Vintage Bazaar Report: Part One.

Great googly moogly, the Vintage Bazaar was a ROUSING success. Take a look at this photo on vendor Study’s website of the line that stretched around the corner for about half of the sale time.  Katherine Raz says that, by the DANK House’s best estimates, there were about 3000 attendees! Amazing! And through it all, Katherine and Libby Alexander stayed cool, calm, and collected — despite the fact that, over the course of 48 hours, they probably never stopped moving for longer than five minutes. Even at the height of the nuttiness, when the place was packed shoulder-to-shoulder, they didn’t appear to break a sweat. I swear to you, I think they were meant to do events like this!

Here’s how it went down for Justin and me: we rented a van on Friday and loaded in to DANK House at 3:30, our scheduled time. Libby and Katherine had managed things so well we had everything loaded into the building by 3:50. When I first saw the space assigned to us I had an awful sinking feeling that I wasn’t going to be able to fit even half of the stuff we had brought in it — but it only took 5 hours for us to get it all shoe-horned in. 5 hours! 5 hours to set up! Meanwhile, the guys of Study came in and set up an amazingly stylish space in 20 minutes flat. So I need some practice there.

For shelves, I borrowed two wooden ladders and set slats of wood up on them. It looked a little less polished than I would have liked but it really did allow for a lot of merchandise to be displayed. It was narrower than the tables at the space and multi-leveled. Here are some shots of our space.

We brought three big pieces: the chimney cabinet (above, bottom row left), the black table and chairs in the previous post, and the two end tables I posted about a couple of weeks ago. We only sold the chair and tables — pretty quickly, actually. I probably could have sold them three times over! The end tables had a lot of admirers, and we thought we had sold them at about three; a woman said she was going to the cash machine to get money out to pay for them. So we turned away several people for about thirty minutes, including one couple that was ready to buy them when she returned; I again confirmed with her that she was going to buy them, she said yes, and I told the other couple that they were sold. Five minutes later, the original woman told me she had reconsidered. By that time it was after 4 and there was only an hour left in the sale. I was pretty bummed about that and really wished I had gotten the name and number of the interested couple. By the end of the day, I had significantly reduced the price just so Justin and I wouldn’t have to haul them home again! I think I’m going to list the tables and the chimney cabinet on Craigslist and see if can sell them there.

Top left photo: those are my mom’s pillows that she makes out of vintage fabric. I sold all of the pink ones and one of the purple ones. That one in the front? With the vintage barkcloth? Those are the prettiest pair of pillows that she’s made and I haven’t sold them yet! I can’t figure it out. Part of the problem may have been that we had to keep moving them around — they started out in the chair in the photo, then that sold only about an hour after we opened, so they sat on the dining room table (which had also sold) until we could wend our way through the crowd to move an enamel tub up front to put the pillows in. About five minutes after we got them arranged, the tub sold! So they sat in the corner again until we could move the end tables to the front and stacked them on top of that. That’s when the ones that sold were purchased. I regret not having a more permanent solution for their placement. All of the milkglass in the top right photo sold — that had all been in the Arkansas booth for three months and didn’t sell there. The bottom left photo is of the inside of the chimney cabinet, and the bottom right photo is of my decal obsessions. All but the bird sold.

Two of the three of my mom’s scottie dogs sold. Those carousel glasses sold to the most enthusiastic couple — it was a delight selling to them because they were so excited about the glasses. All but one of the cake plates in the photo on the right sold. Those were in the booth in Fayetteville and didn’t sell either. It was really interesting to see what sold here versus what sells in Fayetteville. Industrial office stuff is huge here, and doesn’t do anything in Fayetteville. Plus, all of my cocktail stuff sold — and it wasn’t popular in Fayetteville at all.

Our booth was in a little room that was right off the ballroom, and because it was enclosed, it got full very quickly. Justin and I spent most of the day on the outside of the room, peeking around the door to watch for when someone was looking for us to pay for something. From about 11:40, when the first customers came through the door, until about 2:30, when I finally looked up, I spent every second wrapping purchased items and taking money. Justin was running around like a madman, helping people with large items and finding more paper to wrap things with. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so overwhelmed. Here’s what our booth looked like for most of the day:

It was exhausting, overwhelming, and completely, utterly successful. Also, really, really exciting to be involved in something that was so HAPPENIN’.

I met a lot of amazing vendors there who also have blogs that I’m a big fan of — it’s almost like meeting celebrities for me! I finally got to meet my blog friend Leilani in person (Thriftaholic and Show n’ Tell), my space was next to the amazing Diane of Fine Diving, and Lisa from Lisa’s Retro Style gave me some very useful selling tips. I took pictures of all of their booths and am working on a post featuring their wares.

Stay tuned for more Vintage Bazaar Reports.

March 1, 2010 - 12:02 pm

janie hightower Is it because I’m your mom that this was the most fun post to read in the history of blogdom?! I felt like I was there…. I was one of those persons in the photo lined up outside, and one of those inside standing in front of The Painting. (Did it sell?) This is so exciting, even from far away (which I wish I weren’t!)

March 1, 2010 - 1:10 pm

Lara Jo Yes, it is most certainly because you’re my mom. But I appreciate the compliment all the same!

March 1, 2010 - 1:15 pm

Lara Jo By the way, the painting did not sell. I only had one person even ask about it! So she could still be yours…

March 1, 2010 - 2:22 pm

Shannon I’m glad it went so well! I love the milk glass and the carousel glasses! You have some cool stuff!

March 1, 2010 - 10:26 pm

John Thanks for the great recap! We had a fantastic time and can’t wait to do this again. Also… so completely in love with your photos. Tried to take more during the event, but you know how that went down. See you next time!