Thursday, July 17, 2014

How Do I Buy From Pickers?

Just picked: (L) Vintage Chippy Grey Concrete Urns &  (R)  "Picks" from pickers aren't usually displayed or styled. We often find amazing things just setting out in the pickers yard, such as this fabulous 10' Vintage Work Table. 

Newbies looking to get into the business, as well as retail shoppers often ask use the question - how do you find pickers to buy from? That's not a question with a definitive answer.

Vintage Hollywood French Chairs

First, one should know that "true, everyday, real life pickers" prefer to sell to dealers rather than the retail consumer. That's because dealers usually buy in quantity—"package it" as some in the biz call it. That means that the picker could potentially sell his/her entire load to one person. Dealers love to buy this way—they typically get better deals and a lot of merchandise in one load—as opposed to the retail shopper who usually only wants one or two things.

Vintage Flashing Sign from a Massage Parlor 

But, if you're a dealer new to the business, it usually takes a little time to establish a relationship with a picker who will call you when they get a load. How then do you begin such a relationship? Flea markets are a great way to meet pickers. These monthly markets give you the opportunity to do business with a picker repeatedly time after time. Once the dealer finds that you are a serious buyer, he/she may start calling you with "fresh picks." It just takes a little patience and a whole lot of buying!

Happy picking! xx

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Mystery Behind Pickers & Pickin'

I get the question a lot: so, what is a picker?

As owners of a vintage and antiques "only" shop we get the majority of our inventory from "pickers." A term that has been used in the trade since time began, but most recently has become more widely known due to the popularity of the hit TV show American Pickers.

Folks are intrigued by the word - "pickers" & "pickin"- it sounds like you've just gone out and dug up the most fabulous things. And, sometimes that's exactly what happens. 

Pickers love digging through old dusty barns, dilapidated houses, old forgotten store fronts, sheds that are falling to the ground, and country auctions, most in rural locations. WARNING - you can't just go out and start digging in these spots, a picker, first, must get to know the property owner. These coveted pickin holes are the only places in the modern day world where time really does stand still. 

There are those of us who just melt at the site of an early original piece being pulled from a leaning barn - never mind that it's covered in 100 years worth of dirt and is filled with things that should never be there in the first place; like old nuts & bolts, canning jar lids, old pencils, spiders (both dead & alive) yada yada yada ... you get where I'm going. And, the story of what caused it to be abandoned in the first place is often times just as interesting as the piece itself.

One of my all time favorite pickin stories was about 10 years ago - a picker in southern Alabama was cleaning out a barn when he pulled out what he described as a "tall table" out of the barn's corn crib. From the photos we could clearly tell that this was in no way just a tall table. It was an early 1800s Alabama Slab or Huntboard (as they are also called). For those of you who don't know, a Huntboard is a Southern form of furniture with a short narrow case and tall legs. Legend has it that the furniture pieces were made for easy transporting to the lawn of plantation homes. The men, riding horseback, would then belly up to the Huntboard to partake of food and liquor. The intended purpose was to keep the men from soiling the dining room after a long day of hunting.

The picker actually wanted to leave it behind to be bulldozed down with the barn, but his wife insisted that they take it to sell. He was so mad that he threw it atop of a pile of lumber on an open make-do trailer and off it went into the sunset bumping and bouncing and almost falling off several times, as it traveled down the dusty gravel road toward home.

That evening, the pickers wife put the "tall table" (with that exact description) up for sale on eBay. One morning I was perusing eBay's ending auctions when I saw the description and the photo. It had an opening bid of $100.00. To make an already long story short, there were others out there who recognized the Slab/Huntboard under the disguise of a "tall table" . When the dust all settled and the bidding ended we were the lucky winning bidders of a $5,000 tall table! Which we promptly sold for $15,000.00. As you can see being a picker or buying from one can be rewarding. 

An example of a 19th century Huntboard 

But do you have what it takes to be a picker? Find out:

How do I find pickers to buy from?
How do I become a picker?

on our next blog post, com in' up soon!

Happy "pickin!" xx

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Aaaand, We're Back!

It's been a while since we put on our blogging hats, but that's changing from here on out! With all that's going on around here, David and I thought blogging would be a great way for you to always have a "go to place" to find previous stories on our "picking trips," updates on the City Farmhouse Pop-up Show, and a way to look back on our home decorating projects + everything City Farmhouse. We hope that you will follow along so that you don't miss a thing!! We have lots of new things in the works - all of which you will be very excited to be a part of!

Be on the lookout for our next blog post on July 10--until then we'll leave you with one of our favorite pinned images this week.

Happy picking! xx 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Big Score in the Barn on New Year's Day

Don't you just love diggin in an old barn? It's dusty and junky with a nostalgic feel. Yesterday was the perfect day. It wasn't too cold here in Tennessee. Today, it's frigid!!! Which means we won't be able to get anything cleaned up that we bought.

Our favorite is the picket fence; crusty white and made in an unusual 3 dimension form. Lots of it - perfect for a spring garden. 

I can't resist old boxes and old tool boxes. This tool box is cool because it is metal and wood. It would make a great craft box, artist, or storage box. Also a cool copper lantern, and a cubbie.

We got this great old slate chalkboard and an old sign, the rectangle wire milk crate, and an awesome piece of iron in old blue paint!

AND, lovin these minature fan blades!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have about 60 of these. We plan to suspend them from the ceiling,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fun Way To Wrap Your Presents This Christmas

Want to make your Christmas packages extra special and fun too? I created this game that drives the kids crazy and creates lots of laughter and conversation.

First wrap all your packages in white paper. You can buy a large roll of this at Office Depot.

After you have wrapped the package write a clue on the white paper with a marker. This gift is Justin Bieber perfume for my six year old granddaughter.

Tie the package with twine and include a marker for the bow. The idea is to guess the contents of the package and write your guess on the paper. The first one to guess correctly gets the prize - A Charlie Brown Christmas CD

We love to play this fun guessing game at Christmas. It makes opening presents more exciting and everyone joins in the fun. We open presents tonight, Christmas Eve. My grandson is already calling this morning. He just can't wait. I'll share some of the fun in another post.

                                                           MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Did you guys know that I am a stripper?

Not a painter. OMG, what were you thinking? I hate to paint but I love to strip furniture - not strip it to refinish it, but to strip off the mess someone else made and bring it back to the old surface. Today, I did just that to an old butcher block industrial table. I left the old gray/blue paint on the steel base but removed the ugly stain that had been applied to the top. I'll show you a photo of the finished piece tomorrow.

It was a beautiful day for stripping - not too hot - and not too cold. The sky was blue, the sun was shinning, and the butterflies were out by the hundreds. They must have enjoyed the water.

In case you were wondering were I have been.... For the last 2 weeks we have had a lot of sickness in the family, my daughter at the ER, my daughter starting college, a big event to plan, Not to mention, the shop has been very, very busy. We did a re-do this past week-end. Lots of new things came in and we totally did a re-design of the shop. You have to come see. Also, Delia, Stressed & Destressed (check her out on the blog roll) brought in an entire booth full of fresh merch. I'm totally in love with the chest on chest.

Also, some fab things came in from the ever popular, Vintage Junky. You don't want to miss out!

See you soon at City Farmhouse in beautiful Franklin, Tennessee!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Better Late Than Never Preview of the Pick....

Remember in the last post we told you about our amazing pick this week? Here is a preview. These things are available at City Farmhouse right now except for the Waterbury, CT clock - it sold today. Don't forget about the amazing architectural fragment from our sneak peek in the last post.

Click on any photo for a larger view

We're loving this large early American cast iron cow which served as an advertising piece in a dairy farm.

Fabulous circa 1940's store table and 2 benches. Great table for a farm table, don't you think?

We love finding these amazing early American dress forms.

The sold - Waterbury, Ct Clock and a very cool library table.

We know you are digging this architectural chandelier made from old corbels.

A very cool memory jug with tiny baby dolls, doll arms, arrowheads, jewelry, checkers, scissors, wire rimmed glasses, fork, knife - just to name a few. Everything on this piece is interesting. And, we love the old fruit jar carriers. Haven't seen any of those in a while. Great for displaying flowers. I should save them for weddings.

Hope to see you this week-end at City Farmhouse in Franklin.