how to Brimfield

The late summer air smells of sausage and fried dough as antiques spill from tents in field after field for as far as I can see. 

a vendors tent full of vintage finds at Brimfield flea market

Brimfield—you are the flea market of my dreams! Everything I hoped: kettle corn and vintage finds. This small town in Massachusetts explodes three times a year from 3,000 locals to 250,000 treasure hunters. And for the first time, I’m one of them!

Since opening THE HŌM MARKET, Britt and I have been dreaming of this day: on the road, together, hunting:

Sandra Dawn kneeling in front of a stack of Turkish kilim rugs in natural undyed color with two brown stripes close together, repeating pattern
Sandra Dawn holding vintage Mexican pot and showing off her new fabulous cane
Denis the Menace classic comic at Brimfield Market
...and beads.
African stone beads in necklace and two small round, Bamileke shields

Some finds came home with us, others were enjoyed and left. 

We got into the van early with two coffees each (figured we should be well-caffeinated) for our three-hour drive, all-day hunt. We were not wrong. 

It was a day: long, hot, and glorious. 

Luckily, being the nerdy researcher I am, I read up on what to expect and mostly, was prepared:

  • Before the trip, I surveyed the map, saw which vendors/fields were open on which days in order to pick the best days for us. Of note: Brimfield is not one big sale, it's a town filled with many sales over many fields, open/closed on different days. Many of these “fields” require their own entry fees, which was typically $10 each (ex. Heart of the Mart, Hertan’s, May’s, etc.)
  • We parked centrally, paid the $10 (have cash)—so as not to lug our treasures a mile or more at the end of a long, humid day
  • Packed backpack with water, hand sanitizer, notebook, pen and back-up pencil (in case of rain) for taking notes, and snacks of course! 
  • Wore a hat, cute little rain boots just in case and lathered extra sunscreen
  • As we walked by the “food court” sniffed out lunch, knowing we’d be ravenous and wanted a plan before we just ate whatever was in front of us. We chose the best jerk chicken EVER! It was so good, we went back for more the next day. Hot tip: go a little early to avoid long lines.
  • Learned that the porta-potties in the parking lot were shockingly clean, so used them at the beginning of the day and midday when we brought our lighter wares back to the van. (Heavier items we left at the booths with a sold sign and circled back at the end of the day with the van.)
  • With a last-minute decision to stay a night, with nearly no options we booked a room at the Southbridge Hotel and were delighted by the cleanliness, complimentary coffee (well played, Southbridge), the friendly bartender, and the outdoor courtyard where we ate and had a well-deserved cocktail. 

It was an amazing first trip.

There were times we lagged, felt we were seeing the same booth again and again (in fact, that did happen, it's easy to get lost). But that's when a little jerk chicken will do just the trick and help you to see with new eyes again. 

Sandra eating spicy jerk chicken at Brimfield Flea Market

Spiced up, we were ready to find those perfectly imperfect pieces that we're both drawn to—items with stories and plenty of character that fit right into our cozy little shop back home in Hastings on Hudson.

We sometimes call our shop, the “She Shed”—an oasis where pillows stay fluffed, wiped counters stay clean, and shelves are artistically arranged and dust-free. It’s a magical place where dreams are coming true. So when we saw this—we knew, we’d arrived!

THE HōM MARKET co-founders Britt Summers and Sandra Dawn at Brimfield Flea Market in Massachusetts

Thanks Brimfield—we’ll be back.

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