Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let's Make a Deal! Plus KANE and ALLEGAN News

Asking for a deal at the flea market is kind of like asking for a date -- it helps to be confident, polite and possibly funny, but you still have to be prepared to take "no" for an answer.

But to increase your chances of hearing "yes," here's a few tips:

You can generally assume that dealers will allow a 10 percent discount on items that cost more than $10 unless the price is marked "firm."
Try asking, "Are you firm on this?" but don't suggest a price -- leave that to the seller. I'm often surprised when a buyer suggests a price higher than what I would have offered. You can always counter-offer.

Multiple items purchased from the same seller often equal a lower price, so don't forget to try,"If I take these three, would you be able to offer a discount?" or "What if I took all of these?"
Avoid playing games, such as feigning disinterest. That's just annoying. And don't point out flaws; our merch is like our kids -- we know what problems are there, but we love the stuff any way (and assume you do, too, or you wouldn't be asking in the first place!)
Good luck! Actually, I'll do you one better -- come and try out your skills in our booth THIS WEEKEND at the Kane County Flea Market. We have a terrific load, including vintage clothes, feedsacks, fall projects, graphics, industrial pieces, furniture, containers and smalls. Details are just a click away on the show sidebar. And you'll probably get a "yes" from me!
Allegan Update
We were a little alarmed by some lake-effect rain during set-up, but Sunday was clear and cool, as promised. There was a good crowd, but people were more laid-back -- you could tell it was the last show of the season. We were pleased by our sales at the end of the day and enjoyed chatting with customers and seeing some of our blogging buddies. Now we just have to wait 'til next year! Boo. xo

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Workmen at the Office; Will Be Back Later This Week with a New Post!

Ever feel like the proverbial chicken?! This is kind of how I feel today with things all torn up, running, no driving (I am a modern chick-en, after all), around with my head cut off! xo

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Incorporating Vintage; Allegan Sneak Peek

Fall is the perfect time to mix a little vintage into your seasonal decorating -- the colors are a natural -- so to speak! If you haven't tried this before or are looking for some fun ideas, let's break it down with a pro, Katie Palmer, owner of SoBo Style in Columbus, Ohio:

Check out Katie's fall table scape in the picture above; just a few ideas to borrow include vintage trays, which are great on a table or on the wall; "lost and found" items, such as the old clothes pins displayed in the glass jar; a cute old stand or bench to add color and height; vintage containers, such as the great old crock bowl. Just add some seasonal drieds or produce, such as
bittersweet or pumpkins, and you're on your way to a great fall look.

Vintage pieces also make great store displays. Time-worn elements lend an air of authenticity to any display -- kind of an instant old-world savvy. An added bonus is that many combine both form and function. For instance, this rolling factory cart was purchased from our booth at Midland by an Indy bistro owner. He's planning to use the cart to display seasonal produce, wheeling it outside when weather permits, to catch the eye of potential customers. What a great idea! This kind of piece would also be ideal for sweaters, books or other kinds or merchandise.
Send me a photo of what you decide to try! And don't forget that THE LAST ALLEGAN OF THE SEASON is this weekend. Plan now to join us and scoop up some vintage elements for your fall mix. We've got some excellent containers, terrific furniture and industrial pieces, lots of smalls and handmades, plus:

A big group of vintage signs;

An entire box of miniature industrial molds, which would be fabulous for projects or grouping in containers;

Two sisters and a brother -- vintage store and sewing mannequins, shown here before they get dressed for the party.
Plus so much more! Make plans now to join us. The weather is supposed to be glorious. Details are on the show sidebar. See you there. xo

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's IN STORE Now? Sue Whitney at SoBo Style; John Derian at Target

SoBo Style Welcomes the Country Living Fair

Look who's coming to visit Katie -- SUE WHITNEY, of JunkMarket Style, one of the keynote speakers for this year's Country Living Fair! SoBo is hosting a pre-fair party and book signing this Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. Be sure this event's on your fair agenda:

The fair weekend is always super busy for Katie, whose shop is located only 3 miles away. We were in town last weekend, helping her get ready. SoBo is a one-stop shop for all things fall -- adorable decorations, great containers, fabulous furniture and more. Plus, Katie's all restocked with new jewelry shipments, artwork, chalkboards and more. Don't miss it:

Click HERE for store hours, location and more information. Happy Shopping!

John Derian at Target

I'm a huge fan of New York collage artist John Derian and was thrilled to find out last year that he was joining the roster of artists who have designed collections for Target. Some of last year's pieces achieved almost mythical status, disappearing as soon as they hit the store shelves. So I was totally psyched to find out he was back again this year, with fabulous items like these two trays:

The collection includes mugs, notebooks, covered boxes, organizers, dishes, notebooks and more. I was bummed that there was no wrapping paper or tissue this year, but their marketing department never called to check with me on that. Oh, well. Check this stuff out -- the paper items are on the end caps near the stationery, while the dishes and organizers are in with the housewares. Happy hunting! xo

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Above: David, Preston and Joe, heading to Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival earlier this summer.

Meeting a friend's husband always fills me with trepidation. I love, love, love my friends, but how often does lightening strike twice in the same spot? But my friend Lynda's husband, Preston, was the perfect storm. Joe and I both loved him immediately. There was just so much good about him -- an Arkansas-born retired Navy man turned ER nurse, Pres was always ready with a good joke, helping hand or cold beer, whatever the situation required. Terrific host. We usually stay the weekend at Boyds when we're in town; I always secretly marvelled that Preston would call to talk with all the dinner guests if he was working the night shift. Wonderful dad, brother, son. And best of all, you could tell he and Lynda were still really happy together after 30-plus years of marriage. Sexy, too, if I do say so myself. And smart. Always ready to talk with me about what he was reading. An avid sportsman, surfer, dog-lover and football fan. Loved music and gardening -- Sunday morning, he came by our booth at Kane to show us some CDs he scored in the flea market (Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore, The Doors, some blues guy whose name escapes me now), plus a flat of hostas, perfect for fall planting. Never mind that he'd just seen us at breakfast; he wanted to say hi before heading home. Gonna take a nap before starting his shift and would see us next month.

Lynda called early this Wednesday to let us know that Preston died Tuesday while she was at work. Only 57. I have a mental picture of him opening his eyes across the divide and thinking "Sh-T! Never saw this comin'." Then picking himself up, dusting himself off, and heading out to see when he could tryout for the band. But I'm afraid he'll also be worried about Lynda, the boys, his extended family and friends. We'll do the best we can for them, Pres, but we really wish you didn't have to go home so soon. You were the life of the party; it will never be quite the same without you. xo
Editor's note: Joe and I will not be at Grayslake this weekend, so that we can be with Lynda and her family. Thanks for all your kind words; I will pass them on to her. See you next month. Be sure to hug the people you love.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Perk Alert: What's New Now -- Kane

We're all about FALL for this weekend's Kane County (IL) Flea Market! From some killer original paint pieces:

To new art work, projects, containers and other smalls:

The change of seasons is all around! Make plans to join us -- the weather is supposed to be wonderful.

Details are just a click away on the show sidebar. Have a wonderful holiday weekend! xo
Editor's Note: We've gotten a couple of comments this week on the blog's content. We post mainly in two areas -- Show Updates are intended to let other dealers who may be curious about a certain show know how things are going there and what is selling for us; Perk Alerts are designed to be like on-line newsletters to our customers, kind of a here's what's new in inventory and here's where we'll be next post. We're happy to talk more about other areas of the business, too -- just let us know what you'd like to know! Thanks for your interest. sg