Lucketts Spring Market 2023

by | May 11, 2023 | Antiques, my business story | 13 comments

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I feel like I’m going home in a way!  The Lucketts Spring Market was a big event in my business for almost a decade and it’s so fun to be back.  I’m just going as a shopper on VIP day, which is a lot less work than being a vendor!  In case you have never heard of Lucketts or you need a refresh (or just some interesting backstory about gritty entrepreneurs), let’s rewind.

The Old Lucketts Store is an antique/home decor/everything store that probably never should’ve been a success.  It is an 1800s general store/boarding house in a one-stoplight town on a pokey two-lane road in the farms and vineyards of Loudon County, Virginia that will never, ever get foot traffic.  At the time the old building became an antique store in 1996, Loudoun County was still mostly cornfields.  It wasn’t the bustling DC suburb that is one of the fastest growing counties in the US along with being one of the wealthiest.  Now, Lucketts makes sense, but in 1996, it seemed a little crazy.

But, I’ve known the founder and owner, Suzanne, for a while now and she specializes in crazy.  Good crazy.  The best crazy.  Suzanne is the gut-following, big-dreaming kind of crazy that sees possibility in everything.  And she doesn’t just dream about it.  She does it.  And when she doesn’t know how to do it, she puts people around her who can make her dreams become a reality.  She is awesome, inspiring, and the epitome of a successful creative entrepreneur.

I was introduced to Lucketts when I was in middle school.  My mom took me to the Old Lucketts Fair, a fall festival with craft vendors and cake walks.  My mom bought me a handmade pantsuit jumper that was not cool even in 1991.  When I moved back to the Northern Virginia area as a newlywed in 1999, I started visiting the Old Lucketts Store to look for antiques to use in our apartment in the nearby town of Leesburg.  This was the Old Lucketts Store before the magazine features and before it became a hotspot for DC area designers.  It was just an antique store in a cool old building.  Over the years, my friend, Shari, and I would treat ourselves to trips to Lucketts and other local antique stores and we started attending the Old Lucketts Fair each year when they added antique dealers to the craft vendors.

Old Lucketts Store | miss mustard seed

It became a big event for us each year and I would save money and make lists to prepare.

So, when I started my decorative painting and mural business in 2008 and started to shift my focus to furniture and antiques, I decided to sign up to be a vendor at the Old Lucketts Fair in the fall of 2009.  This was about a month after I started my blog as well!  When I was set up under a blue tent in the parking lot of the Lucketts Schoolhouse, I remember looking wistfully over at the Old Lucketts Store.  What a dream it would be to sell my furniture there.

Old Lucketts Fair 2009 | miss mustard seed

I signed up for the Lucketts Spring Market in 2010 and, true to the Lucketts Spring Market, it was rainy and sloppy, but my dad sat under an umbrella with me and helped me through the weekend.  Despite the weather, I had strong sales and a few people even came out to shop the sale because they read about it on my blog.

Lucketts Spring Market 2010 | miss mustard seed

The Old Lucketts Fair in the fall of 2010 was a big turning point for my business and blog.  My first magazine features were coming out and I had an invitation to join a new antique co-op called Wild Rose and Chartreuse, a barn sale near Frederick, MD.  In addition, Amy, one of the vendors at Lucketts and the creative mind behind the Lucketts Design House, raided my booth.  I was holding my breath as she walked around my little tent, plucking tags off of pieces and adding them to a growing stack in her palm.

This encounter led to Amy buying more pieces from me, which gave me a foot in the door.  Apart from this development with Amy, another vendor at Lucketts and a fellow blogger, Karen of the Graphics Fairy, took me under her wing and became a mentor.  She eventually invited me to sell my furniture out of her space at the Old Lucketts Store and, after just a few months, I was asked to be a vendor in my own space.

Lucketts Spring Market 2017 | miss mustard seed

When I think back on this story, I am filled with gratitude for the women who saw potential in me, nurtured and encouraged me, and invited me into something special.  They didn’t have to do that.  They’re busy, established, and didn’t need to take the time on me.  But, it was their effort and willingness to build into me that helped my business grow the way it did in the early years.

I sold out of Lucketts as a vendor for a few years, but I eventually had to scale back to just selling at the Lucketts Spring Market.  I was just too busy and I had to find ways to recoup some margin.  I felt hard to let go of something that was such a dream, but it enabled me to put more attention on my offerings at the Lucketts Spring Market and my tent and truckloads of furniture antiques grew each year.  You can read a full recap of each year in THIS POST if you’re interested!

Lucketts Spring Market 2017 | miss mustard seed

After a few years of record rains, closings, and parking fiascos, the Lucketts Spring Market moved to the Clarke County Fairgrounds in Berryville, VA and they added the Lucketts Fall Market, which I was able to attend for the first time last year.  You can read about shopping at the 2022 Fall Market HERE.

Lucketts Fall Market 2022 | miss mustard seed

The 2023 Lucketts Spring Market is May 19-21, at the Clarke County Fairgrounds in Berryville, VA.  You can purchase tickets for the VIP event HERE or you can just show up and pay at the gate when the gates open for general admission.

The benefit of showing up as an early bird is you get the first pick!  It is busy and can be a bit overwhelming, but I feel like I’ll handle it better this year now that I know what to expect.  I just put too much pressure on myself last year to find perfect pieces right away.  I ended up finding amazing pieces for my studio after taking my time to look around.  The benefit of going Sunday afternoon is the pace is slower and you’re more likely to get good deals from vendors who don’t want to load pieces back up.  It just depends on what your personality and goals.

This year, I’m going with a list again, although nothing is urgent.  I’m keeping an eye out for a perfect kitchen island, but I already have a great stand-in and some other options.  I’m looking for a large hutch/wall unit for the kitchen as well as kitchen chairs, a wardrobe for the foyer, and a few other things.  I’m attending VIP day with my mom, Shari (my antiquing buddy from years ago), and Chris Tigges, the owner of Zion Springs Bed & Breakfast.  Mom and I will be staying there Thursday night, so it’ll feel like a mini vacation.  The B&B is on a gorgeous piece of property and I’ll definitely take pictures while I’m there.

As I did last year, I’ll take lots of videos and pictures during the event, so you can follow along on my Instagram HERE.

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    13 Comments

    1. Kim

      Wow, reading this I realize I have been reading your blog since it began! And it is hard to believe so many years have gone by! It is wonderful to learn about your lifelong relationship with Lucketts. I hope that you will find just the right things that you have been looking for!

    2. Nicole Jenkins

      Like Kim, I have been reading your blog since nearly the beginning – it was your furniture painting and refurbishing that drew me to your blog and I’ve appreciated your creativity and willingness to bring us all along on your journeys for so many years. Thank you!

      • JC

        I too remember the beginnings! Time sure does fly when you are busy creating! Have a fun filled weekend hunting for treasures!

    3. Celeste

      I feel like I followed this journey with you over the years, but in all that time I never was able to go to the Market. At first, I lived in Missouri and my daughter lived in No. VA so I only got to visit the store once on a visit to her. Then you moved away and wouldn’t you know it, I moved to No. VA. Now for sure I would get to attend. Then there was this thing called a pandemic and grandchild’s birthdays and I never could get the timing right. This was gonna be my year! Except it’s the same weekend that we go on vacation. Hmmm Disney World or Luckett’s. Oh well, I’ll shoot for the Fall Market. Have fun and please keep us informed about the wonders you find.

    4. Shelley Humpal

      Hi Marian: You were one of the very first blogs I found way back in the day. I loved your stories of Lucket’s and because of you I was able to find this one horse corner of the world and was so charmed and immediately felt like I was home. The year was 2012 and my client who was a huge Civil War buff and so knowledgable wanted to go to the 150th re-enactment of Antietam. We had turned into very nice friends by that time and Lucket’s was one of our first stops outside of DC. I’m smiling as I write this because it is such a good memory and my friend has since passed. Those days spent in that area were some of the best and I would move to Maryland in a heartbeat. As always thank you and thanks for the memory.

    5. Barbara Rollenhagen

      Happy hunting at Lucketts! I live in the Shenandoah Valley but have never been to Lucketts. Antiquing in the Valley is quite good and the auctions are incredible.

      Can’t wait to see what you find.

    6. Nancy Johnson

      This is an excellent chance to tell you how much I admire your talent(s) and warmth. I don’t go quite as far back as the beginning; I discovered you on YouTube when I was trying to learn how to reupholster an old chair I had just bought. When I discovered you have a blog, I subscribed (my first one) and have enjoyed following you ever since. Coincidentally, my other “never miss” blog is The Graphics Fairy. It’s nice to know my two favorites have a history together.

    7. Gayle Stewart

      I hope you have an amazing time with your mom and friend! One day, I hope to make the trip with my best friend. For now, I’ll just dream. This has been my year to purge. And I’ve promised myself no purchases until I’m finished. There is no way I could ever go to Luckett’s without buying a lot! Lol! Have a great time!

    8. Teresa

      My Mom and I plan on driving to Lucketts from Richmond but will go to the general admission on Friday at 12. I loved hearing about the history of Lucketts and how you got started as well. I have been to the Lucketts market several times and it was either very warm or raining cats and dogs! That last year before it was moved to the fairgrounds was a real doozy with the mud and rain! I watched as many poor attendees had to get their stuck vehicles towed out of the muddy fields. So happy it’s in a larger, better venue now.

    9. IreneL

      I have been reading your blog since almost the beginning. You have something special to offer and that gives you staying power as the field (aka competition) has increased by countless other newcomers as social media exploded in recent years. I have always enjoyed following your journey and I am glad that you have taken this route to share your creativity with all of us. I hope your Luckett’s shopping was a huge success and that you also enjoyed your mini vacation!

    10. Barbara

      I met you at one of the Luckett spring markets a few years before it moved to the Clarks County Fairgrounds. I remember parking in the mud, the year rain cancelled the market, and finding your booth and getting my picture taken with you. Visiting Lucketts spring market is a highlight of my year. My hubby and I enjoy the trip and sometimes make a weekend of it. Loudon County is truly a gem! We stayed at the Zion Springs Bed and Breakfast during one of those trips. The years fly by don’t they? Anyway, enjoy Sunday and save a few things for me for Sunday… haha…. I’ll be excited to see what treasures you find.

    11. Faye Lindsay

      Having known your in-laws for many years as we met every Friday night for dinner with several others in Cary. Linda introduced us to your blogs which is where I found out about Locketts. While traveling through the wine country we found the wonderful place. My husband and brother gave me as long as I wanted to shop. I enjoy your words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing.

    12. Frances Kaklikian

      My daughter and I go every year as well. It’s our favorite activity of the year. Like you, last year I was looking for a jelly cabinet, and like you again, I didn’t find one. Maybe this weekend. 🙂

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