by Susan Custis, VintageFusion
The kids have been back in school. The beach toys carefully tucked away, and the tan has long ago faded. Fall is wonderfully upon us…yep, it’s ‘pumpkin everything’! Now, it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then on to Christmas. It’s all around the corner, and so much to do. Home décor, collectibles, and gifts to find that are appropriately themed … witches, ghosts, goblins, turkeys, pumpkins, santas, angels, ornaments, and more. The abode has to be appealing (er, scary…) for the ‘trick or treaters’, the table has to be memorably set for ‘turkey day’, and…well, where do we begin about Decking the Halls!!??!
With the excitement on, it’s time to check the tires, tune up the engine, and put gas in the faithful ‘woodie’ to hit the vintage road for some great shopping! Since Central Florida offers the ‘best of the best’ in vintage shopping, with Vintage Finds Magazine (aka, ‘VFM’) as your roadmap, it’s easy to check off all on the ‘to do’ list. So, read on for this edition’s destinations.
This edition of VFM sees us exploring the great shops in Polk County. We start at Vintage Warehouse, located at 4308 Wallace Road, Lakeland. They are open Thursday through Saturday, from 9 to 4 and Sunday 10 to 2. Their early hours make them a great place to start a full day of shopping. We entered the ‘warehouse’ through the large, open cargo bay door to find 12,000 square feet where over 20 vendors create a haven, make that ‘heaven’, of pure shopping delight. We were greeted by an exquisite array of spacious vignettes of all things vintage. Many were staged as beautifully appointed rooms to suggest decorating ideas and many possibilities for the treasures. Their boundless collection includes vintage, industrial, farmhouse, rustic, and more. What makes this place particularly unique is the vast selection of large scale painted furniture pieces.
On we went to Dixieland Relics at 949 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland. They are conveniently open 7 days a week, on Sunday & Monday from 10 to 3, then Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 5. Here we entered into what on first appearance seemed to be a small shop full of enchanting and eclectic selection of antique and vintage merchandise. We found jewelry to oil paintings to small furniture carefully tucked throughout the store. But at the back of the store, we found a door that opened into a large exterior courtyard and covered area where we found a wonderful selection of vintage hardware, outdoor and garden items, and salvage treasures for our creative inspiration. As we wandered through the outdoor treasures, we found yet another small building to explore filled with larger furniture, lighting, home accessories, and other wonderful antiques not commonly seen elsewhere.
Next stop, Southern Gentlemen Antiques & More is located at 923 S Florida Avenue, Lakeland where they are open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 5. The owners, Harold, from north Georgia, and Tim, from east Tennessee, describe their shop as ‘an antique, gift, and local artist shop’. With 3,600 square feet of shop space, they bring you vintage, antiques, ‘reimagined’ items, handmade creations, custom decorating, and more with a southern flare. Here you’ll find Halloween and autumn on grand display. Part of the “& More” includes Friday night online shopping starting around 7:00/7:15-ish for 2 hours of fun and finds. They invite you to join them via Facebook for an enjoyable evening that includes pure comedy. While on their FB page, be sure to check out the many great decorating ideas.
If you love the mall experience, Lakeland Antique Mall, at 3530 on US Hwy 98 North, Lakeland, is a must see. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 7 and Sunday from 10 to 6. Over 250 local Lakeland antique dealers offer an incredible array of antique and vintage finds. With so many vendors under one roof, the selection is endless. With an incredible array of antique and vintage finds, from clothing to vintage furniture, and such a large assortment of quality collectibles, this is a great place for the ardent collector to systematically search for that perfect addition to their home display. They are also proud to offer ‘a unique shopping experience to help you find all the things you didn’t know you wanted, but can’t live without!’
Be sure not to miss Bless this Mess at 129 E. Main Street, Dundee, open Monday through Friday from 10 to 4 and Saturday from 10 to 2. Enter to be greeted by their warm, welcoming, and attentive staff. Wander through room after room of the over 3,000 square feet of shop space chock full of antiques, vintage, and home and holiday décor. Here you’ll find an unusual array of merchandise not elsewhere seen. Be sure to explore their large selection of Disney décor. When we were there, they had recently returned from a ‘picking trip’ up north. The new treasures were amazing and selling fast. They have a dedicated, loyal following, but their great prices are so good that we found other dealers shopping there, too.
Sisters Junktiques Vintage Market is conveniently located at 31549 on busy Highway 27, in Haines City. You can’t miss it. Hours of operation are Monday 11 to 4, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 11 to 4. It really is owned and operated by 2 sisters. From the ‘70s through the ‘90s, this long and spacious building was an orange juice plant, which made OJ for Disney. The building stayed in the family where the sisters opened the antique forum housing over 40 vendors, with a waiting list for more. Others in the family work in the saddle shop and still others oversee a shipping and trucking operation. Don’t miss the Florida booth with the large selection of vintage souvenirs. Join them on the 2nd Thursday of the month for ‘Sip and Shop’ from 4 to 7 pm.
Once home, we unloaded the woodie, laid out our treasures and readily judged this shopping trip a rousing success! Now, time to decorate, carve the pumpkins, get ready for the ‘trick or treaters’, and plan the decorations and menu for Turkey Day for the most memorable vintage holiday season, ever.
Hit the Vintage Road - Thank you to our roving reporter, Susan Custis for hitting the road and sharing these fabulous shops. Be sure to stop by Susan’s shop Vintage Fusion, located at 7720 N. Wickham Rd., #107 Suntree, Fl. Boardwalk at Suntree Plaza, between Cotton Candy Kids Hair Salon and Dynasty Nails. Look for the purple bench!
Stay tuned for our next issue to see where THE VINTAGE ROAD leads us!
Hi I'm Kathy, owner of Vintage Finds Magazine. I hope you enjoy these vintage shops and markets.