Old school trumps brand new at Vintage Market in Eagle, Sept. 9-10
If you go …
What: Vintage Market.
When: 4-6 p.m. early bird shopping and 6-9 p.m. general admission shopping Friday, Sept. 9; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. general admission shopping Saturday, Sept. 10.
Where: Eagle River Center, next to the Eagle County Fairgrounds.
Cost: Early bird is $15, and general admission is $5 in advance or $6 at the door.
More information: Visit http://www.lonestarrevivals.com or find Lonestar Revivals on Facebook.
“They don’t make ’em like they used to.”
The phrase is a mantra for many a collector of old-timey things, whether it’s cheerfully mismatched sets of china, modern-style furniture from the 1950s or up-cycled industrial gadgets. There’s something about the permanence of these objects in our throwaway world that makes them cherished, whether they are tied to venerated memories or merely grabbed up for their battered-yet-beloved quirkiness.
If you love the idea of scoring these prized relics to add to your home, but you don’t have time to go traipsing across the countryside digging through piles of antiques, knick-knacks and other treasured junk a la “American Pickers,” then let the experts bring a juried collection of said detritus to you.
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Jennifer Sturgeon and Gaby Milhoan co-founded the Vintage Market in Eagle last year, and the event returns to the Eagle River Center today and Saturday, with close to 70 booths filled with carefully curated vendors.
“We have literally been traveling all over Colorado and Texas and Oklahoma looking for cute little shops and things that will fit into our style,” Sturgeon said.
“Vintage” incorporates a wide variety of constituents, both genuinely old and newly fashioned from elements of the past. About 65 percent of the items found at the Vintage Market fall into the category of home furnishings, and the other 35 percent are handcrafted artisanal products such as jewelry, clothing and signs.
The goal, Sturgeon said, is to bring in vendors selling pieces not readily available in the valley, priced affordably from as low as $1 to around $800 to $1,000.
“We’re limited in the valley; there’s only so many shops that can survive here year-round,” she said. “We wanted to bring this type of market to the Vail Valley so we can provide an outlet for people who are desiring to find these one-of-a-kind finds.”
The overwhelming motif for last year’s market was farmhouse-inspired, but this year, the duo has chosen many vendors who fit a more industrial model.
“The vendors run the gamut of all different home and decor styles — minimalist, modern, mid-century — trends that are happening everywhere right now and a lot of up-cycled and repurposed furniture, which is also really common,” Milhoan said. “People go junking and bring it home and bring new life into the product for the future owner.”
“One of my favorite vendors coming this year is called Renegade Lamps,” Sturgeon said. “She takes different types of pipe, it might just be plumbing pipe, and she turns them into lamps. You might see a lamp with a faucet handle on there.”
Krista Schoenberg, of KS Designs in Edwards, will stock her booth with handmade vintage belt buckles made from repurposed license plates and ski-area trail maps, along with purses and bags fashioned from Pendleton wool remnants and up-cycled horse tack.
“With the Pendleton bags, I myself have always loved their blankets and have a few of my own, so I thought maybe I could get a few remnants to make a bag,” she said. “I happened into this situation where I was able to get quite a bit of fabric, and my girlfriends loved them, so I thought maybe I should make these and sell them.”
Schoenberg said she’s hoping to get some exposure for her products at the market.
“I’ve been at the Minturn Market all summer, so I’ve been out there, but I hope that it’s going to draw more than Vail Valley residents and getting feelers out further than the valley.”
In addition to “junking at its finest,” as Milhoan describes it, shoppers can purchase craft beer and spirits, food truck fare and artisan sweets and listen to live music as they stroll the Vintage Market, or take part in one of a handful of do-it-yourself classes.
“One of the classes, for example, is bringing in an old globe and we’re teaching you how to turn that globe into an awesome hanging lamp,” Milhoan said. “Another of the classes is bring any old, nasty, clear flower vase, and we’re doing a class on chalk painting the vase and it turns it into this super cool, new item.”
Makings of a market
Sturgeon said the idea for the event came from similar events put on by her parents, Gayle and Stan Bickel, who established their own vintage market in an old wool and mohair warehouse in Ballinger, Texas, about six years ago.
“I’ve been going down and helping them with the vintage market that they put on,” Sturgeon said. “I decided that we needed something like that here in the valley.”
Between their day jobs — Gayle teaches culinary arts and Stan is a banker — and coordinating their biannual Lone Star Markets, Sturgeon’s parents also run Bickel & Co., a gift store that sells “a little bit of everything,” Stan said. They’ll bring some of their favorite finds from the shop to their booth in Eagle this weekend.
“We have some furniture pieces and then we have some really neat canvas-type pictures of what I’d call the countryside and also cattle and sheep and a lot of galvanized containers,” Gayle said. “And then just different things and a little bit of floral — some really unique pieces that we think maybe people will enjoy.”
With kids in Colorado, South Carolina and “all over Texas,” Gayle said the Bickels are on the road a lot, and whenever they travel, they seek out markets and estate sales to collect treasures and bring them home, whether it’s a hulking cabinet originally made in India or a whiskey kiosk that made its way across the pond from Scotland.
“It’s just a passion,” Gayle said. “You end up enjoying old things and vintage things. … You know, there’s always a story with something that you purchase from a family or somewhere or something old. The older things are made better.”
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.