Published: August 2, 2016
GOSHEN, CONN. — The Dealer’s Fair, conducted at the Goshen Fairgrounds, will be under new management this fall. Maria McLennan, owner of Covet Antiques, and Annie Fletcher Itin, creative director and owner of the Fletcher Design Group, will partner under the name of Hunt & Gather Events. Together, they said in a release, they aim to bring the show a fresh perspective and an expanded dealer and customer base.
Entering its fourth year, the Dealer’s Fair is conducted in June and September. Approximately 80 dealers gather in a casual country setting, offering a diverse selection of antique and vintage items.
Antiques dealers Fritz Rohn from Woodbury, Conn., and Tom Seaver of Jaffrey, N.H., debuted this antiques meet in September 2013, at that time at the Bethlehem fairgrounds. The show was intended to harken back to the days when such events were short, sweet and low rent. The first year the show managers did not even charge admission.
Rohn and Seaver ran it as a no-frills show. Dealers could count on there being no booth walls, unless they constructed them. Lighting was BYO, except for the ceiling’s overheads and natural light coming in from each open end of the fairground’s two buildings utilized for the event. A lunch wagon catered to dealers and shoppers during the run of the show and bathroom amenities were fairgrounds-style. Folks did not so much line up for the ambience as for the eclectic range of merchandise showcased by dealers — an informal bazaar offering collections of fine art, trade signs, architectural salvage, pottery and porcelain, folk art, early toys, paint decorated, country and formal furniture, even Midcentury Modern. For a small affair, there was always an interesting array of fare to catch the collector’s eye.
“We were approached by Fritz and Tom, who had decided that they had many other things on their plates besides running a show,” McLennan told Antiques and The Arts Weekly. My partner Annie and I are very excited to be able to combine her experience in marketing and promotion and my knowledge and contacts within the dealer community.” Using all forms of social media, the team of McLennan and Fletcher will expand the reach of the current market throughout the tri-state area and beyond.
McLennan said nothing will change for the September show. “What we’d eventually like to do is give it broader promotion and advertising, get more of a customer base by targeting more of a retail crowd,” she said. The Tuesday date is problematic for attendance, she said, adding that it has been suggested by several dealers that another day of the week might work better.
McLennan, a refugee from the corporate world, said she has been running her antiques business for a few years, primarily as a dealer at Stratford antiques group shop and with an online store on Etsy. She has an affinity for garden items, country and painted furniture and decorative accessories. At present, the Dealer’s Fair is the only show that she and her partner will manage.
The next Dealer’s Fair is scheduled for Tuesday, September 20, from 9 am to 1 pm. Indoor and outdoor spaces are available. For information, 203-231- 5229.
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