Lucketts 2016 Recap | part 3

Marian Parsonsbuying & selling antiques46 Comments

Saturday was the early day of the Lucketts Market, kicking things off at 8:00, so it meant another early morning after a full day Friday.  I also didn’t sleep very well the night before.  My mind was swimming with the events of the day and the tasks for the next.  Sometimes it’s just hard to shut it off.

We drove down to Lucketts and it rained the entire way.  The forecast was so grim, I even packed magazines to read for the down times and scheduled a lunch with a reader Kriste and I connected with last year.

When we arrived at the event, there was a hard, driving rain and standing water in our tent.

There were a few leaks, but the good news was we were pretty snug with all of the tent sides up and we brought a couple bales of compressed straw to deal with the puddles and mud.  Jeff also dug “Parsons trench” to help control the water.  He was really proud of it.


See that little hammer?  I happened to have it priced to sell, but it turned out to be a good trench digger.  It was a bit of a Shawshank Redemption moment.

We knew it was likely to be a sloppy day and agreed to just make the best of everything and enjoy it.

We also did our best to style the remaining furniture and smalls, so it didn’t look too bare in the large space.

mms-7719 mms-7722 mms-7724

Saturday ended up being surprisingly busy.  I never even had the chance to pull a magazine out, much less read one, and our planned lunch turned into little chats between ringing up customers.  While the first day brought a ton of furniture sales, Saturday was mostly smalls, milk paint, t-shirts, books, and there were a lot more people who dropped in just to chat.

We had a few pieces of furniture left to sell, but I don’t think people were eager to tromp through the rain and mud to load them in their car.

The rain let up for a couple of hours.  There was even a fleeting patch of blue sky on occasion.  Two large pieces of furniture sold and more customers were showing up.

In the middle of the unexpected activity of the morning, I noticed my dad wasn’t looking very good.  He said he wasn’t feeling well and wanted to go home.  Well, he didn’t even look good enough to go home and he finally admitted that he wouldn’t even be able to make it to his truck and we should call an ambulance.

Fortunately, a firehouse is right across the street from Lucketts, so Suzanne, the owner, just ran over there and they were able to come get him.  Thankfully, my dad checked out okay at the hospital, but they kept him overnight to monitor a few things and he’s at home and doing fine now.  (He had open heart surgery about 10 years ago, so he’s understandably cautious when it comes to chest pains, heart flutters, etc.)

Of course, during this whole ordeal, I felt absolutely horrible that he was packing ironstone for hours just the day before!  He just wouldn’t miss it!  I told him we needed to get him an apprentice, so he can take a supervisory role.  We’ll see if he’ll allow that.

We sold quite a bit of ironstone once he left, so Gloria and I took over the wrapping in his absence.  I actually like wrapping up packages.  I worked at Mikasa one summer and became quite a pro at it.  If you need to pack up your kitchen for a move, I’m your girl.

Anyway, the break in the rain was only temporary and it started back up again.  Not only was it rainy, but it was cold!  A hot, fresh doughnut was in order…


When things slowed down a bit, I grabbed the umbrella and finally took a walk just to warm up my feet and to say hello to some of my fellow vendors.  Okay, okay, AND to do a bit of shopping.  

It was my first time out of my little area and I was able to see how bad the water and mud were in some of the booths and walkways.  I was so thankful I wore my wellies!

I wasn’t in the mood to do any major shopping, but I did pick up a couple of pieces of ironstone and some German linens.  I’ll share pictures of those in another post.

At the end of the day, we got the word that the Lucketts Spring Market would be closed Sunday because of the mud.  I know it was a hard decision for the event planners, but conditions were worsening and there was just nowhere safe for cars to park.  Vehicles were already getting stuck and more rain was on the way.    


We made the on-the-spot decision to pack up that evening.  We already had the truck and, since our tent was right off of the gravel area, it would be good for us to load up and get out of the way.  On top of that, I was done.  I was wet, cold and exhausted and I didn’t want to go to bed that night knowing I would have to come back and load up a truck.

So, we all pulled together as a team and got everything that remained packed up and in the truck.


We came to Lucketts with a tightly packed 20′ truck and a pretty full 17′ truck and left with just one 15′ truck (and that included taking the sofa with us, which had already sold.)  I call that a success, even though the event was cut short.

One of my very sweet readers, Diane, even stayed to help us pack up the truck and she bought the bed, which she was planning to buy Sunday if it hadn’t sold…


…and the Schwinn Pixie, so that helped us out, too!


And, with that, the final sale of Lucketts 2016 was made.

I’m taking this week to rest, relax and reflect, but we will list the leftovers in the online shop next week.  If you’re local and want to stop by the studio to check it out, you’re welcome to!  I’ll also post pictures next week, so you can see what we have.

In the coming days, I’ll write some follow-up posts answering some of your questions about future sales, selling online, and thinking bigger.   And I’ll open up my business brain to share some of my strategies for having a successful market.  And, of course, I’ll have to share my finds…

Lucketts 2016 Recap | part 3

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46 Comments on “Lucketts 2016 Recap | part 3”

  1. Sorry to hear about you Dad. I hope he is resting up and taking it easy. I hope you and your crew do the same…you all deserve it. Congratulations on another successful market!

  2. From two packed trucks down to one is quite the success — especially with the weather conditions.
    Congratulations to the MMS team for a great effort — from the beautiful displays to the parson’s trench. Get well wishes to your father.

  3. Time for everyone to take a well-deserved rest. Concerned about both of your parents. Hope all is going smoothly now.

  4. Marian, first of all, so glad your sweet dad is okay. I so love seeing all of your pre-show posts, and the months of posts leading up to the market are always anticipated! I have set up at small, local flea markets and it is so much to plan and think about, in addition to the physical effort it takes, what a marathon! I’m glad that all of the replies have been encouraging, I know it is frustrating for readers to see all of the gorgeous things you do and not be able to buy ALL of them, but that is what makes vintage items so special, the character and uniqueness of each piece! I sympathize with your plight, it is lovely to have avid supporters, but it must be such a balancing act to try and keep everyone happy, and remain sane! The market is how it is, their policies, weather, etc., and online sales require a huge amount of photos and accurate descriptions, so I’m sure that’s a whole different arena! You have so much style and your blog is so fun. Just keep smiling and enjoy what you do, we love living vicariously through your posts!

  5. Marian, wild horses wouldn’t have kept your father from manning his “wrapping” station. He’ll most likely enjoy having an apprentice. And I can vouch for your packing skills, since I received an order from you beautifully packed. I loved your personalized packing tape, especially the font. Your SoCal fan. P.S. You’ve passed your love of Ironstone to me. It’s hard to find out here but I scored four small to large pitchers yesterday at 20% off woohoo. Look forward to all your future tips!

  6. Well wishes to your father and glad things checked out okay.
    Sorry the market got rained out, but looks like you had an awesome show in the time you had. Congrats on everything! Enjoy your ‘time out’!
    When you’re ready to get back in the swing of things . . . I am interested in the landscape painting that’s in the picture of the bed. Also an ironstone sugar jar and your Look Book 2. Would you ship to Wyoming?

  7. I am so glad that your father is all right. Having done Luckett’s twice, in the early years, I know what the rain can do. In fact, I sprained my ankle in a rut in one of the fields. In Tidewater, Virginia, we are all building arks! I do have a questions for you, when you are rested. Are you still occasionally doing your paint classes? You see, I am a teacher, and I was thinking how great a class would be over the summer. I was just in Raleigh and bought some paint/products from Suzanna’s. (Don’t you just love Suzy and Jenny) But, it would be wonderful to learn from the master and her protégé!

  8. Marian – I’m so glad to hear your dad is ok and resting up!
    The market weather was so bizarre – I wore a sundress and flip flops the first day and leggings, a down vest and boots the next! But can I say how amazing those donuts were? (And it is a well known fact that all calories consumed while working a show don’t count)
    Love the “Parsons Trench” – we had them on all sides!

  9. I’m so glad we made the trip, the rain only made it more of an adventure for my husband and I! lol, I will always treasure the Miss Mustardseed Iron stone pitcher and table from another booth that we drove 6 1/2 hours to buy at Lucketts!
    I’m glad your dad is okay. I was there when they loaded him up and I know must have been so torn beween your booth and going with him,
    Thank you for being so hospitable and being so kind in the midst of all of that you had going on!
    Cant wait to hear your insight for the business end of it all, I am forever learning something new from your posts!

  10. What a shock to hear your dad fell ill during the show. And a real relief that he is home and feeling better. Prayers answered!

    Even with a Lucketts closing down on Sunday, your show sounds like a huge success. I know your exhausted physically and emotionally. Good to hear you are taking the week off to rest and reflect all that you have been through and accomplished.

    Awesome show, my best to you, your family and team!

  11. Glad your dad is ok! How worrisome 🙁 Sounds like you did have many highs and lows during this market but glad you had wonderful sales. Enjoy your rest and “talk” to you soon!

  12. First and foremost, I’m so glad to hear your dad is ok! What a scary thing, so glad help was close. Sounds like you had another successful Luckett’s experience! Congrats, and tell your dad to take a nice long breather☺️

  13. Marian,

    A suggestion for when you put this batch up for sale online. Would you announce ahead of time when the online shop will open. In the past by the time I get the post others who got it earlier have bought everything. If we know when it will open everyone would have a fair chance. Thanks for considering this.

    Carla in KS

  14. What an awesome Dad you have. Your parents are part of the “Greatest Generation”–and it seems they’re passing the qualities along to the next.

    Thank you for posting today. Glad to hear you’re taking some rest time this week.

  15. Glad to hear Dad is home and doing okay! I have enjoyed hearing about your weekend and seeing your photos. You are one talented girl! From finding the right items to begin with, then adding your special touch to some. Your attention to details and your business sense is amazing. Your murals were awesome. You, along with your whole team go the extra mile, and it certainly shows. Congratulations on a successful weekend!

  16. So happy to hear your dad is doing well and on the mend. Bravo girl! sounds like you and your team did an awesome job. Hope I can make it to one of these one year! I always see soooooo many things I want!

  17. Well, overall I take this years Lucketts for you as a HUGE WIN! YOU ALL did an amazing job and should be really proud of yourselves! #teammustardseedROCKS.

    honestly Marian, the booth was stunning . . .a visual pleasure . . . Truly!

    I’m so sorry about your Dad . . .how scary! I’m glad he is ok . . .

    Rest and relax . . . You so deserve it!


  18. Glad to hear you sweet Dad is feeling better. He is such a trooper! Take some time and rest, you and your troops deserve some rest! Can’t wait to see the leftovers, after you rest!

  19. I am so relieved your father is all right; I hope he really rests this week. I am so glad Lucketts was a success (& a grand one at that!) & all your team’s hard work was rewarded! It looked beautiful, even the second day after so much was sold. I would still like to purchase the two books & some ironstone & look forward to knowing when items will be online for sale. Hopefully I will be able to beat the “sold out” signs. Have a well-deserved rest this week!

  20. I think that should be your last Lucketts. You’ve devoted over two months just for that sale and every year you have rain and mud problems. Also, it is very strenuous for all of you. And of course your Dad would never Not be involved. If people travel to go to Lucketts, they can certainly travel to your studio. You could also rent a circus or wedding type tent and have other dealers there. You need to focus your efforts on brand building and new products, not buying lavender and soap. If you traveled for two days, like to the West Coast, you could meet with a lot of your stockists. That could increase sales more than selling smalls.
    Also, your Dad had a close call. You must have felt terrible wanting to go in the ambulance vs staying to sell stuff. The other alternative is to have a booth there selling your MMS Milk paint and accessories. Demonstrations, etc. Make it so that you do not have to be there. It could be the model for MMS booths at a lot of other similar antique fairs.

  21. So glad your dad is okay. Brought tears to my eyes too. It’s just hard as our parents gets older. I’m glad you had a successful show. Someday I hope to make the trip to that show. Too bad they don’t move it until later in the season when the weather might be less chance of rain. I’m anxious to hear the rest of all your stories. Like so many others, I would love to see you have your shop open on occasion for special sales. Enjoy your time off with your family!

  22. I really hope your dad feels better soon. Would you consider sharing your wrapping tips? It’s sounds simple, but anyone who can say they enjoy it definitely has a secret.

  23. I’m so glad your dad checked out okay and I hope he’s feeling better. He’s so cute in the photo of him wrapping ironstone 🙂 I’m sure your all exhausted and wish you all well. You did great!

  24. This event was eventful! You are wise to rest. I would very much like to visit your shop and will be in Biglerville the week of June 6th. How do I find you?

  25. I will add my voice to the “Get well, Dad!” chorus. Praise God that help was right across the street!
    Sounds as if you didn’t “need” Sunday to have a successful show. I hope the other vendors did as well. Glad you could be home on a Sunday to rest.

  26. I am sooooo sorry to hear that your Dad was not well and had to go to the hospital but thrilled that he is okay and that he is feeling better – GOD IS GOOD! Your event was AMAZING and hats off to you and your staff…. It doesn’t get much better than this!

  27. MMS Team you’re so darn cool.
    You all know how to get it done.
    You schlep and place and ring it up.
    And you sure know how to have some fun!

    The rain, the mud,the cold, the crowds,
    You handled them with such aplomb
    And If you’re asked to do some more,
    “Sure,” you say, so glad you’ve come!

    And, Marian, so proud of you all,
    Feels blessed and grateful for such family and friends.
    She knows she can count on you all to the max,
    When just ONE truck is packed and the market ends!


  28. Sorry for the rain but sounds like you had a successful wkend. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get to Luckett’s next spring. Hope your dad is feeling better!

  29. Hi Marian,
    I have followed your blog since the days when you were a vendor at Lucketts General Store, and was excited to meet you last April at a milk paint class you gave in Sun Prairie, WI. I can’t help but have a sense that change-is-a-comin’ for you and your business. It feels like the next most natural step for you, and I’m excited to see what it will be. For now, I plan to stay tuned while you enjoy a little R & R. Glad your dad is feeling better!

  30. Sooo glad to hear your father checked out okay! I’ll be watching to see when your studio will be open. I’d love to check out what you’ve got.

  31. Glad your Dad is doing better/well ~ I know you must have been torn about staying with the booth, and really worried … I’m also glad the “final count” finds you happy with sales on Friday and Saturday only, and that Sunday became an extra day’s rest for you all.
    I eagerly join others who have asked for advance notice of the online sale … I would love to have an opportunity to find things still in stock: seems that in the past I’ve been late arriving, and I found that things I wanted to buy were already sold out. Look forward to shopping soon!

  32. Just catching up on your Lucket’s posts. I was sorry to hear that your Dad became ill and had to go to the hospital. That is stressful all by itself even without the sale going on! Glad to hear all checked out and he is ok.

    It looks like the small step back cupboard (formerly the hutch wearing brown) didn’t sell Friday. Not sure if it sold on Saturday but if it didn’t, I would be interested. I live in Northeast PA about 2 1/2 hours from you and could make arrangements to get it.

  33. Sorry to hear about your Dad, but happy to hear he is doing well. Congratulations on a successful market. And now all of you get some rest!

  34. My daughter and I were wondering what was going on with the ambulance and I can’t believe it was YOUR dad! I’m so sorry but thank God he’s ok. Your tent was beautiful even if the weather wasn’t. It was nice to see you again and I’m glad my daughter got to meet the sweet lady who helped me transform that ugly vanity! It was our first Lucketts and it was fun!

  35. Marian, I read all of your blog posts, but don’t usually comment because it seems you have so many to read. I did want to say that I’m glad your father is okay. My father underwent two quadruple bypasses, so I know how scary it is. Nothing seems very important when your daddy is feeling puny. I think it’s awesome that he helps you. Whaddaguy! God bless him with many more years.

  36. Marian, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us and for all of the time you spent giving tips on styling and merchandising. I am usually the reader who doesn’t comment, but just want you to know that “hats off” to you and all of your hard working crew. I’m an antique dealer in two stores and couldn’t agree with you more about staging a space. You have a God given talent, sweet lady!

    But most of all – and why I am also leaving a note for you today – I was watching the first hour time lapse video and was thinking to myself that your father is so careful at wrapping and was doing such a great job. I was sad to read that he was not feeling well. Prayers for your sweet Papa and for you as well. This business that we are in is not always an easy one and I am glad that you shared the process with us. I have many customers who tell me all of the time that they don’t know how I do what I do… it a labor of love.

    Big hugs from California…..


  37. Oh my goodness I am so glad your dad is doing ok and is back home! Probably quite the scare, god bless. Looks like you all had a successful 2 days and even with it being closed Sunday I’d say it was a huge success!!

    Lauren | Lovely Decor

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