There is a tiny barn in Newtown, just off of sleepy State Street, filled with a high-end mix of one-of-a-kind furnishings and objects curated by three local women, all neighbors. In this barn, chrome dining tables share space with low-slung sofas upholstered in creamy linen. Crystal lamps sit on marble-topped side tables and antique glassware fills scattered shelves. Every few months, the three women host a barn sale, and Bucks County-ites—all of whom feel that the barn is our own, tucked-away secret—file in to shop the collection.
And then, last night at precisely 9 p.m., approximately 2.5 million people were let in on the secret.
One Kings Lane, the high-end, California-based discount umbrella e-tailer, chose our Newtown barn, Trove Décor, to be one of their weekly “tastemaker tag sales.” This means that savvy subscribers across the world can access the trio’s items—about 180 of them, each handpicked by the women—and buy them instantly, at up to 75 perent off retail. Trove, founded by Christine Edmonds, Meg Newell and Rebecca Bancroft six years ago, is in esteemed company: Other tastemakers have included such design luminaries as Nathan Turner, Nina Griscom and Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.
“It’s a very exciting way for smaller designers to be able to reach a huge audience,” Edmonds said when I spoke to her last night, mere hours before Trove’s collection went live. “How else would Trove be exposed to 2.5 million people on a Thursday night?” The former photo stylist was on her way to a local wine bar to celebrate—or, rather, to prepare for the onslaught of orders. “I’m sort of concerned that if it goes really well, we’ll have to get shopping. A friend of mine asked if we were prepared for our new audience,” she said, and laughed a bit nervously. “Not really!”
Behind the scenes, preparing for the super-sale was a lot of work. OKL sent a photographer to shoot every piece, from every possible angle. The women had to measure, weigh and describe in great detail every single one of the 180 pieces, paying close attention to call out any minor flaws. “A small chip on the leg of an antique bergere? You need to note that, even though people know it’s vintage,” Edmonds notes. “They don’t do returns.”
As of this morning, a good deal of the Trove items have been sold, including a 1920s club chair, a set of green marble obelisks, a carved alabaster lamp, a surf painting by Newtown artist Bobby Gilanyi (who owns Love Illuminati, a clothing boutique around the corner from the barn)—which means the ladies will have a lot of packing and shipping to do. “We’re supposed to ship all items within 48 hours,” explains Edmonds. “Meg said to me the other day, ‘You’re not doing anything Monday, are you?’”
Not that she’s complaining. The only thing she’d do differently, if she had it to do over again? Get more silver-plate stuff.
“Anything silver-plate—a vase or a dish—sells for a lot of money. It’s like, really?” Edmonds says. But we’re still partial to their mohair-upholstered vintage chairs. Sure, people can order from the comfort of their California pads, but we get to shop in their cozy Newtown barn.