Vintage Art

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One of my favorite things to collect, both for Posy and for myself, is vintage art. My wonderful customers agree, as I’ve sold every piece I’ve ever acquired for Posy! A goal this year has been to amass a collection of my favorite finds, rather than just a painting here or there, or one thermos or globe, instead of a whole heapful. It makes for a better display and, of course, gives a Posy customer more options.  I’ve gotten really lucky with some fantastic buying trips, particiularly to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Springfield Ohio, and have got a beautiful selection of art in stock!

Vintage Market Days of Asheville, Part 2

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In August, we headed back up the mountain to the second annual Vintage Market Days of Asheville.  This go round the promoters tripled the event size by adding an additional building as well as an outdoor midway section with more vendors, food trucks, and live music. Vendor friends from the first Asheville market came back with their A game, doubling and even tripling their booth size as well as bringing additional trailers/vans and employees.  I’m really relieved I stayed with the 10×10 spot, as this market was definitely not in line with the first VMD of Asheville.  Overall, the market was not successful for me, or many of my vendor neighbors.  The crowd just wasn’t there this time…or if they were there, they had a lot more options and space to spread their spending.  It took about an hour and a half before we even started to see customers filter into our building, as the entrance was moved to the new midway section.  I had a lot of time to chat with my neighbors and the consensus is that VMD has so many franchises now (there’s about 7 just in SC and NC alone) that no one market is seeing the kind of numbers we first saw at the March market.  More specific to Posy, I’ve learned that the majority of VMD shoppers are not my target audience.  They’re looking for rusty metal, chippy paint, apple picking ladders, lace, signs, signs and signs…and not vintage signs. Reproduction seems to be a big hit and singular wooden words (think “gather”).

My participation in the Vintage Market Days’ franchise are done, but I look back on these three events thankful for the lessons and focus they’ve given me.  I’m really pleased with my booth setup and can, finally, step away from working on that aspect and focus primarily on filling it with great vintage! I’ve confirmed my shop’s focus and vision of smaller purposeful and personable home goods geared toward my target audience.  Moving ahead, I will work primarily on filling Posy’s Etsy shop to the brim, finding creative ways to cross-promote locally and participate in vintage markets that sell more eclectic, colorful and on trend vintage.

One of the best parts of owning a small business is that you can be flexible and continue to grow and change as each experience focuses your path.  Looking forward to all that’s ahead!

Shots from Vintage Market Days of Asheville:

Same space, very different look! Assembled all three shelves to create a nice wall and had fun adding pops of color with my red thermoses, toolbox and picnic ball.

Never too early to bring out the Christmas, and I’m so glad I did as a few customers scooped up some shiny, festive finds!

Enjoyed walking around the new outdoor section to explore the vintage there!

Vintage Market Days of Charlotte

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In June, Posy hit the road again, this time headed for the sweet town of Mooresville, NC and Vintage Market Days of Charlotte.  I came much better prepared…vertical shelving, wide open space in the middle of my booth and tons o’ inventory! In fact, I wasn’t quite sure it’d all fit into the cargo van.

Painted these old boards white to use as shelving and got a couple extra wooden crates for support and additional storage.  A great spot to show off all my favorite planters and smaller tchotchkes.

Quickly sold this foxy apple figurine to a fellow who works at a tattoo parlor and the paint-by-number was scooped up fast!

The horizontal shelves also gave me a great way to safely display this window, which was purchased by a diy-er looking to hang this on her wall.

The children’s formica table and chairs went to a lovely woman for her children to use as an art table, and as thanks for the big purchase, I threw in a sweet 1950’s children’s book!

Vertical shelving to the rescue! These Sterlite, matte gray, beauties came from Walmart and are a cinch to assemble.  Really loved being able to get my inventory at eye level and take full of advantage of my vertical space!

There was one hiccup with Vintage Market Days of Charlotte, in my mind, and it was that the event was adjoined to a permanent antique mall. This created a lot of confusion for shoppers as they’d park at the mall and either think it was the event, only to have to move their car to the other side of the space, or they didn’t realize there was a vintage market event and couldn’t enter through the shared door from the mall into the event space.  If they had done some sort of cross-promotional tie, I think it would’ve really benefited everyone.  I lucked out by having easy access to the mall (and their bathroom) and enjoyed seeing some of their vendors’ displays. How great are these vintage portraits?!

The upside to the event’s location is that it was a short walk to the delicious Barcelona Burger and Beer Garden. We went there twice for dinner…man, their house sauce and those fries…and dessert. I grabbed a few sweet treats on my way home, post-event, for my family!

Overall, this event wasn’t nearly as busy or profitable as the Asheville market, but I’d learned from vendor neighbors that this crowd was more the norm and the Asheville market was an anomaly.  There were some definite positives…meeting new vendors, having my improved space work much better (no more traffic jams or awkward bending for shoppers) and getting to hang with my best friend, Kristen, who came up from South Carolina to help!

Up next, back to Asheville for the August Vintage Market Days!

Vintage Market Days of Asheville, Part 1

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At the beginning of the year, I decided that Posy needed to narrow down where we’re selling so that we’d have a fuller inventory in those venues.  Long story short, I felt that rather than trying to do as many small markets as I could, I’d focus on acquiring more vintage and doing bigger markets, like Vintage Market Days. Pop-ups are much more frequent, which is great if you’re a shopper, but not so much if you’re a seller. Many vendor friends were feeling the same drop in sales and were taking to broadening their market scope to regional spots.  My plan worked well…at first!

In March, we headed up to Asheville for their first Vintage Market Days at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher, NC. It was beyond intimidating and I was definitely unprepared for the amount of folks in attendance and the amount of sales I’d make. I was so panicked I wouldn’t have enough inventory to get me through the rest of the weekend, after day 1, that I scooted out of there fast and hit the thrift shops in hopes of finding more good vintage to sell. I came up with just a few milk glass vases, which ironically, were the first things sold the very next morning.  I made some new friends, particularly the amazing Connie Caldwell of Brevard’s Burlap and Lace. And left feeling confident in my picking, as customers were equally excited about the vintage I had to offer.  I learned about what did and didn’t work in terms of my display…more vertical and needed better flow…and left feeling inspired to make my market spaces a truly fun and easy experience for the customer.

Vintage Market Days of Asheville:

So nice to have live music at the event!

So many interesting treasures to see in all of our fellow vendors’ booths!

Dad came along for the ride to help with the heavy lifting and moral support! 

Happy Posy customers showing off their pretty score! 

Quickly sold most of my furniture pieces, not leaving me a lot of display space.  Remedied this by the next VMD market with easy-to-assemble vertical shelving.

New friend Connie and her talented sister, tucked into Connie’s lovely booth Burlap and Lace.

Up next, summer market in Mooresville, NC for Vintage Market Days of Charlotte!

Hillsville, VA Memorial Weekend Flea

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It can take a lot of time and energy to buy vintage in bits and pieces, so I’m always excited when there’s an opportunity to shop a bunch of vintage at one time! Enter Hillsville, VA‘s huge Memorial Weekend flea. My dad and I made a weekend of it, staying with family in nearby King, NC and making the trek to Hillsville to shop Saturday and Sunday mornings. It was well worth the visit! At first, I didn’t see a whole lot of vintage and what I could find was priced for owning, not reselling, so I was a little dismayed. But then, we found a few great vendors and hunkered down to shop their collection. Planters, brass, metal furniture, colorful vases, quality toolboxes, a fantastic green metal cooler and the sweetest Formica children’s table and chair set (they folded!). Lots of friendly faces along the way and a relaxed vibe, perfect for picking!

Luckily, there’s parking directly across the street from the main flea market area (around $5 for the day). So we loaded up the wagon and would take trips. Was SO smitten when I saw this fun green metal cooler, what a perfect spot for chilling your party drinks!

I may have a slight addiction to vintage metal furniture! And any kind of creative storage, whether it’s a wicker laundry basket, wooden tool caddy or metal tool box. The biggie at the top of the wagon is a gorgeous turquoise carpenter’s tool box with all these great nooks and crannies for storing art supplies, party necessities or whatever little things need tucking away.

A little local flavor as we walked down the main drag to another lot full of vintage finds. They have tents and food trucks set up along the way. The doughnut booth looked particularly tempting!

While we’re admitting addictions, I should add vintage thermoses to the list! I hit the jackpot with one vendor who had a really fun collection. Recently, a bride in California bought a set of thermoses from Posy to use as part of her floral centerpieces. Always love hearing a new use for something old!

This is the gorgeous spot we got to stay over the weekend! The owner melded two old tobacco barns into one home and my cousin and her family are currently staying here while they build their dream home.

One vendor found a creative use for old suitcases in her mobile shop!

Overall, we had a wonderful time in Hillsville, VA! I’d definitely recommend sunblock, water and a wagon. Happy hunting!

Vintage Demystified

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I’ve been thinking a lot about vintage and what obstacles there might be for someone “new to the game” that could keep them from including vintage in their home.  I’m hoping through these journal posts and the pics posted on Posy’s Instagram account, I can show you the accessibility of vintage decor.  Common questions I get from Posy customers include “does it smell” and “is it soft?”  Posy’s mission is to sell vintage goods that are truly useful and/or add some personalized history to your home…minus the mildew, stale scents & sticky goo. My goal is for you to take your Posy treasure home from a market or have it delivered to your door, ready to go!

The whole point of buying vintage from a dealer, in my opinion, is that they’ve done the tough work…the finding, inspecting, cleaning, repairing, etc. and all you have to do is decide where to put it in your space!  I like a good patina, and I want my vintage to look like vintage, but I also don’t want to have to get a tetanus shot.  And I don’t want you to walk away from an amazing find because it’s so dirty you don’t even want to touch it.  What’s the point of that?!

Tools of my trade include the wonderful Goo Gone, steel wool, leather wipes, Method’s almond wood polish, a toothbrush, tons and tons of rags, a mouse sander, vinegar, baking soda, microfiber cloths and the Clorox bleach pen. I love seeing a good transformation and could gaze at before-and-after’s all day! Luckily, the pieces I’ve been finding lately, have only required a little elbow grease.  If there’s a vintage piece you already own and don’t know how to care for it or clean it up, let me know and hopefully I can help or point you in the right direction!  I recently discovered, thanks to Instagram, that you can use ketchup to remove tarnish from brass. Amazing!

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