Everyone told us we should go to market. For the uninitiated, "market" in the southeast means AmericasMart in Atlanta. Three towering buildings in downtown Atlanta, with floor after floor of every type of home good and apparel you can imagine.
As if that isn't impressive enough, each January the market has a special week when wholesale vendors from all over the country swoop in and set up special temporary spaces with their shiniest and prettiest new wares.
There are other special weeks throughout the year, but January is the must-see month if you want to get a jump on the newest trends for the year.
So we went.
On a chilly Sunday afternoon, we threw our overnight bags and laptops in Bertha-the-Armada and drove to Atlanta. We were in good company: the BCS National Championship game was scheduled for Monday night, and POTUS and FLOTUS were coming in to watch it. (We had a busload of secret service personnel staying at our hotel, so we felt extra-safe!)
We UBER'd downtown from our hotel. Let's face it - Bertha is not an easy vehicle to get in and out of tight spaces and Atlanta traffic is soul-crushing. The downtown is a confusing labyrinth where every street is named Peachtree. And on top of that trifecta, temporary blockades were set up for the presidential motorcade.
We arrived at Building 1 on Monday morning, before all the temporary displays opened, and used the relatively quiet day to get our bearings and see many of the wholesalers on our list who have permanent showrooms.
For two days, we walked (and walked and walked) floor after floor, taking in display after display, and collecting catalog after catalog.
Serendipity happens: we lucked out and were there on the day Homer Laughlin China (HLC) released their newest Fiesta color, (Mulberry), so we snagged a bag (for more catalogs) and a commemorative coaster in their new color.
And we did find some unique, retro-style items to carry in our shop.
But our biggest discovery was ....
Our true selves.
In our heart of hearts, we had to admit that we are still pickers of authentic vintage pieces. We loved seeing what the market had to offer, and getting inspired with fresh new styles, colors and pieces. We see some fun directions we can head with our shop's staging. But when you come for a visit, don't expect to find a lot of new market pieces for sale. As long as there are old homesteads and barns and other places to pick and explore with treasures to re-invintage, that will continue to be what you can find when you visit.
Will we go back to market? Probably. But the next time we steal away for a couple of days, you're probably going to find us out doing what we really love to do - picking up rusty, crusty pieces and bringing them back to life.
WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?
I'm Terry Lea, owner of Re-Invintage Home, a vintage home goods shop just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. A lifelong passion for vintage picking led me to open a shop with my picking pal, Sherri in 2017. Come see us!