There they were…the gates of the Nashville Flea Market. For those of you that have never ventured in, you may not know what you are missing. Hopefully, this post will inspire you on the treasures and surprises to be found amid the barns, the stalls and the buildings of the flea market.
On Saturday morning I received a much needed “hall pass” from my husband. So, with absolute glee, I headed to the flea market with no real purpose except to order or purchase a pair of mint julep cups for my sister Eileen. If you are a collector of these objects of beauty as I am, you know how difficult they are to find.
My first stop was to visit Helen and John Rodman ([email protected]), exquisite sellers of fine silver and cut glass, located in the Creative Arts building. From the moment I met them, I adored them. Helen never sets a table with one silver pattern but mixes it up to create a magical table. She stands at almost 6 feet tall with an aura of elegance and refinement. Helen can help you find any silver pattern…and at incredible prices. John is homespun and loves the hustle and bustle of the market. He knows every vendor by name. If you want some good deals, go through John.
Once my order was placed, I made a quick stop by a guy selling readers @ 2 for $15, but he was so busy I had to move on (Do you think we are all going blind or was the price?) Then, I ran into my high priced decorators each loaded with goodies. Ann had an exquisite beaded vintage top that she snagged for $12; Rog had a fabulous rug for a client. One look at the top and I immediately headed to the rabbit barn as I knew exactly where she found it.
There I scored an amazing Michael Kors skirt for my trip to Mackinac Island this summer. Also found: a pair of incredible orange suede shoes to go with a favorite white summer dress. The woman selling vintage clothing is a hoot. She says that Nashville never was a city of high style and most of her great finds come from St. Louis and Atlanta. From her tone and conviction, I suspect she’s probably right. As I handed her a $20, I saw a turn style filled with clothing with a big sign 50% off. “Now that’s interesting. ” I found two tops and a great white jacket for summer. The seller had clothing from Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren , Kay Unger and others… all in perfect condition and with the tags still on. “What’s the skinny here?,” I pondered and then had to find out: she is a clothing buyer from Atlanta selling overstocks and samples. My bill there was $38. Finally, I popped in one of my favorite buildings for jewelry. I found an incredible cuff for $1 and a pair of gorgeous rhinestone vintage shoe clips for $20.
Strolling out, I stopped and sampled some delicious strawberries and tomatoes. SOLD for the sum total $8. As I walked through the gates of the market and glanced back at the sea of humanity carrying shrubs, tube socks, antique rugs and bags of who knows what, it occurred to me that this is why I love Nashville. Nothing can beat the flea market on a gorgeous Saturday in April. The Flea Market occurs the 4th weekend of the month, rain or shine. Not bad for a 2 hour hall pass.