Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SPRINGFIELD Antique Extravaganza

Otherwise known as the never ending fair. 

So on our list of fairs to get to in the next few years are, the I'm sure to be mind blowing Round Top and hopefully Brimfield next year. Near the top of that list was the Springfield Ohio Antique Extravanganza. It was listed on all of the best shows in the USA list so, instead of travelling to the Country Living fair in Columbus which we had previously been to, and loved we needed somewhere to store shop not just shop shop.

Finally, we share a bit about or recent road trip, which took us to Ohio, Tennessee and North Carolina.

We stayed in Columbus Ohio for the first leg of this trip so that we could haunt one of our favourite restaurants at the Easton Towne Center which feels like its own little world.
We are taco fans, like huge fans so Adobe Gilas was our first stop for dinner and lucky us it was 90's hip hop throwback night, so obviously my voice was hoarse afterwards from singing so much and the cupid shuffle…..

We went to the fair in Springfield on Friday and paid the early admission fee which also could have gotten us in the rest of the weekend and in hindsight for the purposes of store shopping we should probably have stayed in Ohio and cleaned up.

We walked steady for 7 hours, ate our lunch in 5 minutes standing up and only repeated 1 row. We had to buy a second cart to haul all of our goodies, as our usual cart bag combo was not cutting it. You could tell by the things people were buying on Friday that there were a lot of retailers there just quantity wise.

Here is just a small sample when I had my camera out in the vintage marketplace section (which was my favourite, same items as antique area but 1/2 the price)

We will definitely be back.

pristine barkcloth for days.

i loved this sign. cut off a bit by the baby carriage. there was also a huge red piece on the other side of this so red glare like crazy but you get the idea.

and my man in his white hat so i can spot him when his attention is attracted to something, anything really.

I did continue to notice a trend at this fair, that I have been observing when doing so much antiquing/ picking/ fleaing. There is a generation and type of antique dealer that thinks antiques are dead. You can hear them muttering as many, not all, but many people walk past their pristine items lovingly restored. If you are one of those people, stop muttering, you make people nervous. 
By the thousands of people that attend these fairs, I would say not correct however, I think the definition of antiques may be changing a little. I do still believe to be an antique an item needs to be closing in on 100 years old and to be classified as vintage it loosely needs to be in the +25 years range.

The way people use these "antique" items has changed. The new generations want to use their wares. They do not have sitting rooms that you stare at when walking by, and don't walk on the carpet for the perfect vacuum lines. They use their china for everyday tableware. People are ok with the rough and beaten. It gives pieces life and a story. With the resurgence of popular shows like Downton Abbey I have seen people fighting over teacups at auctions but Royal Daulton figurines that hide in cabinets and have been massacred by the shopping channel, can't find a place in a thrift store.
Shows like American Pickers have made everyone think that their piece is worth 5000.00 or that they can beat dealers down on prices and forget the amount of work that goes into the find, the fix, the pricing, the hauling and setting up because picking seems so easy on tv.

As times and tastes changes, so do the items people love and want to spend money on. We (I loosely group myself into this category) as retailers / antique dealers need to watch and be ahead of trends. Holding onto the past  with expensive items not selling and declaring antiques dead seems foolhardy when there are obviously millions of people very much into the genre in way or another. Success of the aforementioned shows proves that. You may not be able to sell your 50 wall clocks you have lovingly restored but, how about the industrial alarm clocks everyone can't seem to get enough of right now.

 Just a tweak for success.

After the show, we dragged our tired feet to the Heart of Ohio Antique centre just down the road. It was huge and majorly NOT our kind of place. Showcases for days and at least 20 staff members walking around in uniforms with keys. If you are looking for something to fulfill a collection, they probably have it but Trevor and I are diggers. It is the hunt of the find that attracts us. Shiny and pristine just makes us irritable. So we left there with a measly bag of christmas balls no one wanted to love and I have a slight obsession with. Good thing Christmas is coming right? There I said it, so sue me!

Fa la la la la la la la la

Have a good day all,



  1. Yes! I 100% agree with what you are saying. My husband and I have discussed this on recent buying trips as well. There is a certain generation that is just not moving forward with the industry and as a result are losing out. Sigh, your pictures are fantastic. I might need to put this show on my list. You'd love Brimfield!

  2. i third your opinion! we need usable pieces in our homes! :)

  3. Wonderful post Meg. Working for an auctioneer theses past many years I've see the RD figurines that once sold for hundreds of dollars not even able to hit $25. at today's auctions.
    My best advice buy what you love and if grow tired of it or find something else you love more send it to auction, thrift shop or pay it forward somehow. We as a people collect all types of things, making our homes feel lived in and loved. The roped off parlour died long ago...
    Now its funny that a former comment said you'd love Brimfield. I used to go there for more than 20+ years in fact. Depending on the venue it seems now it is endless tables of almost flea market fare. Certain areas still have wonderful stuff but the miles of booths set up can be an endless, head spinning drudge.

  4. So enjoyed your post. I live in Columbus and the Springfield Extravaganzas are the highlight of our year. I had a broken foot for the spring show and couldn't go (doctor's orders), but went Friday and Saturday for the fall show. In fact, we're going there this weekend for there "off month" shows, which are so much smaller, but we tend to find better priced things at the small shows, which we need for resale. So glad you got to attend and hope you come back. My daughter and I hope to be vendors at the spring show. Lovely post and photos.

  5. You guys traveled far! One comment you made that I didn't quite understand...vintage marketplace (same items as antique place, but half the cost). Did you mean antique places retail, other than Springfield? VM is certainly higher-priced than the field digging of treasures at Springfield. I agree that dealers need to be ahead of trends, but you certainly can't force a trend on people if they don't want to embrace it. Having said that, we've sold items, sometimes 3 yrs later, that people finally 'get', only because we insisted on keeping it stocked because we love it and knew it was unique. Bottom line - always - buy what you love, because it's still yours until you sell it or give it away. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. hi rita. first off thank you for continuing to be a valued commenter. since you are actually the person that suggested initially i look into this show i am responding first with a thank you. it was our experience at this event as we shopped (probably based on what we were looking for) that the VM was lower priced for us. steel industrial stools were priced around 20-25 whereas in the fields they were going for 45-50, brown glass bottles (which i collect myself) were 2-4 in VM and 5-10 in antiques. again it was probably what we were looking for and the booths that caught our eye and that is not always the case but that is what seemed to happen for us at this show.
      i suppose adding more of a personal note into the last part would have been helpful. i was not directing myself at vendors who have blogs, styled booths, antique malls or anon in particular per say but, lately maybe because of our age we get roped into these conversations with store owners/vendors significantly older than us letting us know our age group is destroying antiques. we get grumbled at and the man selling only the grandfather clocks is just plain snarly a good portion of the time. this goes for this shows and local stores, auctions etc we have attended. buy what you love is definitely the motto and our small group of bloggers gets that yes but, if your items do not sell and you do not want to embrace change and then you proceed to make shoppers feel bad because they don't share your taste is just rude quite frankly. i always shop with a smile when doing this because i love it so don't like getting clobbered in stores/booths because of a trend happening in the antique world that is seemingly my age groups fault.
      again our experiences as of late.
      thanks again and maybe next time we'll see you there :)


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