Well we certainly live in a strange new world, with quarantines and face masks and online school. It wasn’t the change any of us anticipated when we made our plans for the new year!
Just a few months ago, I was pondering what direction my business would take in 2020. I felt sure of one thing, change was in the air or maybe it was the prospect of a new adventure. Over the past 6 years, I had been developing the Antica Market brand, from a few summer weekend tent sales to a brick and mortar space in Sweet Clover Barn and an online Etsy business. Before looking toward the future, I wanted to take a moment to look back on where I’ve been.
In the summer of 2014 I had a strong desire to do some creative work outside my home. I had already established a small Etsy shop and was just getting started selling some small antique pieces and handmade grain sack tote bags.
Then I heard that the Old Luckett’s Store in Virginia decided to rent tent space on their property the first weekend of each month and I thought I’d give it a try to see if I could grow my fledgling business.
Here is a peek inside that first tent space.
I spent a few months curating pieces and learning how to fix up furniture using chalk paint, stain and upholstery. I was really proud of the colonial sideboard I refinished. I stripped the top and sealed it with hemp oil, then painted the body in Annie Sloan’s Old Ochre Chalk Paint. I also loved the drop leaf dining table that I painstakingly whitewashed. I remember selling it to a couple who wanted to furnish their beach house. They started to haggle a bit, which is normal for these type of sales, and we went back and forth for a few minutes. This process felt slightly awkward to me because I knew the work I had put into the piece and didn’t want to undervalue it, at the same time I wanted to be gracious. After settling on a price we continued to chat only to find out we had both attended the same small Christian college outside of Pittsburgh, Pa. We both kind of chuckled at what a small world it is.
I was happy with my work and loved the interaction with customers – so much so that I signed up for a few more tent sales – one in December and a couple the following summer, although I wasn’t brave enough to give the big annual Luckett’s Spring Market a try yet.
In the fall of 2015 I was offered a brick and mortar space in Sweet Clover Barn in Frederick, MD.
Walls were such a novelty! I enjoyed playing around with them, hanging ironstone plates, silver trays, baskets and artwork. I also enjoyed the interaction with the other creative shop owners at the barn.
For the past five years the barn shop has provided me the opportunity to hone my staging skills, develop my decor style and branch out to provide some wholesale lines in addition to furniture and antiques.
Looking back through these photos I realize that for all the work that went into it, my time at the barn has flown by because it has been work that I’ve truly enjoyed. In my next post I’ll share about my decision to leave the barn and the plans and hopes I have for the future.
Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment if you’d like – I’d love to hear from you.