Answering The Call

 

My restless, roaming spirit has called.

“Traveling is like flirting with life.  It’s like saying, I would love to stay and love, but I have to go; this is my situation” Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

The Coop is currently at an all time low in the junk department.  While I love pouring over beautiful catalogs, ordering from a catalog pales in comparison to the joy I experience junking, and meeting up with my friends who deal in the coolest junque!  “Chief Junker” is my favorite hat that I wear at The Coop.  Returning to The Coop with a trailer load satisfies my restless, roaming spirit with adventure.  I hate to leave my beloved Burton, but I have to Fly The Coop.  This is my situation.

The Coop will be closed January 14th – 23rd

Jeff and I are answering the call with a road trip to Ohio.  Armed with audio books and a journal for my crazy ideas, we’ll hit the road next week.  The hours on the road often feel endless.  If I’m lucky, we’ll stop at a few interesting places on the way.

I know once we make it to our destination I’ll have plenty of treasures to pick from.  I have an idea of what I’m looking for, but am always open to the unexpected.  On our last trip Jeff bought a stack of eight foot church pews (the seats and backs, without the ends) from our friend Ken.  I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea.  They took up a lot of room on our trailer.  There were enough ends to make four pews.  Jeff cut the eight foot pews into four foot sections and added a galvanized detail to the ends.  The finished product turned out fantastic.  The owners of The Grand Texana saw the pews Jeff crafted and commissioned him to make eighteen short pews out of the remaining stack of eight foot pews.  I shared this story with Ken.  He laughed and reminded me, “Tiffany you weren’t even 40% on those pews.”  Lesson learned.  Jeff and I will never question each other’s wisdom or sanity when junking.

I am on the hunt for specific treasures for a few of our customers.  I enjoy the satisfaction of finding the perfect piece and their delight when it is delivered.  Email me what you are looking for at eckhardt.tiffany@gmail.com if you are interested in this service.

Remember to stayed tuned to the Flown The Coop Facebook Page and Instagram account @2FlownTheCoop!  We’ll share our adventure on these two platforms.

Flown The Coop Reopens January 28th

The doors will reopen on Thursday, January 28th.  Will you answer the call to fly the coop?Plan a road trip to be the first to pick from the treasures we bring back to Burton.  While your here, show off your wings by taking a picture in front our Gen.U.Ine Free Spirit mural.  Tag them with #2Flownthecoop so we can celebrate all our free spirits!

#BringmetoBurton

Happy Trails!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky.

TIME FLIES

It’s true!  Time flies, much like a gen.u.ine FREE spirit.  Since opening The Coop on March 25th, we’ve had so much fun nestling into our Burton home.  We honestly LOVE the community and all our new friends.  Thank you ALL for making our first few months in business a tremendous success!

Hard to believe we are weeks away from another Texas Antiques Week!

Getting Ready for the BIG SHOW

Jeff and I will hit the road again for a buying trip.  I already have a large load waiting to be picked up!  I am super excited to visit my favorite dealers to see what they’ve uncovered in their latest hunting adventures.  This promises to be epic!

Flown The Coop will be closed August 30 – September 22.  The Coop will undergo a complete redo to prepare for Texas Antiques Week.  During this time we will bring back our new treasures and create all new vignettes.  Sorry, no sneak peaking…

The Burton Antiques Market

September 23rd – Kicking off the Burton Antique Market

Flown The Coop will throw open the doors September 23rd at 9:00 am.  Be the first to grab the newest treasures from our buying trip and one of our BRAND NEW gen.u.ine FREE spirit tees.  Don’t forget to snap a pic in front of our gen.u.ine FREE spirit mural.  Tag us #2flownthecoop so we can highlight your pic on our FB and Instagram accounts.

Later that night we have a BIG treat for you…  Flown The Coop will open our backyard stage from 7:30 pm – midnight for Kountry Chic Karoake & DJ.  Bring your lawn chairs and BYOBeverages!  It will be a fun evening under the stars with Denise and our favorite local karaoke stars.

 September 26th – White Linen Night 

Several months ago the idea for White Linen Night came to me while dreaming up events for Texas Antiques Week.  I saw a throwback picture on Facebook from one of Theresa Cano’s Blogger Parties.  All the ladies showed up dressed in white.  The idea popped into my head:  Burton needs a White Linen Night, much like the New Orleans and Houston Heights tradition celebrating the arts and surviving another sultry summer.   So ladies and gentlemen, get out your favorite white outfit and join us on September 26th from 6pm – 9pm for Burton’s FIRST EVER White Linen Night!

Flown The Coop is teaming up with Market Realty/ Rita’s Antiques to sponsor White Linen Night.  Artists, creatives and makers will line Live Oak St. in front of Flown The Coop.  Live music will be on the porch of Market Realty.  Food by the Burton Volunteer Fire Department will be located in front of Market Realty.

There is still room for artists, creatives and makers to join White Linen Night!  Email me at eckhardt.tiffany@gmail.com for registration!  

Check out the White Linen Night Fabebook Event for the updated list of Artists * Music * Food * Fun.  

Burton Antique Market

Putting Burton on the Antiques Show Map!  Burton will roll out the welcome mat for pilgrims of Texas Antiques Week September 23 – October 3rd.  Our charming little secret town has even more new Antique Stores and will host a few events you will want to be aware of during this bi-annual event.

September 26th Burton Trade Days, because it’s nearly impossible to have a garage sale in the country.  Located at The Railroad Details from 9am – 5pm.

September 23 – 25th Volunteer Fire Department will serve BBQ at the Fire Department under the water tower.  11am – 7pm

Flown The Coop will be open daily September 23 – October 3rd  9am- 7pm

The BIG FUN will be here before you know it… I can’t wait to see all my friends I’ve made over the past several years! #TexasAntiquesWeek #BurtonAntiqueMarket #BringmetoBurton

 

A gen.u.ine Free Spirit

I’m here to tell you that wild and crazy dreams come true.  The day Jeff and I put an offer on our new home, I woke up with a vision for March 25th.  We were going to have a party! I envisioned live music, food trucks and fun.  Months later, I can’t stop smiling over all the tiny details that I envisioned fall into place.

For example, several months ago I began searching for an artist to paint a free flying mural on the outside wall of The Coop. The vision for it was vague.  As time ran out on hiring a talented artist, I realized that this would have to be a DIY project.  Could I really do this?

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky.

I sat down to my computer and played with different ideas until the mural emerged.

YES!  It is exactly what I hoped for.  With help from Jeff, a borrowed projector and the talented Stephanie Jarvis {who gave the mural wings}…. my vision took flight.  A gen.u.ine free spirit!

Let’s kick off this party with a photo contest!  It’s easy as 1.2.3!

1. Take a photo of yourself flying free in front of the gen.u.ine Free Spirit mural.

2. Post your photo to Facebook or Instagram with 3 tags: #2flownthecoop @2flownthecoop and #BringmetoBurton

3. The photo with the most likes wins a $50 gift card to Flown The Coop!

Contest rules: Contest runs March 25 – April 1.  Winner will be announced on April 2.  Winner will receive a $50 gift card for Flown The Coop merchandise in The Coop with no cash back.  No purchase necessary to win.  All sales are final.  I will monitor Facebook and Instagram for photos using #2flownthecoop @2flownthecoop #BringmetoBurton only.

Can’t wait to see ALL YOU gen.u.ine free spirits!  NOW LET’S HAVE A PARTY!  

My secret town

Burton, Texas is often overlooked in guides written to navigate Texas Antiques Week.  In fact, Burton has managed to be the best kept secret among the dealers who enjoy getting away from the crowd without the crazy lines.

In 2011 I was invited to join a group of dealers to eat at the Burton Cafe during the fall show.  Ludmil and Linda Marcov of Willow Nest lived in Burton at the time.  After dinner our group walked a block to their homestead for a chance to tour their shop and home.  It was love at first site.  In my wildest dreams I could never imagine that in four years I would call this magical property my home.

I pinch myself everyday!  The best way to get to know a new hometown is to become a tourist in your own town.  Here is what I’ve discovered about this secret town….

This community is alive!  It didn’t take long to get to know people and feel apart of this wonderful community.  A quick look at the Burton Chamber of Commerce calendar for March gives a glimpse of the numerous events and opportunities to interact with our neighbors.  The energy put into events is admirable.  The chamber of commerce and area businesses have been extremely supportive of the Burton Preview Party and the Burton Blogger Party events planned for Texas Antiques Week.

There are three restaurants within walking distance and literally within view of our little white house.  The Brazos Belle Restaurant, with an authentic french fare, was recently featured in Texas Highways magazine.   Burton Cafe is a wonderful german restaurant where we discovered german pancakes and the red rueben.  The Burton Short Stop is a local favorite.  They make the best hamburgers and finger licking fried food.

This sleepy little town rocks during the weekend!  Every Thursday night the locals come out for Karaoke with Denise the Country Chick Karaoke & DJ at The White Horse Tavern.  On Friday and Saturday nights it is fun to watch two stepping couples let their hair down to live music at The White Horse.  I wish I had known about the White Horse when I was a dealer in the field.  It would have been a great way to unwind.  In addition to nightlife, it is not uncommon for motorcyclists and classic car enthusiast flock to Burton for day trips.

The rolling hills of Washington County is known for the numerous wineries.  I was thrilled to learn Saddlehorn Winery was only four miles away!  Another relaxing destination I wished I had known about during Texas Antiques Week.  The winery and tasting room are located in a renovated horse barn with scenic views of their vineyard.  Jeff and I joined their wine club and have enjoyed pick up parties in their fantastic event room.  Saddlehorn just announced construction on their outdoor patios.  I will toast to that!

It’s only natural to mention the parks.  Lake Somerville is a short picturesque drive from downtown Burton.  There are a few campgrounds to launch a boat, camp or have a picnic with the pet like deer.  Behind the Cotton Gin Museum you can explore the Indian Creek Nature Area.  This little nature preserve is a labor of love by local members of the Texas Master Naturalist.

Photo Credit: Heidi Jaster

I love that Burton’s charm has been preserved over the years.   The town is filled with historic homes, the official Texas Cotton Gin Musuem, The Burton Heritage Society located in the historic Burton Railroad Depot and established downtown businesses.  The Nesting Co Flourist is a lovely business.  Heidi Jaster is not only an accomplished florist, but a talented photographer.  The Burton Bridge Ministry Thrift Shoppe, located in a historic corner gas station, is a mission of Burton area churches and another best kept secret.

Photo Credit: Heidi Jaster

In recent years visionary businesses have fallen in love with our secret town.  Old Glory Antiques established their Old Glory Texas pop up shop in the 3000 square foot dance hall in the spring of 2014.  Their bunkhouse adjacent to their shop was featured in the October issue of Country Living.  This spring Texas Antiques Week will usher in two new businesses.  In addition to Flown The Coop, Joel and Shelby Geshay will open Bayberry’s on East Texas St. on March 25th.

The biggest joy of our new hometown is in our backyard!  Jeff and I have really enjoyed country living and so excited to open Flown The Coop in this wonderful community!  We’ll be kicking off our new venture on March 25th during the Burton Preview Party.  This will be a city wide celebration with food trucks and live music.  The party will continue on Friday, March 27th when Burton rolls out the red carpet for the first ever Burton Blogger Party.  Click through the Burton Preview Party and the Burton Blogger Party links to see details on the events.

In 16 days the secret will be out!  We know that as people become more aware of Burton, it will be a favorite Texas Antiques Week destination and a day trip destination all throughout the year.

Hope you stop by and see me!  When you come be sure to tag any posts to Facebook or Instagram with #BringmetoBurton so we can see Burton through your eyes.  I also use #2flownthecoop, #secrettown, #BurtonTX.  Search these hashtags if you want to see what has been posted recently.

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Check it out!  Recently published Social Marketing on the Fly, a guide to social marketing on the road.

 

 

 

 

 

Announcing My Latest Project

I’m beyond excited to announce the launching of my newest project!  Social Marketing On The Fly is a beginners guide to understanding social marketing and how to effectively engage your customers without spending your day in front of a computer. Specifically written for creatives who travel great distances to display their finds at shows and flea markets, but the techniques can be applied to any small business owner with limited time for social media marketing.

My love affair with social media began in 2008 when I met my best friends through a Tweet Up in Columbus, Ohio.  My addiction to social media has open many amazing doors since that time.  I’ve helped small businesses develop plans to utilize social media, traveled as a travel blogger with Weekend ReTweat, built Flown The Coop’s social media presence and have taught colleagues at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques how to jump start their presence on social media.  It was Heather Basden at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques who encouraged me to teach my friends in the field how to use social media to promote their businesses.

I am always open to helping small businesses wrap their minds around social media.  It occurred to me that I would be able to help more small businesses by writing an easy to read Ebook.  I hope to convey how effortless social marketing can be once you understand how to properly use and connect the various platforms available.  As a follow up, I will be offering assistance in setting up and launching a social marketing for readers who need a little push out of the nest.

I am dedicating this book to raising money for a single mom who came into my life while I was writing Social Marketing On The Fly.  I fell in love with her and her precious little ones.  She opened my eyes to the struggles she must overcome, while figuring out life and raising her little ones on her own.  Truth is we are all struggling to discover our value and purpose.  I hope to give her some relief and encourage her “take a leap and build her wings on the way down.”

Starting in April, I will be offering a limited number of packages for businesses who need help structuring a social marketing plan for their business.  Contact me to reserve a consultation.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our grand opening!  March 25th will be here before you know it.  Life is heating up just in time for spring!

~Tiffany

~And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

 

Contact me if you would like to

Destination shopping

As much as I love hitting the open road, it is refreshing to discover a fun destination close to home.  Annette’s Touch of Class, located north of Houston, isn’t your typical junking experience!

I LOVE a good success story

I had the privilege of meeting Annette at the Dallas Market Center Vintage Home.  Annette and her daughter Megan have spent the past ten years creating a successful retail business, eventually expanding to wholesale and trade shows, selling unique apparel and accessories.  In May they celebrated the Grand Opening of their 5000 square foot “spirited” shopping experience, complete with a full soda bar, man cave, child’s area with tv and a barn filled with unique junque (my fav).

This mother and daughter team got it right, in my opinion.  🙂  They have created a fun destination that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Sensory Overload

My junque senses were in overload!  I love their creative displays using awnings, old signs, car parts, benches, etc.  I saw something to ooh and awe at everywhere I looked!

 

Family Friendly

Who doesn’t love an old fashion soda fountain?

And a place to park the hubby!

The Red Barn

Owning a barn like Annette’s would be a dream come true!  🙂

Abel, a young junker in training, was impressed too.  🙂

Inspiration

I enjoyed a fun morning shopping Annette’s, looking at all their creative displays and junking in the red barn.  I left inspired by the successful business Annette and Megan built together.  And I definitely recommend taking a road trip to visit them!

 

 

 

 

 

Dedicated to those who can’t be caged

 

Flown The Coop is dedicated to those who can’t be caged, because I aspire to live authentically.  I want to surround myself with individuals who are giving themselves permission to BE.   I honestly believe in the American dream, that we all have gifts to give and that we all can soar past our limitations.

Occasionally we find ourselves caged by ideals and circumstances.  Flying free is not always easy.  I unexpectedly found myself caged and am willing to share what I learned in hopes that we can encourage each other to fly free!

Caged by the Do

Time between shows and buying trips makes me restless (and crazy).  I love the road, finding unusual junque and then finding new homes for the treasured pieces!  I also love to be busy, proving myself to be productive and useful.  In the month of March I was super busy, only home in Houston for five days.  You would think that I would welcome a few weeks off.  After only a few days of rest I was anxious to get on with another project, hit the road, DO something productive.

Well, here’s the thing… I was caged by my need to “Do.”  You know I like the HUSTLE!  I equate doing with successful people.  I tend to fight for what I think is necessary for success.  I erroneously believed that if I stopped the madness, nothing would be accomplished.

My forced down time has given me the opportunity to read, garden, walk/run, watch the DIY network and spend time with Jeff.  Funny what you discover when you slow down!

  • I read The Invention of Wings and wondered what women of that era would think of the freedom we have today? I devoured a few Brene Brown books on shame and vulnerability, discovering a few things about myself and my perceived limitations.
  • I serendipitously discovered TX/RX Labs while picking up an industrial shelf I purchased on an online auction.  Jeff and I joined the lab, signed up for classes and now have a renewed excitement about creative projects we are planning.
  • One day, I won a GoPro camera watching Brene Brown on Chase Jarvis Live, which has inspired me to pick up my camera again.
  • After watching Brene Brown on Chase Jarvis Live, I also watched an interview with Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York.  I fell in love with his project, bought his book and daily read individual stories on Facebook.  We are all so unique, but still struggle with similar issues.

Although I fought it at first, slowing down has given me a new sense of HOPE, creativity, and made room for new opportunities.  I am reminded of the importance of BEING.

Caged by Comparison

Comparison is a cage I desperately need to be free of.  GEESH!  This one kills me.  If I wish to be vulnerable and authentic, I need to be honest about this one.  I found myself envious of the success of others.  I immediately fell into despair thinking I will never achieve success with all my limitations.  I have had time to process this cage and take flight.  First of all, my personal journey will not look like any other journey.  The hardest thing for me to grasp is that my self worth is not tied to my net worth, productivity, or the accolades of others.  Life has meaning and hope when I free myself of that crap!

FOCUS

Improper focus is another cage.  I’ve always had a Focus Board of dreams.  I have several posters covered with magazine images of what I thought life should deliver me.  I dreamed of big houses, cars, exotic trips, etc.  Dreaming and ambitions in life are not bad.  I treasure the dreams and accomplishments of my life.  I realized, after reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, that the acquisitions and accomplishments I strive for don’t necessarily bring joy.  Love this quote in Brown’s book,

Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness.  Happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you are lucky.  Joy is a light that fills you with hope, faith and love

~Adela Rogers St. Johns

I see a pattern.  Once I achieve a dream, I always set the bar higher for myself.  Striving for success in the future robs me of present joy. Now, I am working on a Focus Board for JOY, the things in life that bring meaning and hope.

The Avett Brothers sing it best!

Head full of doubt/Road full of promises

Like a bird in a cage, I broke in and demanded that somebody free it!  I am grateful for the downtime and for discovering creative people who inspired me to live authentically.  In sharing my journey, I hope to encourage you to break free from whatever cage ensnares you.

I’d love to hear from you!!!!  Let’s encourage each other in flying free.

Here’s to freedom!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Admitting a problem

Chair Addiction

I’ve always had this problem.  When I go shopping, it’s guaranteed I’ll bring home a chair.  I used to sneak them in, like an adorable orphaned puppy that I can’t possibly take care of.  After years of this behavior, I’m ready to admit to an addiction.  I prefer to call it a love affair with chairs.

Walking around my home, the problem is obvious.  To my credit, I don’t discriminate.  There is no rhyme or reason to my love affair.  At any given time, there is a wide variety of seats to take in my home.  Take a peak at our current options…

These classic wood desk chairs are waiting the perfect kitchen table.  Don’t they look like wallflowers waiting to be asked to dance?

My desk chair is one of my favorites!  This is where I spend a LOT of time.

Here is a recent rescue.  This will be a fantastic chair when I get around to recovering it.

Here is one of my favorite projects.  I think the school bus seat covered with faux cow hide turned out great!  It found a home at the Crazy Oaks Lodge & Retreat.  I love that!

Here is a wonderful vintage arm chair that I had professionally upholstered.  I can visit this lovely chair at my friend Katrina’s home.  Stayed tuned… I’m picking one up similar to it soon.

This Toledo drafting chair is a recent pick.  Isn’t she sweet?  Look closely, you’ll see my beloved butterfly chair, another recent pick.

The best part of my “job’ is that I can preserve my love affair (aka addiction or problem), enjoy the treasures for a time and then send them off.  As proof, take a look at a collection of chairs that have been placed in good homes.

What are you drawn to when you shop? Have you been accused of having a problem?  Are you warned not to bring another one home?  Admitting the problem is the first step.  🙂

Here’s to our love affair with vintage and simple pleasures!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

I took a leap

And now I’m flying!

Two years ago I took a leap with my friend Kristie Herlong (now owner of Dorcey’s).  We naively set up at the Springfield Antiques Show and Flea Market in July, a traditionally slow month.  Kristie and I had NO idea what we were doing, but embraced the adventure and figured it out.  We were thrilled with our sales and decided to launched Flown The Coop.  I had no idea that a little experiment with junking would turn into a passion and sustainable business venture.  Making it up along the way and carving out our individual niches, Kristie and I have both “built our wings.”

These little wings have flown some distance since then.

Last month I shared a space at the Dallas Market Center, Vintage Home section with my good friends and mentors Brian and Meloney Russell of the Seed Box Designs.  Needless to say, I am in awe of where Flown The Coop has taken me.

It helps to have talented friends in the business!  Congrats to The Seed Box Designs for winning Best of Vintage Home!!!

A flight home

This month I will return to the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market.  Two years ago I would have never guessed that I would travel such a distance to shop the flea.  I am still excited about the journey and the unpredictable flight pattern.  I’m so glad that I took the leap, Flew the Coop and continue to build my wings!

If you have a dream, take the leap!  You’ll figure out how to build your wings on the way down!  If you are a leaper, what is your experience?  I’m sure there are kindred spirits who could benefit from sharing your experiences.

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky.

 

Just keeps getting better!

Flown The Coop’s third trip to Urban Market Houston was a huge success!

It was rewarding to see my recent pickings come together in the display at Urban Market Houston.  It just keeps getting better as I gain more confidence merchandising with each show.    The ultimate gratification is watching my treasured junque leave with excited new owners.  I love my job!

 

Breaking for FUN!  

Brian Russell from the Seed Box Designs borrowed his neighbor’s bike and took Miss Ivy for
a ride.  I don’t know who giggled more, Brian or Miss Ivy.  Hanging out with my crazy friends is another reason I love my job!  Click on the image to see a Vine Video….

Little Miss Ivy is serious about furniture modeling, click on the image for another Vine Video.

Urban Market Crowd

Urban Market Houston is one of my favorite shows, held three times a year at the Bayou City Event Center on Knight Rd.  Excited customers line up early for the Saturday evening preview, a great way to kick off the weekend!  A crowd lined up early on Sunday morning as well.  The weather was perfect for shopping!  Let’s hope we have a repeat of the beautiful weather October 26 – 27th for the next Urban Market Houston.

Thanks to all my Houston friends who stopped by to say “hi!”  I was honored to meet a few more friends that had been following the Flown The Coop flight pattern.  I love chatting with like minded people who love junque as much as I do!  Yet another reason I love my job!

Remember to send me pictures of treasures you buy from Flown The Coop.  It’s fun to see the pieces in their new homes.

What’s next?

Next stop:  Jeff and I leave for another trip to Ohio at the end of the week.  Stayed tuned.  Jeff has warned me that he plans on using his new Vine app to document our shopping.  This should be fun!

Next show:  Dallas Market June 19 – 23rd

As always, follow our flight pattern on our Facebook Page!  You can always let me know if you are looking for a particular piece.  I’d be happy to assist you on your search!

Here’s to happy junqueing…  It just keeps getting better!  

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!