The Spring show started yesterday as we began our 30th Antique Show here at Marburger Farm! This show features over 350 national and international exhibitors, with a crowd of shoppers from across the US and around the world. How did we get here? It’s been a crazy history. . .
When the Marburger Farm Antique Show burst onto a Texas cow pasture in the fall of 1997, everyone knew that something unique was being branded in Round Top. Halfway between Houston and Austin, dealers called the new show “a breath of fresh air.” Shoppers just said, “Here we come!” Rain? Sleet? Snow? 100 degree weather? Doesn’t matter – our shoppers come regardless. (That’s a sign of true love, isn’t it?) Marburger has grown steadily and flourished greatly over the past 15 years, even during a challenging time in history. Through September 11th, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike, $5 gas prices, banks melting down, two wars and a struggling economy, the show has continued to grow into the international blockbuster it is today.
So, why has the Marburger Farm Antique Show been able to flourish during such a difficult era in America?
Carol O’Steen, one of our Tallahassee, FL exhibitors says, “In spite of all that has happened in the world, people still need a break. Marburger Farm is a kind of retreat. Some years people may buy more than other years, but they still come. People look forward to coming to Marburger Farm all year.” At the spring show O’Steen will offer over 600 sterling napkin rings and early American coin silver, including rare southern coin silver. “My goal at Marburger is that each person will take time to relax and enjoy the moment—and go home with packages and wonderful memories.”
Exhibitor John Gray of Magnolia Pearl reflects that “There is a soul to the people who converge twice a year at Marburger Farm. It’s the spirit of these people coming together— all of that creativity from Europe, from both coasts of the US and from far and wide. It brings an unselfish, uncommon energy to come together in spite of the world’s situation. And, in spite of all that has happened, our show at Marburger has grown stronger every time. Shoppers don’t fly in from all over the world unless the show is outstanding —and Marburger Farm is outstanding.” Magnolia Pearl is one of the original artisan exhibitors at Marburger, bringing old-world inspired clothing and accessories with Magnolia Pearl flair and creativity. “For a lot of Marburger customers,” Gray concludes, “this show is their own artistic expression of who they are. It’s being in an environment where you are seen as an equal, as a like-minded person, oriented to the community of antiques and beauty.”
Judy Hill of J Hill Designs agrees. “It takes strong people to create something that gives other people an outlet in the face of disasters. Antique shows are a stress reliever. We are a community, an antiques community. We love to be together and we love what we do. We love the people who come because we all have this in common: we connect over antiques. I don’t even call them customers. They are people who love the same things that I do.” Hill will offer “soft industrial” antiques in metal and wood, plus an arbor and other garden antiques, with lots of white for a spring palette.
Michael Roberts of Roberts Antiques in Homer, MI lifts up the customer-friendly vibe at Marburger Farm. “We do shows all over America and Marburger Farm is the only place that is consistent, show in, show out. Parking is easy, not a lot of hassle. And Marburger has something for everyone. We have a wide price range.” Roberts will alight in Texas with antiques from France and Italy, plus art, garden antiques, lighting and wicker.
There are other reasons for the success of the Marburger Farm Antique Show: the overflowing booth spaces that allow more space for so much more merchandise than at other shows; the long three day set up that gives dealers the time to bring in this unusually massive amount of merchandise. Then there are those stunning booth displays that are now the norm at Marburger Farm. And then there is that strong Texas economy and all those store owners…interior designers…and moms and dads and kids and multiple generations who enjoy being together in the midst of antiques, history and beauty.
Lowell Dunn, Canterbury Court, Corsicana, TX echoes the theme: “It’s the excellent mix and quality of the antiques. Even with all that goes on in the world, people still want comfortable homes and to be surrounded with things that they love. That’s what Marburger Farm dealers offer.” Dunn takes great effort to offer it, traveling to England to unearth pottery, Staffordshire, majolica and furniture with an English country home style.
There are a lot of reasons that Marburger Farm has flourished over its 30 show history, but they all boil down to one thing – our fellow antique lovers and show attendees. So, tell us – what’s YOUR favorite thing about the Marburger Farm Antique Show.