Monday, March 24, 2008

Shuffling Off to Buffalo

The occasional sales in Buffalo will start on April 3rd so it is time to decide which hogs to herd in and how to set up my space. It is part of the never ending "Dancing with Furniture" that seems to occur everyday in this business.

Buffalo Minnesota has developed an interesting niche in the antiques and shabby chic sale market. The 8-9 shops located there are open one four-day weekend each month. The shops each have their own sense and style but as a group they are the shabby roses that I so often watch. There are two rules that seem to keep interest and sales up. The limited open time means that if you want the stuff you have to come now or forget it for a month. The second requires the dealers to remove their stock if it doesn’t sell in two months. The excitement created by limited opportunity and guaranteed fresh stock gets the shoppers to Buffalo for the Sales. And of course the stock is innovative, stylish, quirky and just plain fun.

I have been selling in this woman’s world for about 3 years. Among the roses of frilly pillows, rustic furniture, fabulous fabrics and cabin accessories I try to sell my hogs sprinkled with some real antiques. I am one of the 7-8 dealers who sell in a shop named the Porch and Atelier. The shop is housed in the historic 1905 brick post office in downtown Buffalo. The 2 storeys of the shop have sloping floors, field stone and brick walls, high ceilings, large windows, pressed tin and character to die for. (Of course, hanging frames on granite or brick walls is often problematic).

The limited opening time also means a limited time to stock and set up my space. And the limited space available to me means a puzzle dance to get the pieces to fit. I have started making my list of items and dancing my furniture into the space. I have the top half of a 1870's Victorian desk and bookcase that was painted turquoise 50-60 years ago, a rewired pierced tin hanging lamp, an oil painting of a sailing ship in an old paint maroon wood frame, a large round leather top coffee table with faux bamboo legs, a 6 pane window with wonderful greenish-white stained glass, fancy gesso frames some in gold and one in a sloppy old teal colored paint and multitude of tin boxes and other smalls. This is just my initial inventory. Other items will be added as they are painted, cleaned, pounded together and otherwise shabotaged for sale in the shop.

Mr. Flannery

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