September 13, 2011

We recently featured The Vintage Bazaar as the Design Finder in our October Made in the USA issue. Here, founders Libby Alexander and Katherine Raz take us on a tour of their most recent event in May. Chicagoland folks, take note: the next pop-up will take place on Sunday, September 18th!

Libby and I came up with the idea for the Vintage Bazaar over drinks one afternoon—actually, it was the first day we met! I had come to Libby’s home to take photos for a home tour post on my blog, Backgarage.com. We hit it off immediately and ended up chatting for about four hours post-shoot and afterward Libby mixed me a cocktail. It was then that we discussed how it seemed like most of the flea markets in Chicago were either too pricey, too collectibles-focused (antique advertisi— what? I fell asleep), or all about overstock socks and stale nachos. Where, we wondered, was an affordable, curated flea market in the city that combined shopping, beer, and good tunes?

We determined it didn't exist, so we set out to create it.

<a href="http://www.studyllc.com/">STUDY</a> always brings a covetable collection to TVB. Co-owners John Tyler and Andrew Schultz moonlight as home stylists and Schultz recently launched his own styling business, <a href="http://houndstoothvintage.blogspo
STUDY always brings a covetable collection to TVB. Co-owners John Tyler and Andrew Schultz moonlight as home stylists and Schultz recently launched his own styling business, Houndstooth Design & Vintage. The Albini ottoman in the foreground was snatched up minutes after the flea opened. Photo by John Tyler
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<a href="http://manlyvintage.com/">Manly Vintage</a> stocks top notch masculine style like this refurbished brushed metal casegood, which co-owner Morgan Gagne painstakingly prepped especially for The Vintage Bazaar. Gagne and biz partner Jayson Franklin
Manly Vintage stocks top notch masculine style like this refurbished brushed metal casegood, which co-owner Morgan Gagne painstakingly prepped especially for The Vintage Bazaar. Gagne and biz partner Jayson Franklin also restore old typewriters and vintage fans. Photo by Felix Jung
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Statement necklaces like these elaborate examples from seller <a href="http://www.shopnov.com/">Shop NOV</a> (Adrienne Baskin) were a big seller at the May TVB. <br /><br />Photo by <a href="http://avoision.com/">Felix Jung</a>
Statement necklaces like these elaborate examples from seller Shop NOV (Adrienne Baskin) were a big seller at the May TVB. Photo by Felix Jung
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Artist Christophe Gauspohl’s booth was a study in symmetry and repetition. Kids loved the plastic carnival horses! Gauspohl has been a TVB vendor from day one and always ends up selling practically everything in his booth. <br /><br />Photo by <a href="ht
Artist Christophe Gauspohl’s booth was a study in symmetry and repetition. Kids loved the plastic carnival horses! Gauspohl has been a TVB vendor from day one and always ends up selling practically everything in his booth. Photo by Felix Jung
4 / 10
Brother-sister team Karyn <a href="http://www.dethrosevintage.etsy.com">(Dethrose Vintage)</a> and Jon Dethrow (Deth Core) had a wonderful selection of oddities and vintage clothing; including stunning ‘60s gowns, animatronic animals, and awesomely creepy
Brother-sister team Karyn (Dethrose Vintage) and Jon Dethrow (Deth Core) had a wonderful selection of oddities and vintage clothing; including stunning ‘60s gowns, animatronic animals, and awesomely creepy puppets. Photo by Felix Jung
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Smarty pants vendors <a href="http://www.take2vintage.com">Take 2 Vintage</a> (Robin Witt and Joe Moore) had a contest going in their booth. They offered up this timeless mid-century clock to one lucky Facebook fan. <br /><br />Photo by <a href="http://av
Smarty pants vendors Take 2 Vintage (Robin Witt and Joe Moore) had a contest going in their booth. They offered up this timeless mid-century clock to one lucky Facebook fan. Photo by Felix Jung
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Roxana Espoz’s booth <a href="http://www.ord-red.com">ORD-RED</a> served up a kitschy cabin chic selection at the May flea. The best thing about TVB is that each vendor has a distinct style, so shoppers can mix and match to create a wardrobe or home that
Roxana Espoz’s booth ORD-RED served up a kitschy cabin chic selection at the May flea. The best thing about TVB is that each vendor has a distinct style, so shoppers can mix and match to create a wardrobe or home that is distinctive and personal. Photo by Steven Pate
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Vintage clothing and accessories vendors are abundant at the Bazaar, like Nicole Hughes’ <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/BombshellShocked">Bombshellshocked</a> booth where gals congregated to pick from her retro threads and have a few laughs. <br /><br
Vintage clothing and accessories vendors are abundant at the Bazaar, like Nicole Hughes’ Bombshellshocked booth where gals congregated to pick from her retro threads and have a few laughs. Photo by Steven Pate
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TVB is a-ok! A goofy portrait of President Nixon from Manly Vintage’s booth keeps an eye on Jillian Knox of <a href="http://joulesjewels.etsy.com">JJoules Vintage</a> as she stocks a rack with fab vintage coats. <br /><br />Photo by <a href="http://twitte
TVB is a-ok! A goofy portrait of President Nixon from Manly Vintage’s booth keeps an eye on Jillian Knox of JJoules Vintage as she stocks a rack with fab vintage coats. Photo by Steven Pate
9 / 10
<a href="http://cercisdesign.blogspot.com/">Cercis Design</a> is MCM mecca for any fan of the look. Owner Edward Francois has a hugely popular Craigslist “storefront” but had never been a dealer at a live market before boothing it out at the May TVB. <br
Cercis Design is MCM mecca for any fan of the look. Owner Edward Francois has a hugely popular Craigslist “storefront” but had never been a dealer at a live market before boothing it out at the May TVB. Photo by Edward FrancoisClick here to read the original Design Finder story from our October Made in the USA issue.

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10 / 10
<a href="http://www.studyllc.com/">STUDY</a> always brings a covetable collection to TVB. Co-owners John Tyler and Andrew Schultz moonlight as home stylists and Schultz recently launched his own styling business, <a href="http://houndstoothvintage.blogspo
STUDY always brings a covetable collection to TVB. Co-owners John Tyler and Andrew Schultz moonlight as home stylists and Schultz recently launched his own styling business, Houndstooth Design & Vintage. The Albini ottoman in the foreground was snatched up minutes after the flea opened. Photo by John Tyler

Our intention was to skip the run-of-the-mill antique junk-a-thon with the folding card tables and row upon row of yawning dealers hawking items bound for the curio cabinet and, instead, set out to find new and seasoned Midwest resellers who had their own distinctive aesthetic. In our minds, it was less about what re-sells on eBay and more about finding vendors with big style. Especially, because our intended audience was all about creating a distinctive look for their homes and wardrobe—whether schoolhouse primitive, urban industrial, mid-century modern, '60s retro kitsch, or a mix of everything.

Our most recent flea on May 14, 2011 took place in a vacant warehouse space in Pilsen. Over 50 vendors filled that space with everything from dead stock vintage eye glass frames to stunning statement jewelry to laser discs. This slideshow is just a taste of what was up for grabs.

This weekend we pop up in the Logan Square neighborhood in Chicago at the historic Congress Theater (2135 N. Milwaukee) on Sunday the 18th from 11am-6pm. This TVB boasts 75 vintage vendors; plus, local food sellers, a design advice booth, a mobile barber shop, a DJ, and cocktails. More information available on our website, thevintagebazaar.com.

 

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