Brooke Baxter Of Arrow & Anchor
“Nothing I ever do is planned out. Even traveling, I’ll book a plane ticket two days before,” says Nashville native Brooke Baxter of Arrow & Anchor, her antique jewelry business. What began eight years ago as a search for an engagement ring at the request of her then boyfriend, quickly became an obsession and eventually a career. She broke off the engagement, but the search for unique gemstones and rare vintage pieces continued. She sells these special pieces at trunk shows in Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and beyond, and through her beautifully curated Instagram account. Beginning this Sunday, February 12 through Tuesday, February 14, Brooke will hold a trunk show at our Nashville store.
When Brooke spoke with The Journal last week, she was preparing to jet down to Miami to meet one of her dealers and peruse a wholesale jewelry show. “I’ll literally get back the day before the Billy Reid show,” she said. “All of my best shopping is done at this time, so I'll have all of the best pieces for the show, which is exciting.” Later this month Brooke heads to Parma, Italy to do the same, and frequently flies to the East and West Coasts to seek out her next collection of rare gemstones and vintage treasures.
“A lot of people think I pull over on the side of the road and go into a pawn shop and find all of these amazing things. And I really wish it was like that, I do. I don't want to ruin anyone's dream of how glamorous my career is.”
Brooke has spent years cultivating relationships with reliable dealers who know her taste and call her when something they think she’d want comes around. About four years ago she stumbled across a Cartier Zodiac ring - the Sagittarius - designed by Aldo Cipullo and so rare, she’s never seen even an image of the whole set. “They're pretty hard to find,” she says. “And I'm afraid that I might have inflated the market a little bit.” In the brightest of times, Brooke had a half-set. “Dealers will contact me now and say, I have this, do you want it? And it's four times what I originally spent for them. I’m like, Oh man, I think I did this to myself.”
What Brooke loves about the search for the jewelry, and the beauty of the pieces themselves, is the stories that come with each one. “When you're buying something from an auction house, say Christie's, sometimes it comes with a story if it’s from someone well known. If you're buying from an estate buyer, sometimes they'll tell you a little bit about the estate, who lived there, what the deal was, if it’s information they’re allowed to share. But most of the time, you kind of have to find the story, you have to date the piece.
“If it’s mourning jewelry, what people used to make when someone died, it'll have hair in it. Like a braided locket of hair. And then it will have enamel. And depending on the color of the enamel, you can tell if it was a religious figure that's passed away, or a government person. There are codes, so you can go through and make your own story based on that piece.”
Lately, Brooke has been deep into diamonds and made a lot of brides-to-be very happy with their antique adornment. There are no current plans for a brick and mortar shop, but she is seeking the perfect spot to set up a studio in Nashville where she can host shoppers by appointment.
Join us for the opening celebration of Arrow & Anchor pop-up in our Nashville store this Sunday, February 12 for a special brunch from noon until 3 PM. Our friend Rayland Baxter, who happens to be Brooke’s talented brother, will perform as well. Valentine’s Day gift wrapping will be available.
Photographer Yve Assad captured Brooke in Nashville with some of her antique finds and a captive audience. Brooke is wearing the Ozburn Knit Pant in Black & White, the Gatsby Skirt in Metallic, the Moto Jacket in Black paired with pieces from her own vintage wardrobe and jewelry from Arrow & Anchor.