Antiques & Collectibles: Let’s go fall antique shopping

I don’t know about you, but fall is my favorite time of the year to go to antique and collectible fall shows and flea-markets. There are plenty of them, but here are a few favorites:

Craft show

Northwoods Boutique is a unique craft and handmade show, in that it is not a traditional show with booths. Show owner Linda Moraal, of Minnetonka, told me, “I recognize the importance of stressing ‘handmade’ and ‘American made’ or ‘enhanced’ in a global world. In 1997, I purchased the show after working on the setup and design crew for two years. I have met many vendors over the years, many who have gone on and become very successful artists and craftsmen.”

The set-up is just as unique as the items they sell, as Linda tells: “A huge 53-foot transport trailer pulls up to the venue address and the fun begins. There is a crew that unloads the trailer, then a crew that builds walls and props, and stages the lighting. A special design crew sets up the merchandise that the vendors drop off. As many as 80 to 120 vendors are involved. They pay a commission for Northwoods to market, merchandise, display, restock, and sell their wares for a period of nine days. This year in Rochester, the show starts Oct. 6, running through to the 14th, and is free to the public at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds, Building No. 35.”

So what is it that you like about doing the shows and coming to Rochester? Linda said, “Meeting the maker and then the customer is a great pleasure. Yes, times have changed in the craft business with the flood of cheaper items that look like handmade and the influx of the box craft stores, but I still think there is the customer that appreciates the real thing, an American made. There are usually demos and tasting stations during the show so customers can get involved and meet the vendors.

“The show represents vendors from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, with a variety of merchandise, from handmade food items to quilting and fabric items onto repurposed furniture, and more to decorate your door and home along with vintage and antique items,” she said.

Flea-market and crafts

Maybe you have heard about the flea market coming up in Stewartville next month. The second-annual fall Stewartville Indoor & Outdoor Flea-Market is being held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 21 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 22 at 204 S Main St., behind Old River Valley Antique Mall. Merchandise will be spread across the area in sheds, pole barns, the store and more.

This is actually a third flea market there — they do a spring market. I have found this a delightful treasure trove of rusty finds featuring a variety of vendors selling and displaying antiques, collectibles, vintage, repurposed, primitives, shabby chic, man cave items, crafts and more, along with some home-based businesses.

“We have something for everyone,” said owner Chris Rand Kujath. “We have a lot of returning vendors and new vendors. Some of the vendors include Farm Girl Finds, The Cottage, and Once Was Primitives, Antiques & Rustic Finds from Elkader, Iowa, and many more.”

I would call this a finders market of not only vintage and handmade shopping, but a barn pickin’ adventure. I like sewing thread, lace, hankies, vintage pillows and aprons, along with jewelry, as they have folks who have old jewelry and even vintage Halloween. And the whole city of Stewartville has many things going on at businesses during this event.

“I really like to do this market, because I like to meet different vendors and customers,” Kujath said. Admission is free.


With an outdoor sale, wear layers — it can be in the 50s in the morning and climb to 80 degrees later. I usually head into these markets with a budget and a list of what I would like to find. And don’t forget a large tote bag. I even take my little red wagon at times.

More shows

If you miss the Northwoods Boutique in Rochester, the crew takes a two-week break to restock then opens in Edina at Braemar Golf Course for two weeks, Oct. 27 to Nov. 11.

I do hope to see you at one of the shows, as so many are being held this time of the year!

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