The Wondrous World of Junk
When Spring arrives, antique, vintage and salvage junkies everywhere are unreasonably excited. You can pick one out of a crowd. We are giddy and practically skipping along because we know that Spring is so much more than blooming flowers, longer days, and lots of sunshine.
Yeah, yeah forget all that…Spring means the season for junk is upon us. Garage sales are kicking off everywhere. Flea markets are just starting. People are cleaning house and taking loads of junk to thrift stores. I think my heart just gave an extra pitter pat. Yep, it really did.
At the beginning of 2014, I threw my name in the flea market hat and decided to be a vendor at a couple of markets- the monthly Paris Street Market and the annual antiques extravaganza, Old Glory Antiques Fair. It was an honor to be accepted to both. It meant that someone besides me liked my rusty, crusty awesome junk.
Let me tell you something, I had no idea what I was in for and I mean this in the most magnificent way.
The morning of my first market at A Paris Street Market, we (Mr. Old House Chic and I) arrived at 6am which was our designated set up time. A Paris Street Market is an open air upscale flea market that pops up in record time in a shopping center parking lot surrounded by Pottery Barn, Origins and Starbuck’s. We had until 8am, or so I thought, to turn my small bit of parking lot into an amazing set up resembling a boutique. I got to work unpacking while Mr. Old House Chic unloaded.
I moved fast with my nose buried in each of my boxes. At one point I looked up in time to run smack into someone. I assumed it was Mr. Old House Chic but realized it was a random woman who didn’t even pause in pawing through my packed boxes in her attempt to shop my market space. Uh…? Adapt and overcome, adapt and overcome.
“Hi! Sorry for the mess! Just let me know if I can help you in any way.”
“Oh, perfect! I already have a pile!”
She already has a pile?! What? Sure enough, she had been shopping my booth long enough to have made a pile and wanted to check out. Where was Mr. Old House Chic?! Oh, he had said something about fining a bathroom…oh, no. He’s my cashier!
By this time there were five more people in my space and were also carrying my stuff around in their arms as they stepped over my still packed boxes.
I gave my best southern smile- equal parts charm and sharp teeth-which gave a clear message that I am a sweet girl that will run you down and tackle you if you decide to shoplift while I’m hiding under my table to call and send out an SOS to Mr. Old House Chic.
“OH MY GOD THERE ARE FIFTEEN PEOPLE IN MY SPACE RIGHT NOW AND THEY ALL WANT TO CHECK OUT! WHERE ARE YOU!!??”
It was only 7:15am. The market starts at 8am. I look up in time to see the sarcastic smile of what I instantly knew was a old timer vendor to the Paris Street Market. His smile said one word: Rookie. Uh huh. I smiled right back with all the threatening sweet charm of a girl who doesn’t take crap from anyone and ended the conversation with Mr. Old House Chic by telling him “Get here now!”
At 9:30am, my market space was packed- as in traffic jam packed. A lady approached me and asked, “how much for these?” I gave her the price of the item and she replies, “No. All of them. The total for all of them?” All of them?! By the end of her shopping trip through my market space, she had spent such an amazing amount of money that Mr. Old House Chic could only stand with his mouth dropped completely open. After my number one customer of the day had cleaned out my market space, she handed me a business card. She owns two retail shops and wants to talk about partnering with me…
All of this in just the first three hours of the first market of the season. I’m telling you, the wondrous world of junk is not for the faint of heart…