Summertime in Florida finds us at the beach in the sun, sand, and surf. Then the sunburn hits, the seasonal storm clouds roll in, and you just need a break. So, as we all know, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping – for Vintage, that is! Gladly, there’s plenty of vintage to explore along Central Florida’s East Coast. So off-load the surfboard and empty the “woodie” to hold all the treasures that you’re sure to find. Follow the highway and by-ways from Deland to Vero Beach for some of the best vintage that the east coast of Florida has to offer.
Start in Deland at The Marketplace at Rivertown located at 114 S. Woodland Blvd. Open 7 days a week, this multi-dealer vintage mall is sure to please with its large assortment of ‘everything’ antique to mid-century, shabby chic, and vintage from furniture to clothing and jewelry as well as collectibles and ‘toys’ for kids of all ages. Be sure to check out their assortment of Vintage Florida Orange Items to find the perfect, unique souvenir of your summer vacation. Find a beautifully restored furniture piece for your home, or score a DIY find to finish with their assortment of Dixie Belle paints.
While in Deland, swing by Backhome Antiques at 110 S. Woodland in downtown Deland. Here you’ll go back to “the ‘80s”…the 1880’s to the 1980’s, that is. From furniture to collectibles to art, so much to see and from which to choose. Check out their website for great listings and an opportunity to buy online.
Back on the road, we headed south to Titusville where we found Five Katz Antiques at 4509 S. Hopkins Ave. Here you’ll find things from the Stone Age to the Space Age. It’s as much a museum as it is an antique shop, with its unique offerings carefully curated. More than unique and more than unusual. A great place to find a gift for someone who has everything. How about a wooly mammoth tooth? Or a medical oddity? Or, a ‘new old stock’ toy? Or, mid-century kitchenware? All are in very nice condition and attractively priced.
Right next door, you’ll find Vintage Thistle at 4511 S. Hopkins Ave. Vintage Thistle showcases a wide variety of repurposed furniture and home goods ranging from antiques to modern. What makes this place special is the beautifully restored, custom quality, hand-painted furniture selections. Handmade home décor items complement the offerings of this charming shop. Vintage Thistle also offers the full selection of Dixie Belle paints and workshops for the DIYer. Not a DIYer? No problem. Commission them to do the work and customize a piece to your choosing.
Back on the road, head south to the Suntree area of Melbourne to find VintageFusion at 7720 N. Wickham Rd, #107. They say they are ‘hard to find, but worth the search’, and they are. Here you’ll find a large inventory of new and pre-owned items with a vintage flair. The ‘fusion’ comes from ‘where old meets new’. At VintageFusion find a selection of upscale, high quality home décor, including home accents, lamps, mirrors, and small furniture along with gift items and pre-owned fashion jewelry, all very affordably priced.
From there, head further south into central Melbourne to “the malls” - the antique malls, that is. Here, serious vintage shoppers are fortunate to find, not just one but, two malls located within 10 minutes of each other. Each offers an incredible array of antique and vintage finds. Since antique malls house many vendors under a single roof, the selections are endless. Antique malls are a great place for ardent collectors to systematically search for that perfect addition to their home displays.
America’s Antique Mall, at 850 N. Apollo, boasts 35,000 square feet and 250 vendors. Collect a map of the floorplan at the door and meander the aptly named aisles, such as Liberty Lane, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington Way, and Betsy Ross Road. You’ll find a huge assortment of items from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s with antiques interspersed throughout. Grab a card to play “Treasure Hunt Bingo” as you explore the booths. Follow them on Facebook for special events.
A short ride away finds you at the Indian River Antique Mall, located at 1433 S. Babcock Street where there are over 110 dealers spread over 20,000 square feet of floor space. They proudly boast a wide selection of furniture and home décor, from beach to farmhouse to traditional to shabby chic to mid-century modern. Also find a beautiful assortment of vintage jewelry, knick-knacks, and collectibles - irresistibly priced!
From “the malls”, we ventured further into Melbourne to “the” mall, Melbourne Square, to find Gregg’s Marketplace and, its sister store, Trendz. Stand at the entrance to the Marketplace to see a jaw-dropping array of vintage toys, 99% of which are 10 years and older. With an endless variety of items, Gregg’s Marketplace is truly a Shop-o-rama!!! Notable is the vast selection of vintage Disney, particularly Mickies, Minnies, and Poo Bears in a variety of sizes. All are in superb condition. Here you’ll find something for kids and collectors, alike. Across the mallway, is their sister store, Trendz. Enter the store through the Hobbit Hole, and once in, explore the offerings in Dinosaur Island, Christmas in Here, World of Elegance, and Land of Landscape. You’ll find still more vintage toys along with clothing, collectibles (including Beenie Babies and Precious Moments), yard art, steampunk, and much more all artfully displayed.
It’s been a long day, but there’s still time to head south to Vero Beach to explore Wildwood Antique Mall. Located at 720 South US Highway 1 in Vero Beach, they are conveniently open 7 days a week from 10 am to 7 pm (6 pm on Sunday). Wildwood Antique Mall takes pride in being a different type of antique mall. Their offerings include rare, high-end antiques and collectibles. They also offer an extensive online antique inventory of their furniture, home décor, kitchen, lighting, jewelry, clothing, outdoor, art, collectibles, and gifts.
By now, the woodie will be full of great finds from a long day of successful vintage shopping! Oh dear, but where to put the flip-flops, beach clothes, surf board, and other beach toys for the trek home? Lesson learned – when you head to central Florida’s east coast beaches, be sure to save room for the vintage.
Thank you to our newest contributing author Susan Custis for taking us on THE VINTAGE ROAD throughout our CENTRAL FLORIDA’S EAST COAST. Be sure to stop by her sweet shop,
VintageFusion to say hi and see her latest finds.
VintageFusion is located at 7720 N. Wickham Road, #107 Suntree, Fl. Boardwalk at Suntree Plaza, between Cotton Candy Kids Hair Salon and Dynasty Nails. Look for the purple bench!
Collecting antiques can be a fun and rewarding hobby on many levels. It doesn’t have to be a hobby that breaks the bank. Not all antiques belong in the British Museum & there is much more to the hobby than buying low and selling high.
Collecting antiques is a lifelong hobby for many. People collect an innumerable number of different items and no two people I know collect the same thing. I watch people everyday walk by my store without stopping in because they see the sign that says antiques and they assume incorrectly that everything in an antique store is expensive. This just isn’t true. Especially within the last several years.
Sure, I have some items that are offered in the store that cost more than others. You might say some are expensive. The prices are determined by cost, rarity and condition as well as other factors. Some things just cost more. However, there are many items in my store that are very affordable and a great value.
Bargains can be had anywhere and many times when you least expect them. In the past I have shopped flea markets and thrift stores and found many valuable items. Garage sales, estate sales, and auctions can also be surprising venues. To take advantage of them in the past, you had to have amassed some amount of knowledge about antiques and collectibles. Now, everyone can be an “expert” with their phone. All you have to do is look it up online.
Ah, ha, but there is a catch. The sellers are all doing the same thing now. Before the items go out to the yard for the sale, before the thrift store adds the items to their general inventory, everyone looks them up online. The trouble with this is that people usually use the highest price they see as a reference and tag their items the same.
This doesn’t work for either party. The high price online could be just a fishing expedition. The seller may not have known what their item was worth so they just marked it high to see what happens. Some antique dealers will say if it sells too fast, the price was too low. When using an online source for pricing info, use the sold prices. This tells you what similar items actually sold for. Also, take location as well as the date of the sale into account.
Two similar items will sell for two different prices when offered in say New York City vs Titusville, FL. Use this info to your advantage when shopping at flea markets or thrift stores. You can talk about their price and show them a range of lower prices for the same item and then make them a fair offer and they might just take you up on it.
Also you might get a better deal on an item if you select several items to purchase at one time. Some would call this “bundling”. This also brings up the art of asking for a deal. Haggling is a fine art that takes some time to get right. Some stores, or sellers love to haggle, others not too much. Try to pick up on cues from watching people deal in different ways and see what works. Just try not to offend and if you make an offer and the seller accepts, you need to complete the deal and buy the item. Don’t leave them hanging saying, you just wanted to see how low they would go. You probably won’t get another chance with this seller.
Also if you frequent a store or booth often, you will get a feel for what items have been hanging around for a while. Some sellers will take a lower offer if the item seems stale, and they are looking to add new merchandise. They will sometimes accept making less on an item that’s been there a while or even sell it at cost to move it along. This will take some luck as if you wait too long, some other buyer may be watching the same item and make their move first!
To know a deal when you see one, know your items within your chosen subject matter. For instance, if you have decided to collect vintage battery operated robots, you have to do your homework. You need to learn the manufacturers, the countries they originate from, the years they were produced, the variations of each one, and the pricing trends from researching online auctions and using price guides when available and current.
All this homework will put you on top of your game when you are out looking and you will recognize a good deal when you see it. Also consider that if you are buying for your collection, you may also consider buying an item in less than perfect condition, planning on trading up when a better one is available. You may also find you may be willing to spend a bit more, since it is going into a long term collection, rather than trying to flip it in a sale.
There are some real bargains out there for someone who is patient and persistent. I have bought many items over the years that I acquired for a bargain price. Sometimes you have to buy a small grouping or collection to get that one choice item, and then sell off everything else.
If you take the time to put in the work, there are rewards out there waiting to be found. One example is a serigraph I bought at a thrift store for less than $40 that turned out to be worth several hundred dollars. It also turned out that I like it so much, I don’t want to sell it.
This is all part of the hobby. Enjoy the process and when you do find that special item at what seems to be an amazing price, you will enjoy the satisfaction of adding that item to your collection all the more sweet. Good luck and happy hunting.
Visit our contributing author, Ed Kindle at Five Katz Antiques.
OPEN M, W, F & SAT at 4509 S. Hopkins Avenue in Titusville, Florida.
Hi I'm Kathy, owner of Vintage Finds Magazine. I hope you enjoy these vintage shops and markets.