Antiques & Collectibles: Garage sale, flea market season is right around the corner

Every year, some of us can’t wait for flea markets and garage sales to start for the season.

We have already seen some “Cabin Fever” sales that included flea-market items, crafts and more. Magazines are out, such as Flea Market Style and Flea Market Decor.

In this area, the Junk Bonanza Vintage Market is back April 19-21, indoors at Canterbury Park, featuring more than 150 handpicked purveyors of vintage finds, beautiful antiques, architectural salvage and artisan-repurposed furnishings, decor, jewelry and clothing along with speakers and demonstrations.

On May 11-13, the Gold Rush Olmsted County Antique Show & Market is at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds, Rochester.

With all of these events and more coming, I just had to ask a few friends around this area what they like to buy and why they love these sales.

Susan Waughtal, Oronoco: “I am like a crow that loves shiny objects, whimsical things, and handcrafted items that may not be perfect. It’s the love and creativity that went into making the items that are obvious, cleverness, exotic beauties from foreign lands. I love finding things that evoke my grandparents and my childhood, found objects from nature, lovely textures and rich colors and nostalgic patterns, things with a story.

“I know I certainly do not need all these things myself, but I feel it is my duty and privilege to find and gather them for somebody who does!” Waughtal hosts the upcoming ReBlossomFest, April 21-22 at Squash Blossom Farm, 7499 60th Ave. NW.

Carol Thouin, Spring Valley: “It’s a hobby, a pastime my husband and I enjoy together. I see something that catches my eye and envision the end product. My husband then takes my vision and creates pieces that we share with others at The Backyard Flea sales, with the first sale May 18-19, 421 N. Huron Ave., Spring Valley, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“We hate seeing cool old pieces being ignored — even worse, tossed out. We like to rescue and recycle into something usable. I’ve been an avid flea market, garage sale and auction hunter most of my life.”

Karen Meidinger Reilly, An Occasional Market, Rochester: “My love stems from the first hit of dopamine I received when I was 12 years old and stopped by the neighbor’s garage sale and picked up the coolest antique doll buggy for $8. I spent every last penny of my baby-sitting money on that buggy and my addiction began from there. I was the only girl in a household of boys, so my mother spent much of her time and the family dollars on boy stuff. I spent every penny on garage sales and flea markets for “girl” stuff.

“In college, it became a necessity to shop flea markets and garage sales because I was a poor college student. And in early career life, I was still church mouse poor, and attending flea markets and garage sales allowed me the flexibility of only being a couple of years behind the trends instead of a decade or two.

“It wasn’t until the early 2000s, when I was visiting my brother in California and we were dumpster diving, that I realized it was less about style and more about nostalgia. If those things could talk, the stories they could tell.”

Chris Rand Kujath, owner of Old River Valley Antique Mall, Stewartville: “I love all sales, since I find it a great way to network and meet people, find some unique or different items to add to my own collection of marbles and milk glass shakers with advertising. Finding the shakers at these sales under $75 is a love, my usual range has been $15-$75.”

The upcoming, sixth-annual flea market in Stewartville at Old River Valley Antique Mall is expanding this year to the Stewartville Civic Center, with food, entertainment and more. It’s June 23-24.

Sarah Kieffer, St. Charles with her husband, Jim, own Sarah’s Uniques and Jim’s “Man”tiques and are avid “junkers.” “Jim and I find many different and unique items at picks and flea markets. Jim has found a lot of old cast-iron items to bring back to life and use again. I find old furniture pieces that are in need of refinishing or painting and other items to “marry” and create into a unique piece.

“It is always fun to create new items from old garage sale finds and pieces that may have otherwise been thrown away. We love garage sales and are always looking for creative new ways to use old items. We are constantly out looking for bargains to fix up, flip, and make a buck!”

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