In my current guise as an artist, having had several previous careers in my lifetime, I was drawn into the world of painting and rehabbing furniture when during the recent pandemic, I became a vendor at the Pickers Paradize (sic) flea market off Hwy 70E past James City. For many months, I was happily rehabbing old furniture and turning them into “Works of art.” Well, at least that was my intention. The owner of the store asked me to make-over a number of pieces that she bought at estate sales and was offering them as-is to the public. Figuring a little TLC would fetch a better price, I embarked on re-doing over 40 items for the store and many others that I put on sale in my booth.
The reaction of the public was not exactly overwhelming perhaps because of the whimsical nature of my craft—not everyone’s cup of tea–but I did manage to sell a few items to folks that were looking for the unusual such as a tall dresser with a VW bus painted on the front. The first dresser sold immediately. The second was left out front and some “art lover” came along and stole it. I didn’t know whether to be upset or pleased that my work would be so valuable to somebody that they would risk going to jail to own it. Life is funny that way. I have made another VW dresser with Snoopy at the wheel.
Now then, moving on to greener pastures, I came across another vendors’ mall in Jacksonville, NC that opened up for me new possibilities and a larger customer base. I made the leap of faith last week and moved a substantial collection of my painted furniture and other crafts and paintings into The Foundry.
The Foundry claims to be the largest consignment mall in the region—maybe even the entire southeast as a whole. I was amazed at the thousands of square feet with room for 300 vendors to show their merchandise on a grand scale. The managers there are really helpful and go out of their way to assist the vendors. They supply everything one needs to set up shop and even help unloading pieces that will go on sale in your booth. The plus side is that it is extremely well organized despite the cavernous size and all the booths are well kept. They do online marketing of the vendors’ items and have a staff that is dedicated to helping one sell.
Having 300 or so vendors to browse through is daunting but at every corner you turn you’ll find another whole array of eclectic items for sale—most at very reasonable prices. I can’t list all of the varied types of merchandise but here are some examples: Clothing, shoes and accessories for women on a huge scale, military surplus, tons of beautiful antique furniture from all over the world, good used home furnishings, jewelry, fossils, records and entertainment memorabilia, fine lumber for craftsmen, ceramics, glassware, hand painted furniture, and on and on. Of course, like all vendors’ malls there is a big selection of what I call “ticky tacky” that you see everywhere in these emporiums. Aside from those dubious offerings (one man’s junk is another’s treasure, they say), there are many items that you won’t find anywhere.
For me, the place is a veritable Disney World of antiques and collectibles. On a typical day, they get between 200 – 400 customers browsing through the offerings. Mostly women seem to flock to the mall but thankfully there are almost as many items for sale that would be of interest to men buyers such as hardware and tools, man cave items, military surplus, hard to find slabs of fine wood for crafting, paint, clothing, boots, garden tools, LP rock records from all years, art works, old classic magazines, trading cards, video games, automobile parts, etc. There’s enough man stuff to keep hubby happy.
I was happy to be at my previous location and for the moment I am still there. However, the services and environment at The Foundry are really second to none. I am looking forward to a pleasant association with these good folks and invite the readers to check out The Foundry’s website. If you can go home without buying some eye-catching or useful item it would be a miracle.
The Foundry is located at 703 Bell Fork Rd very near Huff Rd. turn off on 17. They are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Their phone number is 910-581-1594. Finally, my booth number is 61. If I am there, drop by and say hello.
Email me with your thoughts.
See you down the road.