Started in 1983 by M. Diane (Dee) Edmonds, Family Affairs Services LLC (formerly Family Affairs) is the Wasatch Front's longest running estate sale services company.
Currently under the direction of Ms. Brooke Thompson, Family Affairs Services LLC is a locally owned and operated appraisal, estate sales, and antiques company.
If you wonder why Brooke Thompson would trade her job as a rocket scientist to buy an estate sales and appraisals company, then you don’t know much about Brooke. The very day Brooke was born, her antique dealer parents were managing a large booth at Utah’s largest antiques show. Her mother missed the rest of the show, and her dad took a break long enough to be there for the birth of his first child, offer the requisite support to his wife, and dash back to the show – which his wife fully understood and insisted upon. So you might say Brooke was born to work with antiques, estates, and appraisals.
It is, in fact, what she always pictured herself doing. Brooke grew up on the musty smell of antiques discovered in attics, the rough textures of old books pulled off a dusty shelf, and the intricacy of hand-crafted furniture that they just don’t make like that anymore. But ironically, her parents strongly suggested she pursue another – any other – career. Her parents owned an antique store in Salt Lake for more than 30 years, and they knew first-hand the grueling nature of the business.
So when she went to Utah State University to begin her undergraduate work, she saw the wisdom in her father’s cautionary advice and decided to pursue a more technical field. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering and played on the women’s basketball team. After graduating, Brooke went to work for a large defense contractor in Layton, Utah, and worked as an engineer and program manager for more than 10 years.
But engineering could never completely replace the musty smell and rough textures in her heart, so she finally made the bold choice to step away from the desk and pursue her passion.
The opportunity came much faster than Brooke expected. A family friend and long-time colleague of her father, Diane Edmonds, was retiring and selling her estate sale and appraisal business. Brooke expressed interest, and the hand off happened quickly. She bought Family Affairs and has not looked back – other than to use all the analytical, problem-solving, and management skills she gained as an engineer.
Brooke loves the variety of estate sales and appraisals – from meeting with families to evaluating estates to researching individual pieces for appraisal to finding happy homes for antique gems. She has appreciated the invaluable help of her father’s antique expertise and her mother’s skilled salesmanship as they have been supportive of her efforts and willing to share their deep experience.
But perhaps the most surprising part of her new career is the ability to help people during tender times. By their very nature, estate sales most commonly follow a death. So as Brooke meets with families who have suffered a loss and who are deciding how to handle the items from an estate, she has appreciated the opportunity to help these families navigate a challenging time. She has found that aspect of her new career especially rewarding. And Brooke certainly has the gentle nature and empathic temperament to make her perfect in these tender settings.
When Brooke is not working hard in her business, she loves to play volleyball, take photographs of the beautiful state of Utah, work with the youth in her church, and serve as co-chair on the executive board of the Festival of Trees benefitting Primary Children's Hospital.
You can read about us further in the following excerpt from the May 2014 issue of the New Century Collector:
END OF AN ERA / BEGINNING OF AN ERA!
by Dennis Barker
In what has become a bit of a topsy-turvy antiques industry, it’s not unusual these days to hear someone comment on the “end of an era”. The retirement of long time Salt Lake estate sales maven Diane “Dee” Edmonds surely qualifies as just that. For more than 30 years, antiques collectors and dealers alike felt a rush of anticipation when they encountered an ad in their morning paper for a “Family Affairs Estate Sale”. While Dee’s retirement certainly ends an era, don’t fret, and keep checking those estate sale ads, because Family Affairs has been passed into the capable hands of Brooke Thompson. Brooke, whose mothers milk was Victorian silver, glassware and furnishings, and spent her youth haunting antiques shops, shows and sales, is the daughter of long time antiques dealers Gary & Jill Thompson, and seems cast in a role she was fated to play. Her association with Family Affairs gives every suggestion of the beginning of a new era. When Brooke told me she was born during the Salt Lake Antiques Show, I immediately envisioned her dad, deftly finishing up a sales ticket with one hand as the other supervised her mother in the throes of childbirth. In the background of course, you would hear Walter Larsen droning over the speaker, "Dealers, attention dealers, we've been informed by security that the building has no maternity facilities and any....."... the picture paints itself. Gary, however, assured me that Brooke was delivered in a hospital, where he visited during the antiques shows off hours. Mentored by former owner Dee Edmonds, and her father, Brooke’s team brings more than a century of antiques knowledge and sales experience to her new business. Brooke’s aspiration is to follow her families tradition of quality merchandise and service, and Family Affairs hopes to offer the finest antiques and upscale estate merchandise available.
You can download this edition of the New Century Collector here: New Century Collector - May 2014
For more information about Family Affairs Services LLC you can view our brochure here: Family Affairs Brochure