What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everybody, so we’re asking some of the coolest, most shopping-savvy people we know—from small-business owners to designers, artists, and actors—to tell us the story behind one of their most prized possessions.
Since day one, Madison Brill has had a knack for entrepreneurship. After cofounding Mom Gallery in Austin, Texas, the millennial spent a few formative years working at Gagosian. “I loved art, and collecting always came hand in hand with that,” Madison says. Today most savvy design heads are likely familiar with her Instagram account @ilovecraigslist. As the self-proclaimed CEO of the online marketplace, Madison does the public service of scouring through the often sketchy classifieds to spot one of a kind furniture finds and sharing them with her followers free of charge. Lesser known is that beyond the pages of the internet, Madison has quite the knack for snatching up equally unique finds IRL.
What and when?
Brass boots, numerous—four to be exact. It all began in 2012, when Madison, a then undergraduate student at University of Austin, stumbled across a pair at a Housing Works. “I remember thinking, These are really cool, but I don’t need or have the money for them…but when I do, I’ll have these on display,” the collector recalls. So when she came across the same pair again a few months later at the same store, the opportunity felt too good to pass up.
This time, the brass boots were sold individually for $20 each. Hoping to be smart with her limited funds, Madison decided it would be best to just buy one. “And then I was like, What am I doing?!” After quickly coming to her senses, she purchased the other boot and then called it a day. (Add in a fascinating backstory told by the shopkeeper and the antique footwear was simply too good to pass up.)