With her home base in Florida, her buying trips to Europe twice a year, and her business exclusively at Market Hill, Jessica Fairbrother of Sacred Heart Antiques has found her happy place.
When we catch up with her, she has just returned from spending time in Round Top, unpacking her shipping container and setting up her booth for the fall show.
“I’m a veteran of the fields, and they are filled with great merchandise, but Market Hill has set a precedent. It’s a really great facility. It’s a dream place to be.”
As for her buying trips, she says, “I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. I don’t pre-buy anything. I do it the old-fashioned way. I hand-pick everything. I put it in the truck. I am the transporter,” she says.
“There’s a great photo someone took of me. I’m in a street market, standing in the back of a truck. It was after a rain. I am soaking wet, from my feet to above my knees, standing there, waiting for everything to dry out before I can pack it away. This is the glamorous life of an international antiques dealer,” she laughs.
“It’s long hours, lots of work sometimes. I drive the truck 10-12 hours a day,” she describes. “My rhythm has been the same for two decades. My dog comes with me,” she says. “I can’t imagine doing anything I love more. I can’t imagine having more fun.”
“This shopping trip was one of the most successful and most interesting. There are a hundred stories I could tell.” But when asked about which piece she’s most fascinated by, she can’t pick just one.
“I’m excited about the whole booth. It’s not lamps, couches and side tables. These are religious pieces. It’s emotional. I buy with my heart, not my head. The pieces have history attached to them. I hope people take these pieces home and their family history grows around them.”
“I buy pieces because I love them, and people buy from me, because they love them, she says. “It’s nice to see these pieces reach their final destination.”