The vintage french brocante business is an idea that we thought could be bolted onto the painting holidays next year. Spending lots of time in France, and visiting loads of weekend street markets, etc, has suggested that we could regularly buy french collectibles and take them back to the UK for re-sale. This business doesn't have to make much each year, but it could at least add a sweetener to everything else - it is also quite good fun to do.
So far, we have accumulated around 50 boxes of brocante stuff and are tentatively planning to attend a number of antique and collectibles fairs over the coming months. We are also planning an ebay shop.
Then next year, when people are regularly crossing back and forwards to and from France in respect of the painting holidays, etc, we will be able to keep the business stocked up. If we sold 500 boxes a year at a 50% gross profit, we could make about $15,000 a year. Not a huge profit, but more than enough to cover quite the annual costs of running the house in France.
Being the son of an antique dealer, I am quite keen on this sort of thing!