I decided to go to Brimfield this year, almost instantly after I received the sad news about Jewelry Camp being canceled this summer. I was eagerly saving my money and planning on attending Jewelry Camp after missing out year after year (I’ve gone only once, when they came to Atlanta). I wasn’t really planning on going to Brimfield, but thought it would be a fun jewelry adventure since the one I had planned on wasn’t happening. I like changing things up and experimenting so that I’m able to compare my experiences in order to give the best advice possible. So with this trip, I did everything opposite of what I did two years ago when I visited for the first time! Hope you enjoy my findings and it helps you plan your trip better!
I went in May rather than September.
I heard so many opinions about which of the three yearly Brimfield shows has the most jewelry. Was it May or July? Could it be September?? After going in May and September, I would have to say they were actually pretty equal! The plus side for going in May compared to September was the weather–September was brutally hot and this time around the weather was fantastic. It did get really hot, but it was tolerable.
I went later in the week rather than the first two days.
So last time when I went in September, I went Tuesday and Wednesday. This time in May I went Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Findings: Tuesday-Friday are the best days to attend, skip out on Saturday if possible–it is way too busy and no new fields are open that day, just all the ones that have opened previously throughout the week.
I stayed in Sturbridge rather than Amherst.
Last time I stayed further away from Brimfield, in Amherst at the Lord Jeffery Inn, a 50-minute drive to Brimfield. This time I stayed closer, in Sturbridge at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, a 10-minute drive to Brimfield. Findings: Most people who attend Brimfield stay in Sturbridge, so the traffic is pretty heavy. The 10-minute drive actually turned out to be 45 minutes one morning! Crazy! I enjoyed both hotels for different reasons–the Lord Jeffery is definitely quaint and historic, the rooms are smaller than the hotel in Sturbridge but have a slight luxurious feel. Sturbridge Host has an awesome location, right on the lake, with picturesque scenery, but the rooms are very outdated (like 1980s). I also enjoyed Sturbridge’s restaurants and antique shops, which we got to check out. Huge fan of Jimmy D’s sandwich shop–omg, had the best Club sandwich with ginger ale, best meal ever.
I did 3 days at Brimfield rather than 2 days.
I felt like I should have stayed longer last time I went–it felt wasteful to fly all that way and journey all that way to go just two days and leave. So this time we stayed four nights and went for three days in a row. I definitely suggest three days as the ideal number of days to go–except my three days included Saturday, which wasn’t a great day to attend in my opinion–so make sure your three days lands on the week-days.
I brought a small backpack rather than a purse.
Omg I can’t tell you how much better I felt compared to two years ago when I brought a large purse! A small backpack is where it is at! This way, both hands were free to roam and treasure hunt, and I packed very light. The only things in my backpack were cash, keys and wallet.
We took several car breaks.
Last time I went we parked our rental car and never came back to it until we were completely done for the day. This time we did things differently–after 3-4 hours out on the fields we would go back to the car and turn up the AC all the way and just sit/relax for 30 minutes. That “recharge” time helped tremendously.
Overall, the trip was a success and I was able to buy a lot more than I did the first time I went. I wanted to bring back lots of items to be able to sell, so I’ve listed 20+ items already in my @shopGEMGOSSIP account. The last two photos here depict all my loot. I also bought a couple things for my personal collection, like a couple baby rings, a garnet cabochon Victorian ring with black enamel in immaculate condition.
I also got to spend some time with Laura & Amanda of MaeJean Vintage which was fun–it was awesome to see their haul of jewels all in one place. I picked some favorites and took a photo (pictured above, the one with the signet rings, etc). The sisters have such a passion for what they are doing and it is so fun to watch their business grow. I also got to meet Village Green Antiques who was set up at Brimfield–I bought a few things from her, including a baby ring I am keeping for my personal collection.
We also got to see an episode of Flea Market Flip being filmed while we were there–almost blindedly ran into Lara Spencer while she was on camera! Yikes! It was really cool to see the production team and all that goes into a show like that. Can’t wait to watch the episode; hope I’m not in any of the scenes, I was a sweaty mess!