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Treasure Hunting

Beth Hubrich Has an Eye for Special Finds

Beth Hubrich has a knack for finding the fabulous in the forgotten. We came across her Instagram account, @maryandwilma, in the early days of the pandemic — a vibrant, cheerful respite full of easy video tutorials for elevating everyday life via chinoiserie, vintage linens, silver trays and antique dishes. Beth’s creativity is on full display as she, for example, shows how a hand-me-down Lazy Susan can be used as an art station for kids, a charcuterie spread or the base of a floral centerpiece. 

Beth started her company, Mary and Wilma, in 2017 to showcase her curated collection of antique, vintage and funky finds. Named for her grandmothers, the collection honors Mary’s adoration of animal prints and love for the color green, while expressing Wilma’s eclectic and fun sense of adventure. 

Birmingham Lifestyle recently joined Beth on a road trip to the Nashville Flea Market. Open just one weekend a month, the market offers an array of items, from antique furniture to vintage clothing, plants and everything between. 

Beth’s son Hank, age 11, joined in on the fun — and even learned a bit about entrepreneurship and negotiation skills by watching mom interact with vendors.

What are you always looking for?

I try to keep an open mind when I’m hunting because you never know what you will find. That being said, I am always looking for interesting and unique pieces that tell a story. Pairs of lamps, antique and vintage chests, beautiful glassware and trays, as well as interesting vessels that can hold items and serve a variety of uses are also at the top of my list.  

How do you find the best estate sales? Any tips for navigating estate sales?

Definitely check out the app as well as trading sites on Facebook for advertised sales. Going early is always a plus because you get the best selection. However, going on the last day of the sale can result in some great deals, since many of the items are marked down. Advice on going to estate sales is a little like advice on exercising. People always want to know what’s the best exercise and, according to experts, it’s the one you will actually do. So when it comes to estate sales, the best thing you can do is go and go often. The more you go, the better your chances of finding something you love.

What treasures did you find in Nashville?

We found great treasures, including some wonderful vases, great decanters and the most stunning chinoiserie high balls with pagoda detail. We also found a wonderful pair of lamps in a stunning cobalt color and some unique artwork.

Did you go to Nashville with a plan or a list of items to find?

I’m always looking for pairs and items that are interesting, unique and versatile, so I always have those items in mind when I am hunting. However, I try really hard to be open to the pieces that present themselves, as I think when you are open to what’s available, that’s when you find some really special things you never knew you needed or wanted. Those items often end up becoming some of your favorites. 

What did your son think of the experience?

A day off from school is always fun for an 11-year-old boy, but overall he was a trooper, and I think he really enjoyed it.  Of course, getting to see a Vanderbilt baseball game at the end of the day didn’t hurt. 

Most memorable vintage hunting experience?

I recently attended a wonderful estate sale in New Orleans. The house was old and quite large, filled with beautiful antique and vintage items. But I also loved seeing the house – all of the fireplaces, tall ceilings and fantastic details. Sometimes seeing the home and thinking about the memories made inside it is one of the best parts and the greatest treasure. 

Favorite find of all time?

It’s really hard to say – I feel like asking about a favorite find is like asking if I have a favorite child. However, a few years ago, I found a pair of Lane faux tortoise etageres that were really, really special. I also found a wonderful midcentury sofa with beautiful upholstery work. The fabric was in pristine condition, and it’s incredibly comfortable and long enough for my husband to stretch out and get comfortable too. Those, plus an English, cherry 18th century chest, have made their way into my personal collection and are definitely considered favorites.  

Beginning April 1, you can find Beth at her new location, The Nest, located at 2718 19th Place South in Birmingham.