the busy brocante buying tour

by Sharon Santoni


If I sound slightly out of breath as I write this blog post it is because this week is spent running!

Jeni Maus of Found Rentals still has the rest of the week here to shop with me, but there is already so much to show you (and so little time to write anything else for the blog!) that I thought you may like to see how it has gone so far.

purchases made in a brocante stre

If brocante shopping were an olympic discipline, then I can assure you that Jeni would be a gold medalist.   We have rented a Very Big Truck for her tour, and each day we bring it home full … and then some.

This, for example is what we brought home with us today …

purchases made in a brocante stre

Jeni is buying pieces that will mostly be rented out for weddings, parties and photo shoots.   She is an outstanding professional with a great sense of humour and the days are simply flying by … even when they are 14 hours long.

Yep, because that is the way that these buying tours for professional clients seem to go.  I pull together an itinerary that is aimed to show my client as much fantastic stuff as possible, with no lost time, and make sure that we make the most of the beautiful countryside around here, as we go.



On this trip we have the additional bonus of having a professional photographer along for the ride, as Jeni is accompanied by her lovely husband Joel, famous for his wedding photography.  I know, you don’t need to tell me,  … they are the perfect couple.

jeni and joel maus

In  a couple of weeks’ time, once Jeni and Joel are home, I hope to share some of his photos with you.  It will be a rare treat to see our part of the world through another person’s lens, especially one as talented as this boy.


So today, I bring you more images than words, and leave you to dream about Jeni’s amazing treasure, only part of which is visible here, because the majority is collected directly by the shipper who is following us around Normandy.

purchases made in a brocante stre

And me …. well I’m thinking that if I weren’t already happily married, then right now I’d be working out how I could arrange to get wed in California, just to have the pleasure of a wedding party styled and supplied by Jeni’s sure eye.


If you would like to see more of all the places that we’ll be visiting over the next couple of days, then check out these links for  our instagram pictures taken as we move from one fair or vendor to the next.  You can find Jeni’s pictures here, Joel’s shots here, and mine are here.

touring the normandy countryside on a my french country home brocante tour


Vicky from Athens April 23, 2015 - 2:01 am

Wow Sharon! What fun you must be having! Wish I could be a fly on the wall and following you all around on this marvelous hunt for goodies!

Pam April 23, 2015 - 2:02 am

Hi Sharon!!

How wonderful it would be to spend days looking and buying in France!! What fantastic treasures would be found?!! Such a great dream!!

By the looks at what Jeni bought, she hit the jackpot!!

Enjoy the rest of the week!!


Susie Craig April 23, 2015 - 2:10 am

What wonderful treasures and such beautiful countryside to enjoy a buying tour. I wish I could be with you doing the same.

Karena April 23, 2015 - 2:38 am

Sharon I am in awe of all the Gorgeous and unique finds you are coming home with every single day! ! Jeni and Joel really know what they like! ! Great job!
The Arts by Karena

Colleen Taylor April 23, 2015 - 3:02 am

This looks absolutely wonderful but I almost feel your exhaustion! They must have one heck of a warehouse to hold all these wonderous things. Looks like fun but then again, I don’t think I could keep up this pace.

Sharon Santoni April 24, 2015 - 3:24 pm

It’s called adrenalin, Colleen, the thrill of the hunt is a great motivator! 🙂

Suzanne De Pee April 23, 2015 - 4:12 am

Oh Sharon! I am just SO, SO envious of you and Jeni (and Joel) having all that time together in Heaven, aka junkin’ it in your beautiful French countryside. Now that’s the kind of business I should have had when I was young! Oh, to go back about 30 years in time! I sold antiques, but never went abroad on a buying trip. Would still love to do it, although couldn’t “bring home” the quantity your current clients are. I’d love every minute of my “work”. I’ve already looked through all three of your Instagram pictures. Please, keep posting more of all you are finding during your buying trip with this adorable couple.

Kristen Peterson April 23, 2015 - 5:45 am

I want all of the baskets. They are fabulous.

Maricarmen Weiss April 23, 2015 - 5:53 am

Thank you for sharing such beautiful time!

Botanic Bleu April 23, 2015 - 6:15 am

The French flag in the first photo is just what I’ve been looking for. Would you have one you are selling in your online shop? Loot shoots are among my favorite photos/bog posts of yours. Can’t wait to see all that this year’s buying trips yield…


Sharon Santoni April 24, 2015 - 3:26 pm

Hi Judith

It would be very risky to ship a long flagpole, I’d say it would be guaranteed to be broken en route. However it would be possible to ship the flag with the fancy metal point, to be mounted on a flagpole


Joel April 23, 2015 - 7:38 am

I sincerely can not thank you enough for your hospitality and your generosity, you are marvelous! Not only do I love the joy you bring Jeni (you are like two peas in a pod!) with your fabulous connections in the French Countryside but I also appreciate that you take time to enjoy the majestic scenery and truly care bout my enjoyment as well!!
You possess the perfect blend of Jeni’s desire to find treasures and mine to find great light for photos.
This is the trip of a lifetime!!
Thank you thank you thank you!!

Sharon Santoni April 24, 2015 - 3:27 pm

I think I should say that I didn’t pay Joel to say these nice things.and that their visit really has been great fun


Pamela April 23, 2015 - 8:16 am

Sounds like you had a great time on your shopping trip.. Looks like you are finding some great treasures. I would love to be there and go on a shopping trip. Maybe some day.


Elaine April 23, 2015 - 11:58 am

Will there be any wonderful old items left in France? It seems it is all being shipped by the container load to America from the various blogs I read.

Madeline Margraves April 23, 2015 - 12:41 pm

And I might add………. the pups look very mannerly these days! Miss our time in Normandy with you.

Cherry April 23, 2015 - 2:16 pm

Oh,how I would love to be tagging along behind you both!

Karen Cahill April 23, 2015 - 2:42 pm

Oh how glorious!! Love, love all the wonderful finds. Wish it was me! One Day! Its on the list! ;-P

LA CONTESSA April 23, 2015 - 4:22 pm

I am there in spirit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Off to do a SHOW TODAY!!
Two trucks LOADED……………….Nothing of course what I bought WITH YOU will be THERE!!!That remains at HOME………………XX
PS>Love that CHATEAU that you shared yesterday!OH MY GOSH…………….

Jeanne McKay Hartmann April 23, 2015 - 4:28 pm

Hi Sharon! I’m scanning the photos and drooling over my coffee at all the amazing and lovely things you found together – make me want to have another wedding (with Mr. H. as the groom of course). Although, admittedly what I love most in your loot shoot photos is Mr. Gibson and Mr. Ghetto. So cute.

Hope you are enjoying a lovely spring! XOXO

Monica Janovitz April 23, 2015 - 5:05 pm

How FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very beautiful, thank you! You made me TRAVEL!!!!
love from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Agnes Irene April 23, 2015 - 5:08 pm

Makes we wish I had huge country home – or any big house – so that I could fill it with such treasures. It’s a real treat to go on these vicarious shopping trips. And what lovely friends you have – all so creative and engaged with life, so genuine, and joyous.

Peggy Braswell April 23, 2015 - 5:17 pm

soo french + makes me want another wedding.

Our French Oasis April 23, 2015 - 6:10 pm

Obviously you are having a fantastic time and your clients are so lucky to have you as their guide and organiser. I think you have also had the same weather as we have had, fabulous hot sunny days, just perfect for April!

Emm April 23, 2015 - 10:26 pm

You are working hard! Impressive results.

I like those oblong crates that are not-quite baskets. Wondering what their original function was?

Jeanne Henriques April 25, 2015 - 12:03 pm

So wonderful Sharon, I love all that you do and am breathless for you. I was thinking of you this week as I ducked in and out of the wildness of Saigon, tugging at old shutters and opening and closing vintage art deco style dressers. Whenever you need a break from your beautiful French world and want to visit an Asian one again, let me know! Wishing you well Sharon…xx

Mindi Verdi May 4, 2015 - 3:47 am

Hi, loved seeing this post as I follow Jeni and Joel in Cali with Found Rentals. We, my husband and I, are wedding photographers out of Arizona. I am, however, starting a new business, The Grey Antler, selling Vintage and new French home decor and architectural elements. Our website is under construction. We’ve been all over France and last year spent three weeks up in the Alsace region (Riquewihr), where my relatives were from. Could you please send info on container shipping from the U.S. To France. Thanks so much. Love your blog.


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