Lucketts 2016 Recap | part 1

Marian Parsonsbuying & selling antiques, Running a Business66 Comments

My alarm went off at 5:15 am on Friday morning.  I don’t usually do 5:15 am (or anything before 8:30, if I can help it.)  It was like Christmas morning, though.  Your body feels energized instead of groggy.  Exciting things await, so let’s get to it.

I showered and put on the linen shirt dress and jeans I set out the night before.  I usually wear a t-shirt to Lucketts, but I opted to wear a “real outfit” this year.

I packed some berries and crackers to eat later in the day and took a few bites of a bagel.  I had too much nervous energy to eat very much.  I left the house at 6:15 in a van loaded with topiaries and plants and made it to Lucketts about 7:30.

As soon as I arrived, I went into “Marian Lucketts Mode.”  I am not like this the other 364 days of the year, but while we’re setting up for Lucketts, the pressure is on.  The usually easy-going, mild-mannered Marian becomes “Miss Mustard Seed the Dictator.”

I’ve had this vision in my head and have been working towards it for weeks, so it’s going to happen how I want it to happen.

Yes.  I really want that moved three inches.

No.  I cannot handle the rolled up sides of the tent cluttering up my space.

You get the idea.

I hustled around, moving, arranging, styling, occassionally acknowledging the people around me, asking them to move that over there or telling them they needed to just “make it happen” or “figure it out.”

The dictator does not have time to worry about where the cooler is going to go.


Thankfully, my team knows me pretty well and they give me a lot of grace as I’m barking out orders and telling them to look at the to-do list I put together for each of them.  They know how important it is to me to see everything come together just how I want it.  We have one shot at it before the booth gets picked apart.

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We were a bit crunched for time, so I would say we got the booth to about 95% of how I wanted it.  I wished I had about another hour just to play around with the accessories and get everything just so.  This booth was so much larger than anything I’ve had in the past. I would think we were done and then I would realize there’s an entire vignette that I hadn’t even worked on!

We had about 15 minutes until the market opened and I called the space finished.  I ran around and snapped some hurried pictures.  Fortunately, I had asked Brianna Wilbur, a very talented portrait and wedding photographer, to come to take some pictures of the event for me.  I’ve learned from the past few years that I’m always in a rush and don’t have the camera out anywhere near enough!  The pictures that aren’t watermarked are all hers.

In the space, we had a few focal points.  One was the tufted sofa and “living room” set up in front of the mural…

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The bed in the “girl’s vintage bedroom”…

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And the Farmhouse White table…


I wanted to put a chalkboard up next to the scale, but the ropes were in the way and we just didn’t have the time to rearrange it.

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The chalkboard ended up leaning behind the table, which worked out fine.  Katie did the chalk art on the board.


I arranged other vignettes around larger pieces of furniture…

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In addition to all of the antiques, we brought some Miss Mustard Seed products, like the new t-shirts…

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…milk paint, of course…

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…and books…

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As I took pictures of the space, everyday Marian came back.

We’ve all done everything we can and now we’re just minutes away from the gates being opened.


I put my camera away and started to gather the crew, so we could review our jobs once customers came.  I didn’t even have the chance to gather everyone before I heard Jeff say, “They are coming!  They opened the gates early!”  

I quickly asked, “Is everyone ready?”

Well, their answer really didn’t matter, because the shoppers were ready and a good number of them were making a beeline for our tent…

Lucketts 2016 Recap | part 1

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66 Comments on “Lucketts 2016 Recap | part 1”

  1. I have to say your tent looked beautiful this year but sadly I have never been so disappointed as I was this year with the Lucketts Festival. My family and friends were already to get up and go first thing Saturday morning and make the two hour annual drive, when I read on various sites that you were pretty much already wiped out. I was so disappointed and felt like I really missed out. I didn’t know that you could buy tickets for Friday….I guess next year I will have to try and get VIP tickets so we can shop early.

    1. Yeah, last year, Friday was really low key and we had plenty left for Saturday, but this year it was insane and we sold things so fast. I’ll share more on that tomorrow…

    2. Same here, there was hardly anything left on Saturday. I didn’t buy the tickets for Friday because they are $40 and I was bringing my mother and daughter. We only spent three hours this year at Lucketts for fear that our vehicle would get stuck.

      So many vendors had furniture sitting in lots of water, so sad. The local area boutiques made out with most of our money. My husband was shocked when I came home with more clothes than things for the home.

      It was bad for us Saturday shoppers but Friday was the only good day for the vendors as the closed Lucketts Sunday because of the weather.

  2. I’m so happy that you had so many photos to show to those of us who cannot be there. All of the preparation must have paid off, as I’m sure that your staging really convinced those shoppers that these items were meant to be used and loved in their own homes. I can’t see your whole outfit, but your longer hair looks fabulous and certainly worthy of your “dress-up” effort. Looking forward to hearing more tomorrow.

  3. Congrats on your success on Friday! Your booth looked amazing! This is in NO way meant as a criticism, but I was wondering…why don’t you just open your warehouse once a month and sell your stuff from there? Why not sell your small items from your web site so your far-away fans could join in the fun? Why pack and haul truckloads of treasures and worry about the weather? Are you in too remote an area to get the foot traffic? I know you have good reasons. I’m just curious.

    1. I agree and think it would be a great idea to have a sale at the warehouse a few times a year. I would definitely come !!!

    2. I also agree, Susan. I live in the area and can tell you the warehouse is easy to get to, it’s close to Gettysburg (15-20 minutes), and there is a great café/artisan bakery a short walk down the street. For anyone traveling a long distance who would need to spend a weekend in the area, there’s so much to do – the orchards, local wineries, art galleries, the battlefields, etc. The warehouse is such a great space, it would be perfect for a monthly market.. I’ve never been to the Lucketts spring market, mainly because I just can’t afford to pay $40 just to get in. The weather is so unpredictable this time of year and shopping in mud and possibly getting my vehicle stuck is incentive enough to keep me away. I’m sure it’s exciting for the vendors, but honestly, the cost is prohibitive for people like me on a budget (and face it, if you’re not there the first day you might as well not go on the “free” days because everything has sold out).

    3. I’m too far away to come to either location but I have often wondered this same thing myself. Marion, you are always so humble about your accomplishments that I wonder if you don’t realize what a huge following you have! You could easily have your your own sale regularly with maybe less stress on you? I know the Luckett’s event is a blast for all of you though and I get that it may be worth doing even just for that reason alone! 🙂

    4. I agree. I don’t live close but wouldn’t mind spending a weekend near Gettysburg. It may be time to rethink your approach to sales. And online sales would be wonderful. I remember a little stool last year . . . Your shop is hopeless for me, because everything I’m interested in is sold before I’ve gotten there. I also agree that you are far more popular than you probably realize. It may be that you are reaching the point where you could build your brand in a major way–and not just with your paints. Quite a few people make a lot of money reselling the bargains they’ve picked up. Not as in an antique store, but as a decorator brand.

    5. I agree! My friends and I arrived around 1pm and your tent was almost bare. All the pretty pieces I was dying to see in person were gone. Had a lovely chat with your mom!

  4. This is awesome Marian !! Great job and a your taste is stunning… I believe next year I will def pay you a visit at Lucketts..

  5. Lovely lovely displays…
    I do want to just share my little opinion on what feels like a bit of disparity I seem to read between the lines. I think that Lucketts may need to reevaluate their VIP day – at least allowing more people to attend on that day if lots of the product seems to sell that day. No one should be turned away. Second, and bear with me on this, I kind of wonder about the strategy of holding items before the sale even begins. As an antique dealer myself, I know that we want our stuff to find new homes…however, if I came to a flea market or sale early to try to get that one item I had been loving in pre-pictures only to find out someone had already claimed it via email or private message I would be so disappointed. At the very least, if this is a practice that just seems to work for you — perhaps you could let folks know what has already been claimed. Please don’t shoot the messenger, I just wanted to share my thoughts on this.

    1. I think your thoughts on the subject were constructive and useful Kari. And don’t worry, I don’t think Marian is the type to shoot anybody. 🙂

  6. The booth was gorgeous and it was a wonder to watch your crew put it together Friday morning! I’m glad I took the time to run over and look through before the crowds came and decimated it! So many happy shoppers! Missed out on my pigs with wings tho – sad face! Already looking forward to next year!

  7. I personally like VIP Day…. Not happy about the ticket price but it is in line with other shows I attend.
    Country Living Show…. City Farmhouse for example. It allows for first dibs on merchandise
    and smaller crowds. Additionally the appeal for this show was another show nearby the same weekend making the six hour drive all the more worthwhile. I stood in line two hours to get in…
    and chatted with ladies from Georgia and Tennessee and the time went by quickly.
    Marian… your booth was totally amazing. I read your blog everyday but seeing it was just beyond
    compare. Everything thing looked beautiful and enticing to purchase. There was plenty, plenty,
    plenty to buy despite a few things being pre sold . Your booth was packed from the git go…
    do I need to tell you? The shopping process was certainly easy…. But oh my the checkout!
    Yikes! That took a very looooooooong time which I am sure you will be tweaking for future shows.
    It’s a learning process. All in all, suffice it to say I can’t wait for the next show!

    1. Marian, everything was lovely! I did not see 5% that did not get completed!! Wish I were closer!

      A note on the long lines… Maybe have two checkouts. One for cash/check and one for credit cards. The cash/check line would move more quickly and encourage people to pay with that tender type.

      Just a thought…

  8. Had I been to Lucketts and entered your booth, I would have needed to lay down and recover from being overwhelmed by the awesomeness of it! You need an area for ladies to settle down and get their senses back! I have never seen a booth like yours ever! Amazing.

  9. Wonderful pictures, I just wanted to click on the so many items and purchase them , as if I were shopping online. I just loved everything. I would need that Uhaul to bring it all back with me.

    But after reading some of the comments I will say, if there were a lot hold tags prior to opening on Friday that would be very disappointing after spending $40 to get in early and the extra effort to be there on a first come first serve business it just doesn’t seem right. It is not allowed at the shows I do here in California. I am not trying to criticize, because you did a beautiful job and again I would have loved to have shopped your booth and hope to one day.

    Looking forward to purchasing something that was left over from your online shop!!

  10. I agree with others suggestions about having sales at your warehouse. Especially in light of the unpredictable weather every year 🙂

  11. Hi Marian just wanted to stop by and comment on the comments. I can tell from the language used no one is criticizing, just offering positive suggestions. I am sure you welcome comments as a way to gauge what you will do/not do in the future. I second the idea of your holding your own market on a some how basis. Less stress surely. I cannot make the Lucketts market so this is not a self serving remark but I dislike the ideas of both holding pre-market sales arranged through email etc and the VIP tickets. Both strike me as somewhat elitist which you are definitely not , being as generous as you are. I guess it is much like when you are seeking inventory and you fall in love with something only to find it is already spoken for. Of course you should be the one to make this decision. Your booth looks amazing and I do so enjoy your blog.

  12. I agree with a lot of the comments. Your booth looked amazing and inviting. I really don’t like these pre-sale events either. If I am going to spend 40 bucks just to enter and shop, I would like equal access to the beautiful items offered as well, especially if you see something in a photo, get up early to attend, only to find out it was sold the day before. Seems like it should be first come, first served. I am glad you had great success at Lucketts though.

  13. Did you sell the dresser with green rolling hills and sheep on it? Cute hairdo by the way. You need a rest girl. Love. Aunt. Susan

  14. Glad your booth was a success, even with the rain and the market closing on Sunday. Did you have any ironstone left over?

  15. I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now , so I was getting excited and nervous for you as the days got closer to Luckett’s { even telling my kids and husband They know all about you} It sounds like it was very, very successful all your hard work {and your team} certainly paid off!!!

    Try to rest this week!! P.S. Ever think of moving to Canada!!!! {haha}

  16. What can I say….Amazing Booth! Amazing pieces. What’s left are you posting and selling?

  17. Just wondering if any of the flying pigs or miniature wheelbarrows are left? I would love to have one of each if you would consider mailing to Canada? Fingers crossed. Great job on the booth. And just a thought, maybe you could save some goodies for the next day for all those that can’t attend the VIP day?

    1. That’s a really good idea Rose! Sometimes people even add new merchandise to garage sales to entice the crowd on the second day. That would be fair to those that can’t come to the VIP day – I’m too far away, just voicing my opinion!

  18. Oh how I wish that I lived nearby and could purchase from a market such as Lucketts or from you directly. I never get a chance to buy ironstone or other treasures from you online because everything is always sold out before I can open my email. I wonder if that is because I live in the West and miss out because although my day begins early, it’s not early enough to beat those in eastern time zones. I so enjoy your site and how your business has grown….just wish I could buy from you too.

    P.S. Love your new hair style!

  19. Oh my gosh! It all looks so cute, and just hearing about it is so fun! I can totally imagine the energy. Haha, I know that dictator mode well. People who love you totally get it, and will forgive you all


  20. I had a blast Friday at my first Lucketts Spring Market! What a gracious hostess you were as we all ruined your carefully designed vignettes. 😉 I love seeing some of “my” things in your pictures above. They are happily recovering from the weekend here at their new home! 🙂

    My two cents on the VIP day-it is a premium price, to be sure, but it seems pretty normal to me. Disney offers fast passes for a premium cost so those who want to pay can skip the lines. You can pay extra to jump to the front of the line to go up to the observation deck at the Empire State Building. You can pay an extra price on Southwest Airlines in order to board the plane first…..
    The regular entrance fee to the Spring Market is $10, so the VIP day actually cost $30, and not $40. $30 may not be a price some are willing to pay, but I doubt someone going and planning to shop (and eat) at Lucketts can’t afford $30.
    I’ve seen it suggested that all three days are open to the public, which, of course, will create a new category of “have nots”-mainly those working and unable to get off work. The reality is, there will always be a group for which the current system is inconvenient.
    Now, if Lucketts were to ask me my opinion, I would suggest that they go back to selling the lower number of tickets for Friday like they did last year (I heard last year was 300 and this year was 750!). Competition for those tickets would be greater and it would truly feel like a VIP day, for those hardcore market fans…

    But all in all, it was a great time and I am truly thankful for that one sunny day in this month of rain!

  21. Well done!
    You are fortunate to have readers who care so much for your success, that they take the time to offer bits of helpful information to move you ahead in your business. Lucky you!

    I second, third, fourth or fifth the idea of having a once a month or seasonal opening of your warehouse. I love how you set up your shop weekly to present to the bloggers.
    Lucketts is a HUGE amount of work that is iffy with spring weather. Fun, but tons of work.

    Stay put girl! You’ve made it. Now bask in the glory of having a wonderful following of folks that want to join you, visit you and most importantly purchase from you, your hand crafted/painted pieces of joy!
    Job well done!

    : )

  22. Enjoyed the beautiful pictures. You are so talented! I wish I could have made it to Luckett’s, one day 🙂 I enjoy reading your blog.

  23. Yea……what a beautiful booth…..I wish i lived closer and could shop like i use to.
    So glad it was successful!

  24. As someone who has attended a large antique market on a farm field–once, I will never go back simply because of the wet mud that people had to trudge through. It was horrible. People’s cars got stuck, the was only one way in and out to pick up furniture which caused huge lines and frayed tempers. Baby strollers were impossible to push because of the mud and the hills. They tried putting straw down, but all that did was make it smell like a wet dog. I paid $6 to get in, and I stayed for 15 minutes because of the weather, lines, and mud. Never again. I am in agreement with the others commenting. Just sell your stuff from the place you have now. I’m sure you will even do more business when people don’t have to pay money to shop. Forget hauling all that stuff. Just my opinion.

  25. i was there Friday at about 11 and your booth was getting wiped out!

    I wanted to buy some paint but it felt like it was more of an afterthought in your booth.

    Can I suggest you create a board with all your colors so one can see them all at once. I was digging through the small can with the sample boards and just got frustrated. boo hoo. Make that lovely paint stand out!!!!

    1. I agree. I had the same issue with selecting a color of milk paint. It was difficult to ” dig out” the color samples (especially if you had other merchandise in your hands). I felt like the milk paint wasn’t a focal point. It was a little frustrating to find a certain color.. But considering the setting, I know there isn’t an easy display solution. I’m hoping I’ll be happy with what I finally picked. Plus thank you for the free book that came with my purchase. It will certainly come in handy for future purchases!

  26. I agree! Ugh, I hate to get up that early, but have for awesome sales. The biggest thing here would be packing up all the stuff and taking it for set up…I hate that part. It nearly kills me anymore.

  27. Your booth looked AMAZING Marian!!! I love every item I saw in your pictures!

    I’m one of the three ladies who messaged you asking to buy a couple of your small ironstone handle-less cups online back when you featured the stash of 50+ of them you bought for Lucketts.
    If you have any left, would you please “Hold” 2 for me to buy (I live in Ohio)?

    I’d also love to buy your sweet wooden black and white cow pull toy if you still have it. If so, would you please “Hold” it for me too? 🙂

  28. Marion,
    I was in line on Friday at 9:15 and also surprised that the doors opened early. I shopped in your booth while waiting in line to check out with my two items. I was thrilled to spot the folding chairs, just what I was looking for. I was happy with my purchases but disappointed with all the holds on items. I had a wonderful day shopping with my girlfriend and I hope to go back again next year.

  29. This was my 5th year for Lucketts and probably the only disappointing one . I travel over 6 hours to attend. I can’t find shows like this in WNY. I was told ticket sales for VIP day went from 350 last year to 750 this year. Really? How is that VIP? Sounds like a money grab. Does Lucketts deserve it? Sure they do. It has to be incredibly hard and time consuming to put a show like that together and clean up afterwards. But on the other hand some of your favorite vendors (MMS for one) had slim pickins on Saturday (so much so I didn’t even realize I was in your booth…but congrats to you!) Saturday just felt like leftovers day and who likes leftovers? 😉 My only suggestion to that would be no VIP day and run the show Fri-Sun at a gate fee of $15 or $20 or possibly change the venue to a larger space to accommodate traffic/crowds. Whatever happens I absolutely LOVE the area and will be back next year for more Lucketts (and cold rainy weather in VA won’t keep me away!)

  30. I think it’s all been said! I love the vignettes and all the photos and am happy that you had a good market. Looking forward to seeing “what’s left”!

  31. Everything was beautiful – how I wish I lived closer. Oddly though, what I find myself wanting the most are the butterfly lavender topiaries. Someone please tell me where I can find these. I heard Costco had some, but I tried every one within 50 miles and nothing. It seems as soon as they show up somewhere, they disappear. I want to get on the “in the know list,” as it seems I am always the last to know! 🙂

  32. Marion of course your booth was amazing but I wanted to tell you that I loved your hair in the picture right before the opening. It looks great longer! I hope you get to schedule a nice vacation after that trip to Lucketts.

  33. I have finally decided where I would like to retire……..your booth at Lucketts…now, for a good cook and bathroom facilities…did you have a chamber pot for the bed? Beautiful…just lovely

  34. Beautiful booth (lboutique), gorgeous merchandise (treasures), lovely ladies (wonder women!) seriously a perfect package. Moving forward, not sure of your 5 year plan, but have you considered aMiss Mustard Seed boutique (new stuff), reproductions, and real antiques included? It’s time to experience a growth spurt. The best of both worlds for you and your customers. Boutique at home, lucketts on the side! You are ready. Your team is ready. Heck, I’m ready to move to your area and line up for a job (experience of a lifetime). The east coast needs a place similar to Magnlia Market that sits in quaint Waco Texas. hhhhmmmmm…………..?

  35. Marian, your booth was beautiful and I am so glad you did so well. I’ve read all the comments so far and like allot of the ideas people have given you for the future (whether it be for Lucketts or your own sales). I think people are correct in thinking you may have a bigger following than you realize. At any rate, hopefully you will think about all the thoughts people had on various things and know they were given because people truly care about you and want you to be successful. And again, YAY on selling so much!!!

  36. Absolutely breathtaking!!! Wish I could have been there in person…thank you for letting us feel the next best thing with this great post!!

  37. I’ve wanted a white Swedish clock like the one I’m the photos for years. Anyone know where I can find one???

  38. Love it ALL Marian! You ROCKED it girl! Question- the rack you have your t-shirts hanging on, y’all made or you purchased it?
    Would love an article in the series to maybe feature and show your handmade displays. Just a thought. But I would love to see more angles of the shirt rack and know if you made it. thanks

  39. Is everything in your display for sale or are some things for reuse at different markets? Lovely! I’m doing a few shows and trying to find the balance between small items and large furniture. You do it well.

  40. What a great job you did on your booth, love your taste Marian. I will have to figure out how to get to your store from Vancouver, BC, Canada!

  41. Marian, you are an inspiration! I am years behind you working as a realtor and plugging along on my blog. I love your style. I must get to Lucketts this year, maybe the November one! Keep on inspiring.

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