Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It`s In The Message...!

I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support. As I write these blog posts, I want you all to know that I am chronichling experiences from the last year and so far we are still in late February and early March.  While things are on the upswing there are more pitfalls to come... Stay tuned.

Last week I did a book signing at the CITY FARMHOUSE SHOW in Franklin, Tennessee.  I shared more of my feelings about life and the community surrounding the vintage lifestyle.  It was a joy to be in the company of such delightful, like minded people. Here is a little of what I shared:

My name is Matthew Mead. You may know me from my work with Country Home magazine or Better Homes and Gardens. Or the work I've done with major American brands like Pottery Barn and Longaberger Basket.  If you follow my blog you may know that, like everything in our world, print publishing has taken a real hit, and the common past time of browsing the pages of your favorite magazine is a bit more rare.  The last few years have been a real struggle and have really given me pause and reflection. I believe that the rise of occasional sales and pop-up shows  like this has been a real effort to join this community together, and while the printed page doesn't unite us as much as it once did, it has been replaced by these gatherings and events and real smiling faces. Here we share positive  encouragement and real feelings that we express to each other in person as " I am here for you, friend."
I look for mirrors at these events. Not the framed, chippy, white ones or the mercury glass-like distressed ones.  But the reflections that I see in the dealers, the decorators, the collectors who make up the fabric of these gatherings.   It's all as much about the people as it is the pieces. We are a very special group. The innovators, the creators, the keepers of time and tradition. As I walk the spaces I marvel at the relationships, the families, best friends, spouses and business partners that come together around objects and art. We continue and ground the cycle of memories, ideas, the love of HARDWORK and the simple but important utility of items that bridge generation to generation. We share so much more than cool stuff and nicely staged displays. In a world filled with economic crisis, unspeakable acts of real terror and the fear of plagues, these shows bring like-minded, kindred spirits together to share in beauty, creativity and tradition - which is truly and whole-heartedly  the secret to the BEST PART OF LIFE.  

We all have a bit of nuttiness about us...and a sense of adventure. Decorating, staging, dealing in ginormous pieces of old furniture is hard work.  Moving cupboards in oversized vehicles with muddy fields, torrential rains and scary highways and by-ways isn't always memorable bliss. Yet these challenges lead to this type of community - one that is clearly magnetic, attractive, powerful and irrepressible.

As I move toward my future and transition to a new publisher (and only God knows what else), it is this community and sharing my part of it which gives me strength and hope. It affirms my belief that what I and what WE share together is so much more than leafing through the pages of a magazine.

In closing, as I think about our common qualities there is so much more than items that unite us.  We don't sit on ordinary couches or turn on an everyday lamp. We are connected to each and everything we collect and bring into our lives. We appreciate the storied lineage of our belongings and live to FEATHER OUR NESTS. We are in touch, grounded by our lifestyles and each other which connect and comfort us.  

Three things you might not know about me:

In fourth grade I was selected to work with a graduated student who was a film major. He helped me and a handful of other students make our own short films. I often wonder whatever happened to my directorial debut...

One time when Jenny and I first met, we purchased a rose oil-painting at the flea market for ten dollars, and sold it to a Nantucket shop for $500 dollars.  I cashed the check for $1 and $5 dollar bills and strewed the apartment with the cash. We felt like a million dollars!

In my twenties I would frequently run out of gas. The wrecker would arrive and try to charge me three dollars for fuel. I would exclaim, "If I had money, then I would have gas in the car!"



  2. It is so hard to explain to people that just "don't get it." Your words describe us collectors to a tee.
    Love that you made a great profit. A couple years ago, I found $750 cash after parking my car. I took it to the police station. They held it for 30 days and no one claimed it. I was so nervous when they handed me that money that I dropped it. I should add......they made me feel like a criminal when they gave it to me.

  3. Love your blog posts. More treasures are to be found by you and Jenny. I need to sell some of mine or stop collecting. Hahahaha, that is not going to happen. Have been collecting since I was 16. Great things are going to happen. Keep the faith!

  4. Thank you Matthew for your incredible spirit, creativity and for being you!!!!!

  5. What an enjoyable read!!! We are all in it together, aren't we Matthew? Thank you for being so candid... makes me so happy to "know" you! Wishing you and Jenny the VERY best.

  6. You've spoken the words that live in my heart. Thanks for such an eloquent and beautiful description of what motivates so many of us. I'm blessed to have you for a friend. Hugs, Kimberly

  7. What a heart felt post.....loved every thoughtful word....thank you for all you and Jennifer give to the world...and the beauty you share.


  8. Great post Matthew. Good luck in all you do!

  9. Well said friend. You are what has inspired us to do what we do. We would love to have you join us at one of our shows sometime. We consider you an honorary member of our "junk" tribe!
    Linda & Dixie

  10. That was from your heart....thanks for the honesty. Great points: this biz is filled with hard work, great highs, great lows...euphoria and despair! But inspite of the all that (or because of) it brings us together as a family! I have met some of the most awesome people in this business! A second family!

  11. I love your work. I pray that you are soon Blessed with many, many projects. Keep the Faith!

  12. I love your posts...and esp love the little tidbits at the end. Keep your chin up Matthew and keep inspiring us. :)


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