How To Scope Out Vintage Treasures In A New Place
The Distillery is an Austin, Texas-based collection of unique, hand-picked specialty goods. Owned and curated by brother-and-sister-duo Clif Claycomb and Catelyn Silapachai, products for this vintage shop draw inspiration from all around the world – some are vintage finds, some are handmade, and some are discovered at local flea markets. Lucky for us, Catelyn's sharing her secrets on how to scour new places for the best vintage finds.
"Whenever I travel to a new city or country, I love to check out the town's vintage scene. It often starts with a simple Google search like “Portland flea market” or “best New York City vintage.” From there, I’ll let folks on Instagram know that I’ll be visiting so-and-so city, and that I’d love recommendations. Or I’ll reach out to some vintage sellers that I follow online who are based in that city, and ask them for their favorite shops and flea markets."
1. Arrive Early "Once you’ve scoped out a local outdoor flea market at your destination, find out what time it opens. I like to get there about an hour early (which can be VERY early in some cases) to peruse the vendors’ booths while they are setting up. It sounds counterintuitive, but many vendors will give you a deal if you come early."
2. Don't Forget About Local Shops "In addition to flea markets, I recommend hitting up some of the local vintage brick-and-mortar boutiques as well. Two reasons: often vintage shop owners have a great pulse on their city and can give you some great restaurant and to-do recommendations that are off the beaten path. Also, vintage shops are a great way to get a feel for a city or town. For example, I recently visited Portland, and the vintage there was much grungier and 90s than it is in Austin, which tends to be more summery and bohemian."
3. Purchase Vintage Souvenirs "If you plan to bring back souvenirs for friends and family, finding vintage items can make the gesture that much more thoughtful and special. I like to think about what makes the city unique and look for vintage items along those lines – like a vintage absinthe spoon from Paris, or Native American jewelry from Santa Fe. In order to not to spend your whole trip digging through flea markets, you might just opt to go straight for a little antique store for these gift items so that the selection is a bit more curated."
4. Souvenirs Can Double as Decor "I used to have a strict rule against shopping for myself while on vacation. I’ve recently realized that when I buy items for my home on a trip, I have a flood of fond memories associated with the trip when I use it at home. It’s a way to prolong the vacation vibes. Look for something that you’ll actually use, like an interesting mid-century bottle opener – something you’ll get a lot of mileage and memories out of at home."