Published: March 15, 2017
BRIMFIELD, MASS. – It feels tectonic, yet it is emblematic of the overall antiques trade as the seasoned generation of dealers, antiques show promoters and, yes, their customers makes way for the next. In a March 3 letter to its dealers and friends, the progenitor business of Brimfield – J&J Promotions Antiques and Old Collectibles show (originally Gordon Reid’s Outdoor Antiques Market) – has announced that the storied field has new owners. “After more than 55 years of being operated by the same family … the business and property has been sold to Rusty and Kate Corriveau,” the letter stated. The Corriveaus are the former owners of Crystal Brook, a field that is across from the J&J property. They sold Crystal Brook to Rick and Darlene Burns in September 2011.
While the sale was being negotiated, Jill Lukesh, one of Reid’s daughters, passed away in November 2016 due to complications from a heart attack. The operation of the show has been continued by Judy (Jill’s sister) and Jake Mathieu, Judy’s daughters, Laurie and Jill, as well as Pete Lukesh, Jill’s husband. “We all will be working with Rusty and Kate to ensure that the same quality and organization continues, beginning with the May 2017 show,” stated the Mathieu and Lukesh families in the letter. “The deposits, contracts, website, email and business phone number – 413-245-3436 – will remain consistent.”
Clarifying even further, Judy Mathieu told Antiques and The Arts Weekly that the show’s name remains the same and that the Lukesh and Mathieu families stand ready to assist the new owners in making a smooth transfer of show management and promotion.
“While this has been a very difficult decision, the time has come for a transition,” said the Mathieu and Lukesh families. “Judy, Jake and Pete can now relax. The entire family, descendants of the originator of the outdoor antiques show in Brimfield, wish to express our thanks to everyone who has supported us throughout our more than 40 years of operating J&J Promotions. We hope that you will continue to enjoy your antiques and old collectibles selling and buying experiences with Rusty, Kate and their family. Very Sincerely, Jake and Judy Mathieu, Pete Lukesh, Laurie Prescott and her family, Jill Mathieu and her family.”
Rusty Corriveau, a retired US Marine, is a Brimfield native. In his youth, he and many of his friends worked at the J&J antiques show, parking cars or any other odd jobs they could find. When he retired from the Marine Corps after 21 years of service, he moved his family back home and purchased Crystal Brook Antique shows across from J&J, which he operated for seven years. Kate Corriveau is from the area as well. Actually, Rusty and Kate attended high school with Jill and Laurie. Kate has worked in the biopharma industry for more than 18 years. The Corriveaus have three daughters – Abigail, 16; Kara, 14; and Sidney, 11, whom many dealers and shoppers may have seen working at J&J each show as hand stampers and sanitation engineers.
As neighbors with Jake and Judy, the families have remained close through the years. Kate and Rusty said they could not be more excited to retain the heritage and quality reputation the Reid family has created and cultivated through the years. “We plan to have minimum change, if any,” said Kate Corriveau. “The Mathieu daughters Laurie and Jill will be present to help us with the transition. We do plan to ask a lot of questions to understand the needs of the dealers – what has worked in the past and how we can enhance their selling experience. We also plan to implement a mix of media platforms to attract more buyers to the field, as well as being mindful to preserve the integrity of the products the field will offer. Operating the original Brimfield antiques show that put Brimfield on the world map is a big responsibility, and we believe we are up to the task.”
Longer term, the Corriveaus said they plan to build upon the successful history the show has had and “create the best seller and buyer experience.” Said Kate, “Opening on Friday morning, we want to call out to new qualified buyers to experience the ‘Brimfield Rush’ and not leave disappointed or empty handed.”
The antiques and collectibles marketplace is evolving, added Corriveau, “and now is the time it will become vibrant again. Besides the interior designers, professional buyers and longtime antiques aficionados who visit Brimfield from all parts of the globe, we also would like to become more visible to the newest market – the subset of millennials who have appreciation for fine food, craft beers and beverages, etc. This market is coming to the age where they want items in their home that have beautiful craftsmanship and quality – or something they can refurbish themselves – things with a story and that are not disposable. If we can capture more qualified buyers, our dealer base will reap the benefits.”
What are some of the initial dealer reactions? “The official closing and news has just occurred, so we have not had time yet to personally reach out other than the letter introducing ourselves,” said Kate. “My guess is that they will have mixed emotions. They will miss the Mathieus as they are lifetime friends with many, but happy for them as they retire. And, as they come to know us, they will be pleased that the business has been purchased by people who respect the Gordon Reid antiques show legacy, have show-promoter experience and also bring a fresh perspective to work with the dealers to be certain that J&J Promotions is always a buyer destination.”
Working on all previous confirmations for the May show, as well as taking reservations for late-comers, the Corriveaus said that once they get a system down, they will try to call many participating dealers before this spring’s edition of Brimfield Week, May 10-15. “We are greatly looking forward to introducing our family to them and getting to know their individual stories,” said Kate, adding that they welcome feedback on how to maintain J&J’s reputation as the best show in Brimfield as well as any ideas that might enhance the Brimfield experience. For information, www.jandj-brimfield.com or 413-245-3436.
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