Last month I participated as a antiques vendor at the Marley Community Church’s 54th annual flea market. This little church has hosted this amazingly quaint flea market, white elephant sale and pie sale for over half a century and they plan to continue next year just as they have for years. (Look for it next year on the third Saturday of June.) It’s one of my favorite markets. The market goes on rain or shine and believe me over the past 20 years we’ve seen all kinds of weather for this market. Honestly though it usually shines on Marley the day of the flea market. Maybe they got an “in” with the man upstairs making the weather.
This year was a beautiful day for sitting in their beautiful picnic grounds next to the 150+ year old church. The day was in the mid 90’s but under the cool shady canopy of 100 year old trees it was cooler and the light breeze helped. Shoppers of all ages and backgrounds were out looking for that elusive whatever to complete their collection or accent their home.
We talked with so many folks and found out a little more about their likes and dislikes. (Everyone loved the pies made by the ladies of the church.) One interesting trend I noticed was a distinct lack of millennials, children of baby boomers who came of age at the turn of this century.
You would think that these children of baby boomers, would have collecting in their blood with parents that know a good antique when they see one. I guess sometimes there isn’t disposable income for such frivolous things. I get it, these millennials are starting families, putting down roots, purchasing homes. Along with that, you’d think would come the need to outfit that home and garden with unique and unusual items to make their homes distinctively theirs. And where better to get a bargain on something unique than a flea market?
You would think that these millennials, would have collecting in their blood having grown up with vintage and antique collections. Baby boomers are famous for their ability to ferret out the most incredible collectible antiques. I am part of the baby boomers. Most of my generation possess the means to collect what we want. Many of my generation hold onto items that bring them some happiness, some memories of more pleasant times and things that just tickle their fancy. Maybe because they grew up with the detritus of their parents’ collecting, millennials seem to lack the collecting gene or openly deplore the cluttered look.
After hearing one of the few millennials talk about purchasing similar items or repro-items on line, I started thinking about the possibility of markets like Marley disappearing. This would be so sad. An institution like Marley just disappearing after 54 years? I don’t see that happening anytime soon but if people continue to only purchase online then all types of business will change.
So, I guess what I’m ranting about today is that we need to frequent more vintage and antique markets especially those more established markets. The summer is only half over so get out there and ferret out your local antiques and vintage markets. Go have a look, chat with the vendors and find out what there is to love about old stuff.