News from Memory Lane – we’ve expanded!

You might remember that last October, we started our booth adventure with a couple of adjacent wall spaces at Memory Lane Antiques in Valley Junction, here in West Des Moines. We’ve been closely watching the sales at this and all of our booths (Memory Lane owner Ed makes this SO easy with daily emailed sales reports!), and after some careful consideration we decided that the wall spaces just were not cutting it. Now make no mistake, they were a great entry point for us into this business. But for long-term success, we felt that the wall space was just too limiting.

Wall Space Booth | Hazel & Verdie's
So, we are very happy to share that we have moved into an actual booth space at Memory Lane, right across the aisle from our original wall spaces. The space is small, but it has a number of advantages over the wall spaces – first and foremost, it allows us to “come out from the wall” quite a bit more than we could before.

Wall Space Booth | Hazel & Verdie's

Wall Space Booth | Hazel & Verdie's

The additional space also allows us to create an area where shoppers can “step in” and take a closer look at our items without feeling like they are blocking the aisle, and of course allows us to stock a wider variety of items – from dishes to furniture to household items to primitives and much more.

Wall Space Booth | Hazel & Verdie's

Wall Space Booth | Hazel & Verdie's

Wall Space Booth | Hazel & Verdie's

Please come and see us when you get a chance! And as always, if there’s something specific you’re looking for, let us know!

More soon,

Hazel & Verdie's

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve opened our third antique/vintage booth

This month our little micro-business took another step forward as we opened our third booth, this one at The Picker Knows in West Des Moines.

“PK” started out in a different location a couple years ago, but last Fall they relocated to a former grocery store and have since grown completely into that space with retail, storage and auction facilities. We went on their wait list for a booth as soon as they opened in the new building, and finally got “the call” in late February that a space would be coming open on April 1. We spent that day setting up the booth and moving items in.

Like Memory Lane (“ML”), PK is a mix of vendors and owners’ merchandise. The PK team takes their picking very seriously – they’re out just about every day, and when they’re not out they’ve got people bringing them truckloads of items to evaluate and purchase. They acquire some really amazing pieces.

Our booth is an 8×8 foot corner space in the “busiest aisle in the store,” according to the Assistant Manager. We weren’t allowed to paint the plywood walls, but we did want to customize them a bit so we simply put up some large flat sheets using a staple gun. I also made up another hand-painted barnboard sign proclaiming “Hazel & Verdie’s.” We anchored this booth with a few furniture pieces: a buffet/bar, a vanity, and a wicker dresser/headboard combo. From there, we layered with glassware, dishes, and other small items, including collections of mid-century and earlier periods.

Hazel & Verdie | The Picker Knows

 

Hazel & Verdie | The Picker Knows

Hazel & Verdie | The Picker Knows

Hazel & Verdie | The Picker Knows
We’ve added even more merchandise since these photos were taken, and sales so far in this booth are brisk – it is not quite mid-month and we have already made rent plus a little more, so we are cautiously optimistic about the decision to expand yet again.

Here are some of the other wonderful booths at The Picker Knows! If you want to stop by, PK is located at 1208 Prospect, West Des Moines. Hours are 10 am – 7 pm Monday-Saturday, and Noon-7pm Sunday. Please come see us!

Hazel & Verdie | The Picker Knows

Hazel & Verdie | The Picker Knows

Hazel & Verdie | The Picker Knows

Hazel & Verdie | The Picker Knows

 

More soon,

Hazel & Verdie's

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return of the outdoor flea market

It’s warming up around the Midwest now and that means outdoor flea market season has returned. Last summer we tried to conquer a couple of the outdoor markets. We traveled to Sparks, Kansas and What Cheer, Iowa, and we found both to be overwhelming – one because of the heat and one because we just couldn’t get a good handle on how to tackle the large venue.

There was no doubt our inability to make the most of these venues cost us: when we came back empty-handed from Sparks, I read on another blog where the gal had returned from the same market, triumphantly talking about the “dollar jewelry table.” Dollar jewelry table? Granted we wilted in the heat (and vendors did, too, as many of them began packing up early)… but we did manage to make a pass through the whole market and I certainly didn’t see a dollar jewelry table!

Fortunately, I think this weekend we got it figured out, and managed to achieve three things: have fun, see the entire market, and get some great bargains on items we’re pretty sure will be a good fit for our booths.

We started out with the intention of just going to Rutledge, Missouri, but mid-afternoon as we were finishing up our visit there, one of the vendors told us that there was in fact another market taking place the same day, just a few miles away at Colony. So – just when we thought we were done for the day, we headed down the road to gather up a few more treasures. Here are some scenes from our thoroughly enjoyable day!

Hazel & Verdie | Rutledge Flea Market

Hazel & Verdie | Rutledge Flea Market

Hazel & Verdie | Rutledge Flea Market

Hazel & Verdie | Rutledge Flea Market

Hazel & Verdie | Rutledge Flea Market

Hazel & Verdie | Rutledge Flea Market

Hazel & Verdie | Colony Flea Market

Hazel & Verdie | Rutledge Flea Market

 

We’ll share our small-but-mighty pile of picks soon!

 

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Recent thrifty treasures

It’s been quite awhile since I last shared any of my thrift-store treasures with you, but believe me – I have been thrift-store-shopping like CRAZY! These days, some of my treasures go straight into one of the booths at the antique/collectible malls… but some are still just for me. Here are some my recent favorites:

First, it isn’t terribly exciting, but I found this roll of textured wall-paper that I plan to use on the walls in one of the booths. It was only 99 cents.

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!
This little tuffett was given to me by a Spring-cleaning friend. Look at those cute little legs!

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

And, bonus: under that pretty floral cover was a nice surprise: a hooked-rug top!

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

On a recent junking trip to Keokuk, Iowa and into Missouri, Greg and I found a few treasures for the booths… among my favorites, these beautiful studio cards depicting “instant ancestors.”

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

I don’t collect these myself, and I am not sure if those who do use them to display or maybe for crafts.

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

These two really caught my attention because they are casual, “slice-of-life” pictures. I was able to determine, with the tiniest bit of sleuthing, that the office photo is from 1915.  That’s 101 years ago!

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

These dear little sheep bells make a delightful, deep tinkling noise… I imagine a whole field full of them and it sure makes me smile. Rusty goodness for the shop, from a recent estate auction.

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

 

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

Another auction find: this STUNNING chippy door, which I acquired for just FIVE DOLLARS – primarily because I was the only one crazy enough to bid on it!

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

I couldn’t decide whether to keep it or sell it, so just as an experiment I listed it on the “Letgo” mobile sales app (because their tv commercials make me laugh – “we are extremely interested in the barbecue!”) and it was purchased by a young lady who seemed to fully appreciate its chippy goodness and rusted hardware!

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

 

Finally… you know me and other peoples’ art… I can’t stop collecting kids’ clay projects and anyone’s Sunday Paintings! Recently acquired favorites include:

Hand-painted kitties in a hand-crafted matchstick frame –

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

Barn/landscape on a 6-inch piece of thin plywood –

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!

And these sweet kids’ clay dishes.

Hazel & Verdie's | Thrifty Treasures!
Coming soon… more booth news! And, tales of our trip to Keokuk and a recent major purchase that is already giving us fits (but makes for a good story!).

More soon,

Hazel & Verdie's

 

 

 

 

Expanding our horizons

It’s been a whirlwind month as we took an opportunity in late January to actually (already!) expand our booth activity to include a large, local antique mall – The Brass Armadillo. I’m so thrilled to have space in this venue – I remember distinctly when it opened at its present location in the early 1990’s, because I bought my first-ever major purchase from an antique dealer here not long after they opened. (My purchase was a covered casserole dish in my beloved Royal China Currier & Ives pattern that my grandmother Verdie had recently given me.)  I’ve been a regular customer ever since!

So, short version, after a short stint on the waiting list, I got “The Call” and claimed my (approx.) 8×8 foot booth, and we officially opened on January 24.

Hazel & Verdie's at The Brass Armadillo in Des Moines!

To tell you a little more of the story… we had been at our original mall, Memory Lane in Historic Valley Junction, for only a few weeks when we took a trip out to the Brass Armadillo in northeast Des Moines just to shop and get some merchandising ideas. While there, we inquired about the procedure for obtaining booth space and decided to go on the wait list. The Assistant Manager told us at that time that an available booth did not necessarily go to the first person on the list – it went to the first person called who arrived at the mall to view the space. Being pretty far down on the list, I thought perhaps under this method I might stand a chance of getting a space. That was mid-November.

On December 14, I was mid-way through eating dinner at home when my phone rang at 5:15. It was Toni at “BA,” and she told me they had space coming available and reminded me that it was going to be “first come/first served” as far as who got the space. Understanding she had additional calls to make, I told her I was coming over immediately. I quite literally dropped my fork, leaving my remaining dinner to the mercy of the cat, and arrived (withOUT speeding, I should add) at BA within 20 minutes. Toni showed me the available booth and gave me the January 24th move-in date, and we signed the paperwork that night.

Just like that, I went from a booth in one mall, to two booths in two malls. It sure felt like things were taking off.

As it turned out, we were able to move in a week early so we’ve had now about 4 weeks in the new space.  We are off to a strong start with sales, which is great! But of course we are always fine-tuning our selection of merchandise so it is an ongoing experiment.

Hazel & Verdie's at The Brass Armadillo in Des Moines!

Hazel & Verdie's at The Brass Armadillo in Des Moines!

Hazel & Verdie's at The Brass Armadillo in Des Moines!

Hazel & Verdie's at The Brass Armadillo in Des Moines!

Hazel & Verdie's at The Brass Armadillo in Des Moines!

 

If you are in the area and want to stop by, we are in booth #40 on “Utah Avenue” at the Brass Armadillo, 701 NE 50th Ave., in Des Moines!

More soon,

Hazel & Verdie's