & Co, and La De Dah Kids for children’s toys.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

 

For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

 

For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Tell us about La De Dah Kids because I heard that this is also your company. What do you design?
S7: La De Dah Kids is our toy and kids accessories brand and our own unique designs. We design two ranges a year with the aim to design quirky and unusual pieces, with an ever-present emphasis on both affordability and quality. For our niche product range, we use old school making techniques such as knitting and crocheting. Our products are all made from the finest 100% cotton yarn and produced ethically in the comfort of our producers homes enabling them to work around their family needs such as child care etc. Our La De Dah Kids products are not only our own unique designs but are also made with love. They are tailored towards both children and the child at heart, lovers of the quirky and unusual, and anyone who reaches out to the amazing world with imagination, wonder and creativity.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

The bicycle print over the stairs – can you tell us more about that?
S7: This is created by Australian designers Pony Rider. They create versatile and inspiring pieces that look great thrown across your sofa, bed or hung as an artwork in the home.

Can you tell us about the shop space – it looks old and interesting. Did you have to renovate?
S7: The space had amazing light – but needed a huge amount of work to bring it back to life. It previously had been a costume shop for about 10 years. After a long 3 months of renovating and many late nights we found that we had uncovered the beauty and old character of the building. This gave our collection of sourced products the perfect home.

What challenges do you face as a shop owner?
S7: The work life balance is a big one and something that we have to constantly reassess.

How?
S7: We know that whilst the business is in it infantile stages this is difficult to overcome. So being aware of these problems and planning ahead the best we can.

What advice to do you have for others who want to launch a shop, whether online or brick and mortar?
S7: Ensure that you have a strong product line and strong and unique imagery that sets you apart from all your competitors.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Can you tell us more about the candles with the rifles on them? I want one!
S7: These are amazing aren’t they? This is a beautiful boutique brand in Sydney called Pigeon and Weasel. Their Triple scented soy wax candles are hand poured here in Australia into recycled glass beer bottles that the two co-founders collect from there local drinking hole. The scents are beautiful.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7
Can you tell us about the textiles on the hooks and the pillows? I’m in love!
S7: These are created by the very talented local Australian girls Kip & Co. They make the most beautiful bedlinen, towels and now rugs. Their designs are very unique and inspired by unique, wild, and brave art and nature, soaked up on their backpacking adventures around the globe.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7
Who makes the big pillow shown above?
S7: Again this is another of the lovely Pony Riders designs. These cushions are perfect for lazing around on a slow sunday afternoon.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Where do you source products for your store?
S7: We source products all over — from local designers here in Australia. We produce our own kids range and next year we will launch our adults line of homewares under the Shelter 7 brand.

Where do you go online for inspiration?
S7: Pinterest, photographers and decorating blogs are my biggest inspiration for the home.

Do you find blogs helpful in promoting your work and shop and if so, why?
S7: Blogs are very helpful in promoting our work on a global platform and also for finding shops. I know before I go on holidays I often research my favourite blogs for the “go-to” places and bloggers definitely do a great job of keeping us up to date on new and interesting places to visit.

Thank you so much, especially for sharing your gorgous shop and tips on new and inspiring products, with us today. Have a great weekend!

(images: tara pearce with permission)

Shop Tours

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

June 26, 2013

Hello everyone, this is Emilie, I usually write Playing With Food for decor8 but this time, I’m doing something a little different for you. Last week, Holly was invited to Copenhagen because Muuto presented their latest collection. She wasn’t able to attend so she sent me as her reporter instead and so I’m here to give you my report. Located on the top floor (under the roof) of a beautiful building in the heart of Copenhagen, Muuto is both a showroom and office space where their team works. It’s paradise!

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

For one day, I was given the opportunity to explore this creative brand and its spirit. Founded in 2006 by Peter Bonnén and Kristian Byrge, they are now a team of 35 people working at this location shown in central Copenhagen (but with many more virtual teammates!). But Muuto, what is it? Muuto is primarily a Nordic and Scandinavian brand that designs and manufactures furniture, lighting and other small objects with a single mindset: GOOD DESIGN. Their main material is wood. Tables, chairs, new vessels (which consist of a piece of wood and glass), wall dots … Wood is the center of their creativity.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

Despite a range of recognizable color, Muuto is not fixed and allows for creativity to each designer to offer new colors, shapes, objects. It’s a real creative and collaborative work environment, an exchange. The mantra of Muuto is: Be pro active in the design process and work in excellent conditions for successful collaborations.

Kristian and Pete, the founders, were not at all predestined to work in design. Training “commercial” (strategic management for Kristian and Economics for Pete) the field of a creative was not initially in the program. But their passion for architecture, supplies, design, brought them to work with designers and to develop Muuto. In fact, they knew immediately that they enjoyed to be surrounded by creative minds and designers. Their focus? Working with only Scandinavian designers to keep the spirit of the brand. All products are not exactly from the same place either, they know how to use the skills of each Scandinavian country to choose the best products for their line.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

Their inspiration? To become THE “new” design in Scandinavian. I’d say they are already a success! The Scandinavian design very popular 50-60 years begins to turn forward to give way to this new generation. Muuto philosophy could be summed up by their democratic design. Their furniture design often designated by three creations around the same ideas: basic, elaborate, inventive. Kristian said that it’s much like your wardrobe — you still need basic black jeans and a white tee shirt, then one more elaborate unique piece. It is the same with the Muuto collection!

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

Currently being sold in over 100 stores globally, Muuto extends its notoriety worldwide. What are their bestsellers? The dots coat hooks, available in 10 colors…

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

The E27 lights… Available in 11 colors!

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

The studio pendant lamp, available in 5 colors.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

And the Around table available in 2 different sizes and 6 different colors/finishes.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

What’s new? This incredible chair in gray, natural and black…

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

… And these vessels designed by Thomas Bentzen.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

Thank you Muuto (and Holly!) for giving me a lovely trip to Copenhagen to explore this collection and for the extra “free” day that I had to explore your beautiful city. What do you think about Mutto? Do you own any of their pieces? – Emilie

(images/text: emilie gupta)

Shop Tours

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

May 30, 2013

Hello decor8 readers! I’m Raina Kattelson from A Stylist’s Life visiting you today with part two of a mini series that Megan Camp and I pulled together for decor8 (her part one is here) while we were out shopping at Brimfield this month. I’m a NY-based stylist who has worked most recently with Anthology magazine, Country Living magazine and for designer Thom Filicia. I thought I’d share some of my personal highlights from Brimfield this year along with some tips of my own, so let’s get started!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

Brimfield Antique Show & Flea Market is a stylist’s playground with acres and acres of super cool treasures. And since my idea of a perfect day is to get up before sunrise and spend hours walking around searching for potential props for shoots, and lugging them home that’s where I happily headed this month. Most years I spend several days there but this time around could only spend one day – which is hardly enough to see 1/4 of what’s there…agony!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

So in the early dawn light I happened upon a booth calling to me with pottery in my favorite blues and greens. I scored a rectangular Italian blue vase decorated with charming flowers and an interesting glaze. I also added to my collection of Dansk cookware with a casserole dish in the most perfect shade of turquoise. The quirky chartreuse warming dish kept calling me so I couldn’t resist. It’s often the strange things that I wonder why I bought that become my most favorite props!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

I usually go to a market with some sort of rough wish list, which of course means I won’t find any of it – that’s a flea market curse. This time I was looking for a sideboard, marble sink, and bathroom mirrors for our new house, so zippo. Instead I found a groovy mid century hand made tile top bench/coffee table, which I have absolutely no use for but LOVE! The best part is the secret compartment at the bottom with extra tiles. It will happily find a home somewhere in my house. I also found my dream chair a Bruno Mathsson “Eva” chair with leather straps in great shape, that alone made the whole day worth it.

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

After wandering the fields to the point of total exhaustion I can’t say I saw too many new trends this year. Industrial, taxidermy and horns, signage and shabby chic seem to be sticking around. I saw a lot of brass and lucite, including a table that was reminiscent of a table in Celerie Kemble’s new line. Worn leather sports equipment was in quite a few booths, though some of the larger pieces are best left as props.

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

I’ve been shopping flea markets since I was a kid and for years as a pro so here’s some super important tips so you can score the best pieces and not find yourself an exhausted puddle on the ground. Here are my 7 top tips:

1. Arrive early, I know everyone says it.. But it’s true! I hate getting up early, but for a flea 6am on the fields is the time to find the best pieces.
2. A list is good even if you don’t ever find them it’s easy to forget that you needed a new coffee table and quickly blow your money on yet another chair you don’t need. If you don’t believe me check out my basement – it’s filled with chairs!
3. Shop for larger pieces first  (like furniture) – they go quickly.
4. If I see a piece I like but am not sure, I ask the price, take the booth number down and walk away. If it’s still calling to me a little while later I go back and get it. But if you really love it, jump on it right away. There’s nothing worse then going back and seeing your beloved piece with a sold sticker on it. And do write the booth info, no matter how much you think you will remember – you don’t. I have wasted precious shopping time trying to remember where something I now desperately wanted was.
5. Bring lot’s of cash and in small bills! It’s easier to haggle and then hand the dealer a small bill rather then whip out a $100 for a $10 item.
6. Look for shape – you can always repaint, refinish, reupholster.
7. Important things to bring: Cash, water, snacks – flea food usually stinks unless you are at the Brooklyn flea or Paris where the crepe truck is fab. Sunscreen, bags, bubble wrap and packing blankets are always in my trunk. There’s nothing worse then getting your piece home and finding it broken.

I hope that you have enjoyed my flea market tips! It was nice to be a guest on decor8 – thank you for having me Holly! If you missed Part One, click here.

– Raina

(images/text: raina kattelson)

Shop Tours

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

May 30, 2013

Hi decor8 readers, I’m Meagan Camp and I’m a photo stylist and designer based in New York who is visiting you today on decor8 with a guest post since Holly is working on location for her next book. Exciting! I’m going to talk about a favorite flea market in Massachusetts that I just attended with a little glimpse into my finds. So come along with me… Let’s go to the market!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

I wait in anticipation for Brimfield every year, either shopping for myself or for projects, this market has become a very valuable resource for trend forecasting and is incredibly inspiring for my work as a stylist. I like to go early in the week for the best selection and beat the crowds, although the best deals are at the end of the week because dealers don’t want to pack things back up. For a show the size of Brimfield with thousands of dealers, it’s impossible to see everything so it helps to go in knowing what you’re looking for while keeping in mind it’s the thrill of the hunt. I’m often shopping for clients so I’ll bring with me detailed measurements and inspirational pictures — when I’m out in the fields there’s no time to hesitate so when I see something, I’ll need to jump on it!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Many of the dealers set up their booths like mini-stores with beautifully styled vignettes, great music, even incense or a burning candle — the spaces are so beautiful that I’ll just stand and stare and soak it all in! It’s incredibly inspiring how each vendor chooses to set up their wares. As a stylist, I can definitely get caught up in the little details (like the red milliner feathers displayed a white ironstone bowl, antique doll heads lined up in a glass case or a row of antique glove molds). I love meeting other designers, store owners, and artists who thrive on this sort of thing — people fly in from all over the world to attend this show and there’s never a lack of interesting characters or excitement. Every once in a while you’ll pass by a film crew shooting or someone giving an interview. The whispers of J.Crew buyers running in and slapping their “J.Crew SOLD” stickers on everything (if you’ve been to Brimfield, you know exactly what I’m talking about!) is always the biggest gossip of the week!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

This year I was specifically shopping for a multi-functional table for a small apartment, a rustic farm table for an eat-in kitchen and any small props that caught my eye. Although I’m still on the hunt for a farm table, I found a wonderful vintage 1940’s drop leaf maple table with spindle legs that opens up to dining table yet can act as a console when the leaves are down. I also came away with an antique gray chippy adjustable stool with glass ball claw feet that will be perfect for a clients living room as a side table. A set of 1800’s antique plates with hand painted butterflies made their way home with me, I fell in love with their charm and couldn’t resist!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Both Raina Kattelson (a fellow stylist who traveled with me, who will have the part “two” for you soon on decor8 with her “take” on the show) and I have agreed the industrial style seems to be here to stay — almost every dealer had some kind of metal lab stool or rolling cart. It was getting a little out of hand there for a while where anything pulled out of an old building was considered “industrial” with a trendy price tag to match! I have noticed people are mixing the industrial pieces with more refined elements to soften the look of the very masculine, hard lines of the rusty, crusty metal; pale gray and cream painted furniture, faded linen upholstery, reclaimed wood, ironstone and silver pieces etc. This is a style I kept coming across while living in Northern California a few years ago and it seems to making its way to the East Coast. I was calling it California meets Swedish as it seems to be the play on light with a lived-in/casual lifestyle. Mid-century is also huge huge huge. I overheard a handful of dealers independently commenting about how they’ll need to bring more mad-men style pieces for the next show. Although I was there for the first day, many of the big pieces had already sold!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Cash is king at a market like this one, although I have found that many dealers are totally okay with checks for large ticket items and some will even accept credit cards. Negotiating is part of the game and the dealers expect it. I always try to start a conversation either by asking “what can you tell me about this piece” or “what are you asking for this piece?” From their answer I can usually gauge their mark-up and if the item is within my price range. In the heat of the moment, it’s important to remember you’ll always get more with honey than you will with vinegar — being polite and friendly will get you far! Negotiating a lower price can be as easy as asking “what’s your lowest price?” or “my budget is xyz, is there any chance you could meet me closer to that price range?” Of course, you don’t want to insult anyone by assuming their wares aren’t worth what they’re asking. If I’m really serious about something, I will let the dealer know how much I love the piece, the color, shape etc. I’ve heard some people say the opposite that you don’t want to seem too eager, but I have found most people will go lower on the price if they know the buyer appreciates what ever it is they’re selling — they picked it, pack it and unloaded it, after all! For many dealers, this is their livelihood and they appreciate enthusiasm for what they do.

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Brimfield has definitely become a giant retail store over the years, gone are the “good ‘ol days” when you could load up your car with treasures at bargain prices. Technology and a general interest in the antique industry has made everyone very aware of what items cost. According to many of the dealers, “these damn New Yorkers are driving up the prices”… *gulp*… I guess I’m guilty as charged! Brimfield is a party for people who like stuff and I joke that attending this show is like going to war; you’re tired, you get dirty, your body aches and you push through… and I love every second of it!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

So let’s recap with my 6 top tips:

1. Go early in the week for the BEST selection or end of the week for the BEST deals.
2. Go in knowing what you’re looking for.
3. Bring detailed measurements and inspirational pictures. (Holly wrote a post detailing a binder she made back in 2008 when she lived over here – check this out!)
4. Cash is king (though many dealers are totally okay with checks for large ticket items and some will even accept credit cards).
5. Negotiating is part of the game and the dealers expect it.
6. Be friendly with dealers – you’ll always get more with honey than you will with vinegar — being polite and friendly will get you far!

Psst: If you missed the May Brimfield show, don’t worry… There are two more for you to catch this year – here are the upcoming dates: July 9-14 and September 3-8. So rest up and get ready to shop!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Nice to visit you on decor8 today everyone! If you have any questions, please comment below and I will try to answer you. Thanks for having me! – Meagan.

(text/photos: Meagan Camp)

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