Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Favorite Antique Malls & Shops? (That Don't Look Like This....)

 Last week I decided to cruise through some of the "antique malls" within an hour of where I live. The photo above pretty much typifies what I saw.  The 20,000sf mall in the photo was one that I rented space in when it first opened in 2002. It was near where I lived at the time and I was happy to be a part of it.  The building sits on a river in a beautiful downtown location. There were standards regarding what you could sell. The building was always filled, both with charming booths and customers.   Now half of it is a "craft mall" and the other half....I'll just be generous when I call it a mix of "vintage" and "stuff".  Sad. Same owner, same location, different vibe entirely.  No wonder there were only two other 'shoppers' when I was there.
 In two days, I went through four other malls.  I saw a lot of glassware and furniture.  It was basically a "brown-out" as my friend Jeanine, (ChiPPy!-SHaBBy!), would say.  Very few old painted pieces, architectural finds, industrial....  Nothing that tripped my trigger.  In two days of mall stops I purchased a total of one item, for resale...and spent less than $20.  
 I don't think one should totally avoid these types of malls entirely because you never know what may turn up. However, it would be terribly disappointing if I'd traveled specifically to these locations.   With that in mind, I'd like to compile a list of 'shops worth shopping' and post it here next week.  To keep it positive let's mention only the good ones.   At Grayslake, a friend and I were discussing taking a road trip. If we were coming to your area, where would you send us?   Please leave a comment with the shop name, city & state/province, along with a brief description. Large mall or small shop...it doesn't matter.  Together, let's find some fun places to shop!


  1. I'm pretty sure you know where I'd send you:)! I will tell you that you are right to pop in from time to time at the bad ones. I found bags full of watch faces and parts in one I usually avoid!

  2. Well in this area you know what we have to offer as you have seen some of them.
    You have seen pics of Gatherings,that would be on my list,Park Place Mall thats one of the stores we're in. SmokeHouse Square in Amana is 1 of 6 antique stores in 1 town. All within 50 miles of my house.Both of the stores I mentioned are multi level ,multi dealer malls,lots of good antiques.
    Sometimes it's fun to go into what I call "junk shops" just to see what you might find. Ginger

  3. Heya Jan....!

    I hope you're having a WONDERFUL week Lovey....! I'm SORRY these Antique Malls fell short of the mark....Reminds me of my home town market....It used to be the BEES KNEES & you were ONLY ever able to sell second hand items....Now they let anyone in selling cheap crappity made in china YECKKKKK.... ** sigh ** Thank HEAVENS for events like Junk Bonanza where it's 100% Junkin PERFECTION.... :o) !!

    THANK YOU for your comment the other day re my mishap....Your hugs were WELL received....You're WELCOME to send more of those my way ANY TIME....!!

    Cheers for now from Oz,
    Tamarah xx

  4. You must come to Buffalo, Minnesota -- you'll wonder why you haven't been coming for years! Our quaint town is filled with antique and vintage shops, occasional sales and more. Trendsetters and junkers galore sell around here, and Buffalo is a best-kept secret. As we grow, we hear lots of clients say they don't want more people to know about us! Bring a large, empty vehicle, and you won't be disappointed with your haul. My shop, The PORCH & Atelier is graciously listed on your blog list, too - thank you! www.theporchatelier.blogspot.com

  5. If you ever in Farmington Utah, you must stop in at "Just A Ded Of Roses". If you at the Gardner Village in West Jordan Utah, the place to stop would be "Aunt Elsies".

    I'm sorry about you shopping trip.


  6. In Austin, Tx area...
    Gatherings- my VERY favorite!!!

    Austin Antique Mall

    Antique Marketplace http://www.antiquesinaustin.com/

    Rough and Ready

  7. Loved this and I relate!!! whew. where I sell in Santa Monica, Wertz Brothers is fantastic abeit a bit pricey for wholesalers like us. Otherwise, Long Beach Vets Stadium, Rose Bowl , Santa Monica Airport Flea markets...but much higher prices than what you are used to. You’ve got the good ones. Elkhorn, Cedarburg!

  8. The Fox Valley in Illinois has beautiful scenery and great antiques shopping, besides the world famous Kane County Flea Market, the first weekend of every month. Just a few miles north is State Street Market Shops in Elgin, IL!! You won't be disappointed. Visit the website:
    http://www.statestreetmarketshops.com/ and then visit our 35 shops, all under one roof. I have Auntie Sisters in space #32 with funky finds and primitives. This great shopping adventure has kept antique and collectible shoppers coming back for over 28 years!

  9. Visit Annie's Tresures in Cascade, Ia. Only 15 miles from Gatherings in Anamosa. It is a wonderful quaint setting in an old Catholic Church. It is filled to the brim with many, many dealers and offers everthing from primitives to chippy shabby and unique gifts. Joyce Fagan is the owner and is the most gracious shopkeeper. You will love it. Located at 202 Grant St. Open daily except Tuesday.


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