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!

 

 

 

 

 

Heights Emporium

I’m thrilled to announce Flown The Coop will be a merchant at the Heights Emporium on March 1, 2014.  The Heights Emporium is an outdoor event in the parking lot of the Corridor Shops and More located at 238 W. 19th St. in the Houston Heights.

For the past several weeks I have had the privilege of joining a team of talented entrepreneurs who are planning the upcoming Heights Emporium.  I love the creative energy that goes into brainstorming possibilities and forgot how much I love to help organize and promote events, especially in the community I call home.

The Houston Heights is home to an amazing community of creative business owners, both in conventional and unconventional business models.  The Heights Emporium was developed to showcase a curated mix of local merchants.  Gilbert Perez, owner of the Corridor Shops and More, recognizes the growing number of merchants without walls and has graciously created an event on his premises to showcase local talent who are utilizing a variety of business models.  Sarah Rufca of the Houston Chronicle penned the current business trend in her recent article, These buzzy Houston retailers don’t need brick and mortar shops.  Kristy Keel of West 23rd. St. Vintage was highlighted in the article and is a valuable part of the team organizing and promoting the Heights Emporium.  I am honored to be included in the mix and excited for the opportunity to bring Flown The Coop to 19th Street again.

The mix of merchants is shaping up!  Stayed tuned on Facebook, Instagram (@heightsemporium) and Twitter for updates on the lineup.  Tag your posts with #HeightsEmporium so we can see the event through your eyes too!

~Tiffany

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

 

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!

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!

Hard Work Pays Off

“Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.” J. Paul Getty

I did NOT strike oil. I struck a sweet spot in the field, loving my new spot at Bar W during Texas Antiques Week. This was the best show I’ve had yet. I contribute the success of the show to location, improving my selection of merchandise and hard work!

I arrived with a twenty foot UHaul, Miss Dixie (my truck) and the trailer packed and departed with a small trailer load. It was so fun to see so many of the pieces I hand picked go to excited new owners.

Living the dream

Hard work does pay off. My lifestyle of flying free is hard work and not at all glamorous. The field is not for high maintenance girls. I’ve gotten stronger lifting furniture and moving displays around. I’ve been covered with dust, mud and sweat. I’ve loaded and unloaded trailers, sometimes by myself. I’ve driven long hours between Houston and Ohio hunting good junque. All the loading, unloading, cleaning, repairing, loading up for shows, unloading, merchandising, marketing, book keeping, etc can take a tole. Thank God for Mr. Flown The Coop, who is extremely supportive! I believe in hard work, and am excited to reap the sweet rewards!

Time to play

We have fun in the field too. If you follow me on Facebook, you saw the daily Miss Ivy pics. Did you see her precious Drink Stand? Setting up with Brian, Meloney and Ivy of The Seed Box Designs, is always a treat.

The Kansas City girls (Brenda, Abby and Joe) were delightful neighbors!  Brenda was Miss Ivy’s first customer.

I love the friends I make from all over the country!  It is always fun to hang out with Don and Peggy Abrbenz, owners Down Home Antiques in Orange, California.  I’m only sad that our go cart racing got rained out. I met Megan Thomas, owner of Salvaged in Austin, who had some really creative repurposed pieces. Wendy and Lia from Thelma & Louize were a hoot! These two chics bring the fun to the field! I’m only a little jealous of Wendy’s Vespa!

Visitors are always welcomed! My cousin Tanya and her friend Sandy stopped by to catch up and for our traditional lunch at Belly Laughter. This was Sandy’s first trip to Warrenton. I enjoyed hosting my friends Katrina and Martine, who bunked a night in my shack and experienced Texas Antiques Week for the first time. I had forgotten how overwhelming the twenty-six miles of fields between Round Top and Warrenton can be. It was fun to see the craziness through their eyes.

Thanks to all of you who stopped by! I met some fun customers.  I was in heaven when three Italian guys pulled up in a whirl wind and cleaned me out in about a half hour.  I can hardly believe that some of my picks are headed for New York, California and now Italy!

Check out these gals, who videoed a parade in front of Flown The Coop booth.  You can hear me giggling in the background….

New dreams

This show has allowed me to entertain new dreams.  I NEED a vintage camper (not sure the style yet) and a Vespa for my gypsy lifestyle.  I’m in the market for a  vintage camper that needs to be gutted and restored.  A remodeling project will bring back the days when Jeff and I restored historic homes.  The Vespa would make roaming the fields fun and useful for zipping around the Heights. I didn’t buy the Vespa I found in the field. The dealer didn’t have the title and couldn’t let me test drive it.

The best part about my new dreams?  I don’t need to strike oil.

What was your favorite part of Texas Antiques Week?  Leave a comment to share with us your favorite finds and stories!!!!  

What is next?

Buying trip – October 11- 20th  Follow my flight pattern on Facebook.  🙂

Urban Market Houston – October 26 & 27.  I’ll have a new load to share at Urban Market, located at 9401 Knight Rd in Houston.  Hope to see you there!

Shop Local Parking Lot Sale Event at the Corridor Shops and more on 19th – November 2.  Stayed tuned on Facebook for details about this local event.

Onto the next adventure…  Life is a journey, come travel with me!

~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!