Sign up to get your daily dose of Miss Mustard Seed:

a dealer’s life for me

Before I get into it, I wanted to share that The Lucketts Store Blog is currently running a gift card giveaway through Saturday.  If you aren’t close enough to shop at Lucketts (in Leesburg, VA), you can enter to win a “prize package” that will include one of my ornaments in addition to more shippable goodies from other vendors.
My life as an antiques dealer has been an interesting one.  It’s all happened very organically…and a little by accident.  I started my business as a “mural and decorative painting” business.  It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t passionate about murals.  I have dreamed about and talked about being an antique dealer for years, but I always assumed that was something I would do after my kids were grown or after I got some kind of official degree or after I was in the right house or after whatever…  I tripped and fell into it and the more I got into it, the more I enjoyed it.
Now, I am a dealer in THE premium antique store in Northern Virginia (Dare I say… The region? The US?  The world?)  Painted furniture is still a large part of my inventory, but I’m hunting for, cleaning, tagging, moving and arranging more and more antiques…and I’m becoming more savvy in the business.  I’m still a little wet behind the ears (I’m called “kiddo” at Lucketts), but I’m starting to get more aggressive in my purchases and more confident in my gut instincts.
So, what does the life of an antique dealer look like?  Well, it’s not glamorous, I’ll tell you that.  My space always looks better than I do!  I’m always dirty or covered in paint.  I dig through junk stores and frequent shady places to buy things from “interesting” people.  I drive all over the map to find new shops or auctions or thrift stores.  I know exactly how much furniture will fit in the back of a Toyota Sienna.  Things are always coming and going from my house.  It’s physical and tiring work.
So, why do it all?  I really love it.   I love having a room that’s just about the looks.  I can stage and play and rearrange to my heart’s content.  I can walk into a shop and buy what I like, not worrying about where I’ll put it.  It’s also a really fun community of style mavens, strange birds and savvy experts.  It’s ever changing and doesn’t get mundane.  It challenges me and pushes me creatively.
I’m definitely not a “collectibles” or “fine antiques” dealer.  I buy things for their decorative value, not because they’re in pristine condition or have the right mark on them.  I just buy what I like.  What I would want to use in my house if I had 100 rooms to fill…and it all sells, so I guess I’m doing something right…
…and I’m having a grand time doing it.

Related posts:


  1. Don't you love that you've found what you're inspired to do. Each morning I get up and I'm glad a new day has begun. What will unfold? Who might I meet? What will show up in the comments box or my inbox? What inspiration will I find?
    I love reading your posts and I'm glad to be part of the "I love my job" club!
    Keep doing what you're doing!

  2. I think it's awesome that you've found something you love to do. And yes, I'm sure it is very physical work, but I'd look at that as a bonus, you're having more fun than working out at the gym and not having to pay membership fees :) I hope you keep having fun rearranging your pretty room for a long time to come!

  3. Great post and amazing pictures! You are such an inspiration:-)

  4. I so wish I was close enough to visit Luckett's! Someday!! It sounds like a dream. :)

  5. Here it come again…..I love your blog! I do! =) A few months ago I had a dream that I got to go into Lucketts! Only in my dreams for now though. Thank you so much for sharing your passion, life, and knowledge!

  6. i love the sign…move mountains in your homes.
    i will never forget that one!

  7. I really liked this blog. You told us something personal about you and why you do what you do. You are a very talented woman. I just wish your Lucketts was in the west coast. lol Blessings

  8. you have my dream job;) I love how amazing you are at it and hope someday I can be as awesome as you! So inspiring.

  9. Hey, I bought that vintage stamp holder in the first picture. My SIL picked it up for me at Luckett's – she lives in Herndon. Can't wait to visit myself.

  10. Such an inspiration to read your success. It has been with great motivation & guts to do what you have done to follow your dream! Your my daily inspiration!!

  11. Follow your Bliss!

    and enjoy,


  12. What a wonderful post! I still do not know how you do it all!

  13. Oh…how i relate…but on a smaller scale. I just started renting a space in my town's newest antique shop. I just happen upon it and the manager asked me if I was interested in renting. I had never, ever thought about that before. So, I asked him a few questions and decided to rent "half" a space. Well… it's been two months now, and I really want a full space. I feel energized { and tired } and I feel more creative { and tired } and I feel excited { and tired }…and it's all good! I met one of your dealer neighbor's… Karen of The Graphic's Fairy… at The Creative Connection this past September. If I'm ever, ever in your area… I'll be sure to check out your store. I've never been to that neck of the woods… what a fun trip it would be! Cheers ! and Here's to a healthy happy start to the fun and exciting holiday season ahead!! Thanks for all your tips and insights… :)

  14. Your work is so inspiring. I see the way you are 'redeeming' the ugly and unworthy and I am reminded of a Story!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Jenny D and I am MMS's Mom. I have always described her as creative with a Type A personality. Yep – that's my girl. Jenny D has it exactly right. I'm not very creative – but have 2 very creative kids MMS is one of them. However I am very Type A personality – so when MMS and I get together we get stuff done! I'll be there in 3 weeks- hang on!

    Momma Mustardseed

  16. I am so happy for all your success, especially this last year. You are like the favorite neighbor on the block……busy, creative, going in every direction, but always willing to give up the secret to making your garden grow. Your willingness to share what you've learned along the way is no doubt why your dreams are coming true.

  17. I envy your life, Marian! :) I would adore to be in your position, doing what you do, and just being blessed in being surrounded by all of the vintage goodness! Way to go, girl! :)

    xoxo laurie

  18. You go girl! Live your dream and when it's done there will be no regrets…. lol x

  19. That is so cool! My latest and greatest blog post(LOL – with my woppin 40 views) is entitled "Carpediem" – seize the day! That phrase could have been written to describe exactly what your doing. You are living out your dream – how many people can say that? You should take some time to savor that and "pat yourself on the back." Ok, you may have to wait until New Years Day, because your probably too busy to remember your name half the time, but you should be so proud of yourself.
    Many of us let fear of failure take over until some real roadblock appears (back issues in my case). Now you never have to look back on your life and say "If only I'd gone for that space at Lucketts."
    Speaking of Lucketts, your store looks so amazingly awesome – You have such an artistic eye. I love it! Your parents and husband and friends and family must be so proud of you. Congratulations Miss Marian.

  20. I hope that I can take your inspiration to the next level some day soon. My husband keeps trying to talk me into starting my own little shop. I need to find the drive and it’s actually improving, so maybe sooner than later it will happen for me too. Just keep doing what you’re doing to inspire the rest of us to strive for what you have achieved. Thank you so much!

  21. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Wow, what a giveaway! You really put together a beautiful room!

  22. Mary Deckert says:

    Love Pine Cone Hill style!

Leave a Comment