ABERDEEN — For Billy Brasfield, the objects and artefacts crammed seemingly into every inch of the former B and B Furniture building in his native Aberdeen form a narrative of his life.
Each lampshade, antique painting, and eclectic decor piece tells a different part of Brasfield’s incredible story. Now treasured memorabilia and vintage pieces are waiting for the public to view and purchase.
Brasfield, 59, known as Billy B., established himself as one of the nation’s most sought-after makeup artists throughout a career that spanned 37 years. Many of Brasfield’s treasures are available for purchase at an estate sale that ends Monday.
“There are stories in this whole building and I know every room in it,” Brasfield said.
Brasfield, who now lives in Tupelo, left the South after finishing his college career and moved to New York where he worked behind the cosmetics counter at Macy’s. There, he learns to perfect his technique before attracting the attention of a woman who directs him to a modeling agency. After leaving her job at Macy’s, Brasfield began to thrive in a professional and creative environment and ended up working with A-list celebrities including Britney Spears.
While Brasfield worked as a successful makeup artist, he simultaneously collected items to furnish his two homes and two apartments. He amassed a giant collection of vintage items ranging from clothing to home decor and found himself overwhelmed with his collection, but had no time to slow down and manage the piles of artifacts.
After years of fame and hard work, Brasfield was ready to downsize and give his huge collection a new home.
“It just doesn’t make sense for me to hang on to it and it’s taken me an emotional eternity to get to a place where I’m ready to let go,” Brasfield said. “It’s emotional for me to get rid of it, but it’s also liberating. It’s so awesome and I’m thrilled to have new people giving it a new story.
He called Jeanette Beard – owner of Beard’s Furniture and Antiques – who has coordinated estate sales in the past and asked him to help with his own sale.
“I came and it was overwhelming,” Beard said. “It was stacked to the ceiling, practically, and I wasn’t sure if I could handle it all. I told him he had to clean up, and then I took the job.
Although Brasfield has spent most of her career in makeup, her love for beauty extends beyond makeup brush strokes. The eccentric artist has a strong passion for interior design.
“If I hadn’t by chance had such success as a makeup artist, I would certainly have worked in design like interior decoration and renovation. I had this passion which ended up leading to a mini-series of six hours I had on HGTV titled Hometown Renovation that took place in my hometown,” Brasfield said.
Brasfield’s show aired in 2011. After collecting items for his two houses, two apartments, and the houses he redesigned for the show, he ended up with enough to fill 10 tractor-trailers full size.
With thousands of pieces, this estate sale is the largest Beard has undertaken in his career.
It includes collectibles from Brasfield’s mid-century apartment in Manhattan, the eclectic home in Aberdeen, a beach-themed apartment in Destin, and an art and craft bungalow. 1920s California themed crafts. It features everything from an eccentric collection of home decor, vintage clothing to Hollywood film sets, old furniture to an extensive collection of vintage lamps that satisfies Brasfield’s “lamp fetish.”
“I just can’t say no to one lamp, so I ended up with 100 lamps and only a fraction for my personal use,” Brasfield said.
All items are priced from $2 to $5,000 and are representative of various styles.
“There are so many unique things here. Everything is so unique, it tastes really good,” Beard said. “There is French, bohemian, French country, Mediterranean. There’s so much for so many styles here.
The four-day sale started on Friday. It continues from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Beard will host a Facebook Live from Beard’s Furniture and Antiques Facebook page on Tuesday to sell the remaining items in the store.