How it all began

I was bitten by the vintage bug as a little girl growing up in South Jersey (as in New Jersey, USA). My grandmother would take me along with her when she went on her many expeditions to what she called ‘junk shops’. One shop in particular stands out in my mind from all those years ago – The Hodge Podge.  It was special because not only was it full of amazing treasures, but they sold penny candy and, best of all, had a wishing well out on the grass in front of the shop. If I was good on our outings (and, of course, I ALWAYS was!) my grandmother would give me a quarter and what I didn’t spend on licorice whips, candy necklaces and wax lips, I would send down the well along with the sort of wishes common to any six year old girl (as in ‘Please turn me into a princess’ and ‘Please can we have hamburgers for dinner’), as I tried to hear my pennies hit the dark water many feet below me.

From time to time, Grandmom would take me along as her helper whenever she’d book a table to sell some of these treasures after she’d accumulated a bit too much for Granddad’s liking. My favourite was called Cowtown, in Woodstown NJ, and is still there today. They would have the stalls for the flea market during the day and a rodeo in the evening, although we never went to these. My grandmother didn’t think lassoing bulls to be suitable entertainment for her granddaughter.   We would arrive early in the morning to set up our stall, and get some hot chocolate and sticky buns to eat while waiting for customers to come. I have amazing memories of watching my otherwise genteel grandmother haggling over prices, getting people to part with their cash for the most bewildering array of odds and ends.  It was my job to take the money and give any change, putting our proceeds in an old cigar box.

Since those days, I’ve done my own share of hunting for treasures in auction rooms, charity and antique shops, rescued interesting bits and pieces out of the local tip, and have been known to return to someone’s driveway under cover of darkness with a pickup truck to rescue old furniture they’ve put out on the curb for the garbage men to take.  And I have now realised that the next step for me is to share my love of vintage items with others by exhibiting at local vintage fairs and selling online. There is an amazing online community of vintage lovers, it’s like Christmas every day visiting other people’s sites and reading their blogs. A heartfelt thanks goes out to Julia Jepps of Gazehound Vintage for her wise words and tips.

So thanks for visiting my blog, and please keep stopping by.