BY CAROL ROEHM
Other people’s junk is definitely this Danville couple’s treasure and livelihood. Holly and Scott Snelling are vintage experts who scour auctions, flea markets and antique shows all over the Midwest for unique finds to sell online on websites such as eBay and Etsy.
The couple, however, has decided to share their love of vintage items with others in the area by organizing a “pop-up market,” where a group of 30 or so vendors will gather to sell fresh vintage finds and handmade goods.
The Hobnob Market will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Nov. 17, at the Beef House Banquet Center, off Indiana Route 63 in Covington, Ind.
“I’ve wanted to do occasional sales or a pop-up market for years,” Holly said, adding that she has been working every day for the last two months to pull together the market.
The market will blend purveyors of all sorts of “junk” ranging from country to funky and from industrial to shabby, plus handmade goods from talented artisans and makers. Vendors will sell vintage furniture and repurposed pieces as well as handmade art, jewelry and home accessories.
“There’s going to be different tastes represented,” Holly said. “We will have jewelry makers from Lafayette, Ind., and Champaign; buckets decoupaged with fabric; and dresses made out of Amy Butler fabric.”
The theme of the event is holiday market, and the Snellings are encouraging the juried vendors to treat their spaces as an extension of their style and personality and to use them as mini shops, where they can showcase their finds in imaginative ways.
Scott said what shoppers won’t find are items just set out on a table.
“This isn’t going to be your grandma’s antiques,” he said. “You’re not going to see a table of Depression glass. It’ll be stuff that will be married together.”
Holly agreed. “The collections displayed will be both antiques and vintage and handmade. The items for sale will be items that have been chosen with care and are special and unique.
“It’s (the market) going to be vignettes and room displays that will entice people to stay a while,” she added.
The market also will be filled with the sounds of Christmas music, and there will be a sweets vendor selling goodies, such as cinnamon rolls, pies, breads, cookies and fudge.
The market will appeal to shoppers who love “junk” with honest character, old patinas and just plain originality, function and style, Holly said.
The couple said they already are planning to schedule another local vintage market in the spring or early summer.
Junk with artistic appeal
Holly has loved the vintage look for years — long before it became popular as a home décor style.
“I have been doing vintage since I was in college,” Holly said.
For a while, Holly ran an antique shop in Champaign but quickly discovered “antique dealers need to be out and about, going to auctions and sales, and not tied down at the store.”
Holly was selling vintage fabrics and trims on eBay when she attended her first Country Living (Magazine) Show in 2006.
She said that’s when the “vintage” bug officially bit her.
So what exactly is the Snellings’ definition of vintage?
Unique finds from the 1800s to the 1960s — or even up to 1980s — that can be tastefully grouped together by color or theme or “can be admired for its structural appeal,” Holly said.
The couple’s approach to vintage is not about what an antique is worth or what it’s made of, but rather how it looks with other pieces.
“When put together with an artistic eye, it can look so cool,” Holly said. “When you love something, and you display it with other interesting items, it makes it shine.”
Scott reminded Holly of one such gathering of finds she displayed at a show: an antique compote with a glass funnel turned upside down and the wide-side of the funnel set down inside the compote with an antique doll head perched on top of the funnel stem.
Scott said a shopper found the gathering so artistically appealing that the customer purchased the whole display.
A couple of years ago, Scott quit his job and the couple started junking full time and selling their finds online and at vintage market shows in Indianapolis, Springfield, Ohio, and Shakopee, Minn.
Many of their finds come from shows and auctions or are items they’ve picked up from the side of a road.
“If we go to a flea market, we separate so we can cover twice as much ground,” Holly said. “I like to find the hidden gems.”
Scott agreed. “You just never know what you’ll find.”
Some of the couple’s finds end up on the website, Etsy, with each maintaining their own Etsy shop.
“I enjoy seeing other people’s work on Etsy,” Holly said.
She has been selling vintage trims and other findings since 2008 in her Etsy shop, Pink Grapefruit Style, while Scott just opened his Etsy shop, Carnival Crate, this spring.
“He looks for things to sell that are more masculine or are folk art or advertising pieces,” Holly said.
Currently, Scott is selling souvenir pennants and Smurf and Looney Tunes items in his Etsy shop, but he said his inventory is always changing which is why his shop name is apropos.
“Carnival Crate sounds like a carnival came to town and started unloading,” he joked.
The Hobnob Market will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Beef House Banquet Center, off Indiana Route 63 in Covington, Ind. Admission is $4 per person; children 12 and younger are free.
For information, contact Holly Snelling at email@example.com or http://www.facebook.com/hobnobmarket.