Shopping small (literally)
When I was little, my mom dragged me around antique malls, swap meets, trade shows, you name it. She always had a booth at local events selling handmade kids clothing to needlepoint art and pillows.
For several years, she even cleared out our house’s entire first floor to host a widely popular Christmas marketplace for a few days. Needless to say, I know what it’s like to be a creative’s kid.
Now it’s my kids’ turn. I started the flea because I craved the shopping experiences I had when I was little living in Southern California combing open air markets and funky antique stalls (read more here).
Since Flea Style is only a few times a year, I’m always packing up my daughter Landry (my 23-month old son Barrett is a bull in a china shop/far from ready for these outtings) and taking her on a “treasure hunt.”
I love showing Landry that you can shop places other than big box stores. Nothing wrong with the mall (I love Zara and Anthropologie as much as the next girl), but I prefer options oozing character and opportunities to give back to small businesses and the community.
Last week was no different. Several Flea Style vendors had holiday trunk shows that I wanted to support and shop. I also use the fun events as opportunities to uncover new makers and wares for Flea Style.
Our hunt was highly successful. I took home a wicker peacock chair (I’ve wanted one foreveeer), vintage crushed velvet vest and black fringe jacket that would bring Madonna to her knees. I also met my Instagram crush Dalena Vintage and convinced the Austin collector to apply to our spring show.
And Landry? She scored two homemade brownies, an embroidered Guatemalan blouse, and a woven basket for her dolls that I’m tempted to steal at night and quietly tuck away in my closet.
Most importantly, though, she picked up some thrifting skills (the vintage clothing sniff test), met a handful of local artists, and got to do some pretty out of the box shopping stuff like feeding two finches named Lemondrop and Butterscotch. Again, nothing wrong with a little mall rat action here and there, but gotta love a shopping day that includes chocolate, song birds and a tunic she’ll covet forever.