Since last month's Newsletter
It's been quite a summer, with shows on four consecutive
weekends - a rare concentration, since we've cut our annual show
schedule to twelve.
When the summer Rhinebeck show was cancelled (the promoter's
euphemism was "postponed until 2012"), we signed up to exhibit
in Guilford, CT, at the Guilford Keeping Society's one-day
outdoor show. It felt like old times. We set our alarm for 3:00
a.m. on Saturday and were in Guilford at 6:00. We set up our
tent and shopped the field, finding a few small items. The
weather forecast was dire, calling for temperatures around 100
degrees, which gave half a dozen dealers sufficient (in their
minds) reason to excuse themselves. To our amazement, we had an
excellent day, far surpassing the gross of our three most recent
Rhinebeck summer outings, at a tiny fraction of the expense.
On the following weekend we traipsed to Woodstock, VT for the
Vermont Antiques Dealers/Woodstock Antiques Show. The VADA show
had not been very strong for us in recent years, and the
controversial move to Woodstock has seemed only to exacerbate
the issue. Feeling that this might be our last VADA show, we
decided to let out all the stops, advertising in the
Antiques and the Arts special show section, bringing our
very best things, and promoting the show in every way we could.
We even rented a trailer for the weekend, so that we could bring
an impressive 18th century pewter dresser as the focal point of
our booth. At the end of the show on Sunday, our gross sales
were seven dollars below our show expenses. We've decided not to
return to Woodstock.
Our third show was the Little Compton Antiques Festival in Rhode
Island. While the final sales figures showed a small profit, we
think that in 2012 we'll exhibit at another Ferguson and
d'Arruda show in Tiverton, only a few miles away and less
We finished the four-show run in Conway with our annual Tax
Holiday Weekend Sale. As we have done for three years, we marked
down everything in the shop and on our website by 20%, with
special markdowns - as much as 50% - on many other pieces. The
special markdowns were announced in an e-mail that went out at
6:00 on Friday evening. By bedtime our sales had exceeded those
of the Vermont show, and by the end of the weekend we'd had our
second best show of 2011. (Only our Spring Opening was a little
We've decided to extend this sale through the month of August.
Look for details below.
While July and August were busy months for our business, we
found time to complete several house and barn projects that have
languished on prior "Things to Do" lists. We replaced the cedar
fence that surrounds the mowing next to our house, recycling the
old rails as a zig-zag fence behind our workshop. The fences
looked so good that they inspired us to clear the brush that had
grown up on three sides of the barn, install a new side door
garden and lamp post (see related story, below), and dress the
paths in our kitchen and front gardens. The slate roof on our
barn had needed minor repair for a few years. We hired a roofer
to replace nearly one hundred missing or broken slates. We then
worked with him to restore our cupola: him on the roof, the two
of us on the ground, cutting and painting lumber. You'll find a
link to a few pictures of this project in this newsletter, too.
We've also found time to relax, do a little reading, and plan
our next visit to England in the fall. It's been a great summer.