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

Urban Market Houston

This coming weekend is Urban Market Houston weekend!  The fun starts on Saturday, Feb. 8th at 3pm and continues through Sunday at 4pm.  We are excited about another Urban adventure in our own backyard.

We’ve been working on projects at the Flown The Coop headquarters in preparation for this weekend.

Here’s a sneak peak…

These corbels from Ohio have been updated with a metallic finish.  The table below has the same finish.

Guess I’ve had a little too much fun with my new paints and techniques I learned in Vegas!

After several different techniques, I think I can call this workbench finished.

In addition to the projects, we have several pieces from the last Ohio buying trip and new pieces from recent auctions.

Hope to see you this weekend…  Spread the word & bring a friend!

~Tiffany

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

What’s the story?

My anticipation is growing as I prepare for Texas Antiques Week in Warrenton, Texas.  I am thrilled to be in a new location at Bar W under a big tent with my friends at The Seed Box Designs.  This is the first time I’ve had enough junque to fill a 20ft UHaul, my trailer and truck.  I will be ready to get this party started on Saturday, September 21, when Jeff and I roll our caravan into Bar W and unload.

I’m always excited to be surrounded by kindred spirits who share my passion for fabulous finds (aka junque).  Wether you are a customer or another dealer, most of us out in the field have junking in our blood and could tell stories about our adventures.

I come from a long line of junkers.  I have fond memories of Friday morning garage sales with my grandparents.  Grandpa loved garage sales as much as my Grandma.  I loved staying the night with them during the summer when we could hit the garage sales.  We would get up early, with a route all mapped out.  We were normally the first in line and had to wait for the homeowner to open the garage at our first stop.  I learned the art of negotiation from my Grandma.  I inherited my love for thrift stores from my Mom, which I’d never admit as a teenager.  We had our favorite thrifts and discount shops, like Schottensteins and the Volunteers of America.  One of the best shopping experiences I had with my parents was at an Eddie Bauer Outlet sale.  We stood in line at 4 am and left with garbage bags full of clothes.  To this day, I refuse to pay retail prices for anything.  My children grew up thrift and garage sale shopping.  I am proud to say that my daughter is a natural who takes after her Great Grandma, Grandma and her Mother.

When I began to build a home for our family, I remember falling in love with the story.  I had friends in Mississippi who taught me the art of decorating with character.  They would walk me through their homes telling me stories behind each treasured piece.  Their homes were full of fun memories and insight into their lives.  To this day, my home is a collection of adventures and remembrances from my journey.

I am often asked, “So, what is the story?”  I know that it’s nice to know where a piece came from, who made it or what era it came from.  I can usually tell you where or how I acquired the piece, but not it’s origin.  Honestly, I never think to ask the person I buy it from.  At the time I am usually caught up in the moment and excited about the particular piece.  Here’s a glimpse into my world of junking, a video Jeff and I made a couple years ago called “Making magic happen” or better known as “it’s not all fun and games.”  Warning:  it’s not all glamorous.

Click Here (in case you don’t see the video embedded)

I believe the true value of a treasured piece comes from the story you give it.  Where did you find it?  What were you looking for at the time?   Who were you with when you bought it?  What special occasion is it associated with?  What adventure did you have while buying it?  Did the piece “buy you” when you weren’t even looking for it?

I enjoy the idea of helping people tell their stories through the pieces they buy from Flown The Coop.  I love watching the adventure unfold in Warrenton as shoppers hit the fields with their lists.  Years from now, I wonder what stories they will tell their friends when asked about the piece they purchased from me.  Don’t be surprised if I ask you, “What’s the story?”

Is your home a collection of stories to tell?  Or are you just getting started on your decorating adventure?  Tell us about your current favorite piece, and “What’s the story.”

Here’s a sneak peak of the items you’ll find at Flown The Coop during Texas Antiques Week.

Hope to see you there!  Stop by and we’ll swap stories.  🙂

Don’t forget to share your stories in the comment section and follow our flight pattern on Facebook!  Life is a journey, come travel with me.

~Tiffany

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


 

New beginnings

Image origins unknown

Life is a journey, not a destination.   A hard lesson to learn when you involve the heart in business decisions.

At the end of August Flown The Coop will be moving out of our “nest” at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques.  It was a hard decision to make, as I have engaged my heart in the community there.  I value what I have learned from the experience and will continue to cherish the friendships I developed.

Where to find Flown The Coop?  

Chippendales through the end of August:

Flown The Coop will continue to offer wonderful pieces at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques through the end of August.  Mark you calendars for August 17th!  Flown The Coop is planning a HUGE sidewalk market at Chippendales!  I’ll post details on Facebook and send out a flyer for those who receive my e-newsletter.  SIGN UP HERE if you would like to receive the e-newsletter.

By appointment:

I will also be taking appointments to view merchandise shared on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest at the Flown The Coop headquarters.

I am developing a personal shopper program for clients who would like to hire me to shop for specific items.  I enjoyed shopping for a few clients during my recent trip to Ohio.  Contact me if you would like me to be on the hunt for you too!

Upcoming shows for 2103:

Texas Antiques Week in Warrenton, September 21- October 5

Urban Market Houston, October 26 & 27

New Location at Warrenton

Mark your calendars for the fall Texas Antiques Week!  September 21st – October 5th!

Flown The Coop will nest at a new location in the Bar W Field near Warrenton, Texas.  To find our booth, enter the Bar W gate off of 237 and follow the main road past the office.  We’ll be on the left about half way down the main road, on the corner of the road and the parking access road.

I suggest that you shop early!  September 22 my neighbors The Seed Box Designs will be unloading their trailer.

Life is a journey, come travel with me!  

I am wholeheartedly dedicated to those who can’t be caged and appreciate all of my friends!  It isn’t always easy to fly the coop.  Thank you for your interest and support in my journey.

~Tiffany

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

 

May Flew The Coop

Time flies when you are having fun!

May was a fun month that seemed to fly by!  The buying trip to Ohio was a huge success! My workshop is officially “hoarded” up and the Flown The Coop booth at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques is fully stocked.

Shopping is one of my favorite parts of the business, and is even better when friends and family tag along! You never know who you’ll meet up with in the field.  This time I found Mrs. Beasley!

Jeff joined me on this trip. Shopping hours on end is not his favorite part of the business. We joked that he became my personal porter.
Jeff proved to have a good eye for treasures! He found this egg scale, which was immediately sold to a farm in West Liberty, Ohio after being posted to Facebook. The Springfield Extravaganza kicks off the show season in the midwest.  I was so excited to shop it for the first time since I moved to Houston. It was fun to see my friends at Dorcey’s set up under their big circus tent. (click on the image to view the Vine Video)

Shopping trips are serious work, but a trip to Ohio would not be complete without spending time with my family and friends! On the way to Ohio we stopped in Memphis to see our dear friend Erin, and heard award winning Blues at the Hard Rock Cafe. We arrived in Ohio in time to celebrated Mother’s day with my family. Jeff and I enjoyed hanging out in the evenings with some of our favorite people.  Here’s Kelly, Michele and I after a dinner in Urbana. These ladies always make me smile!

On the way back to Houston, we stopped at Brian and Meloney’s home in Missouri. They own The Seed Box Designs and have a fabulous home in the Ozark mountains. We enjoyed hanging out on their deck, showing them our picks from Ohio, seeing what they’ve been working on and feeding the cows with Miss Ivy. It was exactly what we needed before our last leg of the trip.

Returning to Houston

First thing on the agenda after returning to Houston was a booth redo at Chippendales. My daughter Emily was in town and helped me whip the booth in shape. Many of the new pieces have already flown off to new homes.

The Dallas Market

It’s now June, which means summer in Texas is really heating up!  It’s also quickly approaching the time for Flown The Coop’s debut at the Vintage Home Market, going on during the Dallas Gift Market June 20-24th in the Market Hall North across from the World Trade Center. I have a week to finish last minute projects and pack it all up.

June and beyond

I hope to spend more time blogging about my adventures in the future! Time seems to fly the coop. I get busy working on projects and hunting new treasures. There are so many aspects of the business I’d like to share; from buying, repurposing, merchandising, selling, etc. What would you like to read more about?

There are no shows scheduled for July and August, but I’ll hook up the trailer to Miss Dixie for anther buying adventure this summer. Stayed tuned for stories from June and beyond… and follow our flight pattern on Facebook for a daily dose of Flown The Coop!

~Tiffany

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

 

Texas Antiques Week

I am so grateful for the freedom to fly free!

Spring is one of the most welcomed seasons, a time of renewal evoking the senses with fresh flowers and new life. It is a time for me to fly free on my biannual gypsy trek to Warrenton for Texas Antiques Week, also known as Round Top. I spend two weeks in “the field” with my incredibly talented friends buying and selling our beloved junque.

 

Texas Antiques Week, a precession of fields stretching twenty-six miles between Warrenton and Round Top, is a serious shopping event each spring and fall. It is safe to say that Texas Antiques Week is more accurately three weeks long, with each field having their own start date. A shopper can find everything from high end French antiques in fancy air conditioned circus tents, to rusty treasures uncovered only by digging in a pile of junk.

Picture by Antiqueweekend.com

Picture by Antiqueweekend.com

The fields each have their own quirky personalities. The fields of Warrenton can be likened to any typical high school lunch room, an idea I stole from my friend Kim. Zapp Hall is where the cheerleaders and jocks party like rock stars. Renck, Bar W, and North Gate are where the ag students sell their rusty treasures and typical flea market finds. Venturing out to Excess and Clutter you’ll find the hipsters on the fringe of society.

Guess where you can find Flown The Coop?

There is so much to be said about all the marvelous fields within the twenty-six miles surrounding Warrenton and Round Top, but I love the people who add to the whole experience.

Brian and Meloney Russell, of The Seedbox, travel from Missouri with a truck, trailer and a U-haul packed with their sought after, hand picked treasures to sell at Warrenton. Along with their wonderful pieces of vintage furniture, they bring along their adorable granddaughter Ivy, who has become a celebrity in these parts.  It is safe to say that she  has almost everyone wrapped around her little finger, including Bud from Royers Round Top Cafe. She once told a customer at Royers, “You can’t sit in the chair by the door because that is Bud’s chair.” It is precious when she tells customers at the booth, “Come on it and let me know if I can help ya!” Ivy celebrated her fourth birthday during the spring show. It was heart warming to see all the people, who have become like family, stop by the booth to wish her a Happy Birthday.

The talent that is represented in the fields brings buyers from across the country. This trip I had the privilege to get to know some of the buyers from California.  Next fall I hope to join my friends from Orange in what will become the go-cart round-up. I’m sure Peggy will lead the way, or not.

Two memorable events!

This year I had the pleasure of attending the 3rd Annual Private Bloggers Luncheon at Royers Round Top Cafe. A joint event with the Dallas Market Center (DMC), the luncheon combined Royers famous food with a special event organized by DMC. Carley Seale, owner of The Gypsy Wagon spoke to the group about the Round Top experience. Carley spent years shopping Texas Antiques Week with friends and family before she launched The Gypsy Wagon. Having only been a dealer in the field, it was interesting for me to hear the strategies of the dedicated group of annual shoppers. Carley and her friends made years of memories and bought treasures that are proudly displayed in their homes today. Check out Carley’s Instagram at @dragginmywagon for the pictures she shared.

Another highlight of my trip was the Round up in Round Top, an evening soiree hosted by the Dallas Market Center at the new Henkel Square Market. The night was complete with a buffet catered by Royers Round Top Cafe, a fashion show by Rodeo Royalty and a special fiddler performance.  Miss Ivy stole the show as she watched the fashion show paraded in front of her, completely in awe of the models. It was a fantastic evening!

Flown The Coop changes venues

Now that spring is behind us, we are already looking forward to the fall Texas Antiques Week. Flown The Coop, along with my friends at The Seedbox, will be flying over the Bar W field. We are excited about the change of venue, located on the main Bar W Road just passed the office on a corner lot to the left.

What are your favorite memories?

I would love to hear your favorite memories of Texas Antiques Week. Do you love a particular field? Are you a dealer in the field? What is your best find? Any advice for a novice to the fields?

If you are planning to take a dream trip, I suggest you pick up a Round Top _ Warrenton Show Daily Magazine. You can find them on Facebook and their web site. It is the Bible of any trip to Texas Antiques Week. Wether it’s your first trip or you have a biannual tradition, please make sure you find your way to Bar W and visit Flown The Coop and The Seedbox booths!

 

Adventures in Junque

 

A row of hats hanging on my bedroom wall are a daily reminder of our Flown The Coop adventures and tug at me as if to say “what are you waiting for?”

THE WAIT IS OVER … One of the biggest deals in junque begins next week!

Flown The Coop is busy preparing for another adventure at Antique Week in Warrenton, Texas (some call the show Round Top, some call it Warrenton).  The Round Top/Warrenton adventure takes place every Spring and Fall, mainly along Highway 237, between Brenham and LaGrange, Texas.

This is Flown the Coop’s second season at our location at Cole’s.  If you are headed to Warrenton from Round Top, we are the first field on the left as you enter Warrenton, at the corner of Hwy 237 and Willow Spring Road (FM 954).  Among all of the vendors there, Flown The Coop will be in the corner nearest the intersection of 237 & FM 954.

OH THE ANTICIPATION…

Of course Flown The Coop is strictly about business… buying and selling junque.  Ha!  I think ya’all know us better than that.  Jeff and I love to have fun… in fact we boast about bringing the fun.  🙂

So what’s all the fuss about?  Here’s a snapshot of last Spring….

The most meaningful adventures involved others in the business and die-hard fans!  Kelly (pictured left) flew in from Ohio.  She is the best groupie ever!  Reconnecting with Kristie (my soul sistah) meant the world to me!  And I made some amazing new friends!  I am always inspired by the community out in the “field” and am blessed to be able to re-connect with some of these wonderfully creative people at events as awe-inspiring as this one.

 

Buying frenzies!  Early in the morning last Spring I noticed a line formed at one of my neighbor’s booths.  I soon learned these people were “patiently” waiting for The Seed Box to unload their truck.  What started out as a cordial family reunion, ended in a competitive bid for junque, replete with the unsheathing of elbows.  Apparently there are even some unspoken (but well-known) rules of engagement… like not jumping on the truck.  You’ll be scolded for that one.  🙂

 

Marburger Farms.  I have to be completely honest… I did not plan on going.  I am a die hard “in the fields” kind of gal.  Others mentioned their feelings that it was out of their league or that they weren’t keen on the idea of an entrance fee.  This show under huge white tents seemed a world apart from the one I was enjoying so immensely, and therefore not worth the time away from my booth or parting with my hard earned money to pay admission.  That said, some of my friends talked me into at least experiencing Marburger “just once”.

I WAS COMPLETELY SURPRISED BY MARBURGER FARMS!!!

First of all, I had so much fun with these gals (pictured left)… who hailed all the way from New York and Iowa. Traci Kirfman  Gyles, far left, (Shabby Gals Nest) and I had so much fun “oohing” and “awing” over all the cool junque!

 

 

Secondly,  it is a great way to stay on top of new trends.  I was so inspired by the over the top displays and left committed to improving my own.  Be sure to check out my favorite booths… J. Hills Designs & The Willow Nest.  Marburger was totally worth the cost of admission… and is on my list again this Fall. I’ve even talked some friends into joining this time!

 

There are so many wonderful fields between Round Top and Warrenton!  It would take days to list all of my favorites!!!!  Okay, okay, here’s one:

Junk O-Rama Prom.  Antique week wouldn’t be complete without getting all dolled up for a wacky night out.  Of course I had to wear my “cowgirl” hat for this one!  🙂

 

 

 

Well I have other crazy stories from last Spring… but what happens in Warrenton… stays in Warrenton.  You’ll just have to experience this mecca of junque yourself!

Come join our adventure….

Jeff and I have been busy buying in Ohio and Missouri, along with finding great picking places just outside of Houston.  With our project list almost complete, we are excited pack up the trailer and head out for another adventure!  We will arrive on Monday, Sept. 24th.  Be sure to stop by our little spot in the field.  We’d love to catch up with all of you, friends and fans alike (those might be synonyms)!
Along with the fun junque… you’ll be able to pick up a Flown The Coop tee while supplies last.
If you’re lost… don’t hesitate to call me (Tiff) at 937-215-4732.  At the least, we can both wonder aloud where you are!
We’ll bring the fun… and the hats will be joining us too!
Until then,
~Tiffany

 

 

Flying the coop….

Gallery

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Welcome to our adventure in flying the coop….  It’s mainly a “Tiff” gig, but I couldn’t do it without Jeff.  We are livin la vida loca pursuing a junk passion! While I still have a lot to learn about the industry, … Continue reading