Portland Antique Expo
This past weekend it was time for the Antique & Collectibles Show at the Portland Expo Center. Happening in March, July and October, this is one of my favorite shows in the area because of its sheer size – nearly 900 booths all under one roof!
While I’ve sold outside at the summer Expo for the last two years, this was my first time actually having a booth inside so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But I’m happy to report the show was a success all around!
First off, I had a great location – right in front of the load-in dock! Made moving in and out that much easier, yay! Secondly, I unexpectedly got a booth twice the size I had planned for. While this caused a bit of a scramble to get prepped in time, it made my booth very spacious and easy to navigate, allowing plenty of room for shopping carts and electric scooters. And lastly, the people were all so nice – my fellow vendors were enormously kind and helpful (especially during setup and tear down!) and my customers were enthusiastic and happy to give many of my European treasures a new home.
I was quite pleased with the way my space turned out – the extra space meant I had room to bring some big pieces of furniture, which helped make the space feel warm and inviting. Here are the left, center and right sides to give you a sense of the layout:
While I normally stick to a fairly limited color palette (mostly red, white and blue), I had quite a bit more color going on this time. Partly because I had sewn those colorful pillows and partly because I had brought some fun aqua and green pieces. The glass canning jars from France were a big hit and I sold about half of what I brought! The sweet “Water Sports” illustration by Margaret Tarrant was also an eye catcher and quickly found a new home, as did many of the other items, like the bird cage, tall bottles, enamel breadbox and floral chamber set.
Some of the pieces that sold were actually a bit hard to part with, like the white armoire that has served as a display piece for many a show and has lived in our dining room for nearly two decades.
To balance out all that color, I made sure to bring plenty of neutral pieces, like the French mannequin from the 1880s, the deconstructed chair with pillows covered in antique French linens, and the fabulous pine vanity (a customer pointed out that if you add a couple of shelves in front of the large mirror, this would make a fabulous bar!)
I received many compliments on my booth design and I really appreciate everyone’s kind words – putting a display together is one of my favorite parts of being a vendor. I try to pay attention to how the whole booth flows together but also how small details might enhance the experience. To this end, I popped into Trader Joe’s and bought some pink flowers to tie in with the floral pillows and sachets I had sewn. I had no idea that these little ranunculus would almost steal the show – several folks thought they were silk and wanted to purchase them!
So if you came out to the show and stopped by my booth or, better yet, bought one of my pieces – thank you! Your support and encouragement is what makes this journey so much fun. And if you couldn’t make it or live out of the area, be sure to check out my online shop so you can add a touch of Europe to your own home.