More than just good luck is needed to become a successful antique appraiser and dealer. Besides having the proper knowledge about the items appraised, there’s a sixth sense and wisdom required, which only those who have been in the business long enough possess.
One of those very few people who have made it big in this business is William “Billy” Leroy, famous for his emblematic New York-based antique shop and his entertainment career, going from starring in movies to appearing in the highly successful “Baggage Battles” reality show.
Although it’s been a while since we last saw the show airing on TV, many questions about the popular Billy Leroy still go up from time to time.
So what is he doing now, and is he ever returning to TV? Stay here to discover it!
Where Is He Now?
It’s been a while since “Baggage Battles” left TV for good in 2016, but Billy Leroy is still around and getting the best of the best out of New York’s antiquity business. On one hand, his Brooklyn-based shop Billy’s Antiques is doing as well as ever these days, offering its clients a wide array of vintage and decorative items, on top of selling T-shirts and other memorabilia for those who visit the world-wide famous store as tourists, just for a look.
Some of the other projects Billy’s been involved with in recent years include creating original content for his YouTube channel, and appearing in his new show “Billy Buys Brooklyn”, which premiered on Discovery streaming services in 2021. Billy is also very active on Facebook and Instagram, sharing updates not only about his career and business, but also about his family and other creative endeavors.
All in all, whether he’s on TV or in his shop, nothing seems to stop the iconic Billy Leroy.
What Is “Billy Buys Brooklyn” About?
After a couple of years off-TV, Billy Leroy had his next great chance in the entertainment world with “Billy Buys Brooklyn”, starring him and his wife Lorraine Leckie. Premiered in 2020, the show follows the activities of Billy’s new shop Billy’s Antiques, from its opening to gaining new clients to reconnecting to the old ones.
Every time a new customer enters the shop, they’re up to discovering antiquities and rare items which might or might not end up in their house, but which are interesting due because of their history: ‘We try to tell a little bit about the history of the piece, you learn something. That was important for Discovery’, as Billy told GreenPointers in 2022.
“Billy Buys Brooklyn” has been warmly welcomed by long-time fans of “Baggage Battles”, who were surprised to see Mark Meyer back on TV during episode 19 of the show’s first season.
Billy Leroy – actor, antique dealer and 100% New Yorker. As he opens his new shop, he puts his vast knowledge and endless curiosity to work helping customers find, fix and discover the stories behind the most amazing things.Watch Billy Buys Brooklyn tonight at 8 pm.
Posted by Discovery Channel Africa on Monday, July 19, 2021
While the show has premiered only one season so far, according to Billy, more episodes are currently in the works. Nonetheless, whether “Billy Buys Brooklyn” is ultimately renewed or not, there’s no doubt that the show was the greatest way to promote this new chapter of Billy’s professional life.
What Happened To Billy’s Old Shop?
Long before rising to fame through “Baggage Battles”, Billy Leroy was known as one of the most prolific and iconic antiquity dealers in the Lower Side of Manhattan. His shop Billy’s Antiques & Props was known for its wide range of strange and rare items, but also for attracting the attention of celebrities who would visit incognito, just to get a chance of buying part of Billy’s collection.
Some of Billy’s most unforgettable moments at his old shop include the time he made headlines for requesting euros from his customer during the late 2010s economic downfall. His shop was also included in a 2007 New York Times report about the last vestiges of the old New York, in which he described his shop as ‘the last outpost of the Bowery’. The shop had operated since the 1980s with a different name, before being bought by Billy in 2002.
Unfortunately, Billy Antiques & Props eventually saw its good times end, and closed in 2012, much to the dismay of its clients. For many years Billy worked as an independent antique seller, before the opportunity to open Billy’s Antiques on Brooklyn’s Greenpoint Avenue came in 2020.
What Happened To “Baggage Battles”?
Despite the huge success of “Baggage Battles” on TV, there’s no information about the reasons which led to its cancellation. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that the show was remarkable, not only for its concept but also for its unforgettable cast.
While it’s not every day that we see people bidding for lost suitcases and packages, “Baggage Battles” was certainly keeping its audience entertained season after season with its great humor, interesting dynamics, and a range of attention-catching items to discover. It also offered an exclusive insight into the world of antiquity deals and thrifting, often surprising viewers with how far buyers would go just to own a suitcase with mysterious items inside.
The thrill was in the risk of the unknown, but also in having the chance of finding unexpected pieces of the country’s history.
Regarding the future of the cast members after the show’s cancellation in 2016, all of them still work in antiquity-related fields. Sally and Laurence Martin still own their California-based Studio Antiques, while Mark Meyer is an avid E-commerce businessman, ecology volunteer, and video content creator on YouTube and Facebook. For her part, Val Mathieu splits her time between her production designing job, and searching for antiquities.
How Did Billy Get Into “Baggage Battles”?
Being a successful TV personality is something many people desire, but few are able to achieve. It’s different for Billy Leroy though, whose experience in the entertainment industry encompasses several shows and films in which he’d been appearing since the early 2000s.
Nonetheless, the job which changed everything for Billy came in 2010, when he appeared in the popular “American Pickers” as an appraiser. Leaving quite a good impression on TV for his extensive knowledge, magnetic personality, and sense of style, it didn’t take long for him to be called to star in a show for the first time, with “Baggage Battles” in 2012.
Even then, Billy was in no way a rookie in his field. Despite having an Arts degree from the Art Institute of Boston, Billy found his way into the antiquity business in the mid-1980s, when he made over $15,000 in profit by selling a painting he bought for a couple of thousand in a flea market. At that time, he’d worked as an art director for a while, but it was obvious to him that the right career path for him was somewhere else.
Ever since his mid-20s, Billy has worked selling and buying old items, and made a name for himself not only for his vast business knowledge, but also for setting himself apart from others in the field.
Vote Martins!!Baggage Battles Rules!!Go Laurence and Sally #BaggageBattle #TravelChannel pic.twitter.com/CDNWDJbljP
— William Billy Leroy (@billysantiques) March 26, 2013
Billy’s Past & Future Projects
Billy Leroy’s earliest credit in the entertainment industry dates back to 2004 when he starred in the short-lived series “Taking Care of Business”. From then on, he made regular appearances in TV shows such as “Taxi”, “New York Conversations” and “Dirty Money”. Besides “Billy Buys Brooklyn”, his most recent TV appearance was as himself in the series “Scab Vendor” in 2022.
Billy has also appeared in several movies, including playing a small role in “The Guitar” in 2008, starring in “Dirty Old Town” in 2012, and more recently in “The Transcendents”, a suspense thriller which premiered in 2018.
Although it’s unclear which future TV or film projects Billy Leroy is planning, it’s for sure that his fans expect to see more of him in “Billy Buys Brooklyn”. Nonetheless, as fans wait for his show to be renewed, they can get a hold of Billy’s most exciting whereabouts through his YouTube channel, on which he shares updates about his business, buying trips, and everyday life.
All in all, it’s been a while since “Baggage Battles” left TV screens for good, but that doesn’t mean that Billy is any less busy now. Whether he’s in charge of his new business, his independent projects, his career on TV, or his family, it all points to Billy having a great time nowadays.