Pickens South Carolina Flea Market
I love what I do, I really do. However, this morning at 5 a.m., as I drove in a blinding rainstorm heading to the Pickens South Carolina flea market, I had my doubts. First of all, I’m turning 50 in mere days (not trying to garner birthday wishes or sympathy) so shouldn’t I be slowing down? Or maybe sleeping a little later than 5 am? Then I remembered why I do what I do as I met some new “pickers” today in the aptly named town of Pickens. These are men (most of whom I’ve met anyway) who find the cool stuff I love to upcycle and save from the landfill.
Nathan, my first new picker, had a sixteen foot truck full of goodies.
He is especially known for old advertising signage, none of which I could afford today but still enjoyed looking at all his vintage signs. He had great iron pieces (candleholders and table above) and cool furniture pieces (also pictured above) that I was able to get as an early bird. When I came back to pick them up, Nathan said he could have sold them five times over. Such is the life of scavenging – early birds do get the worms. Especially when pickin’ in Pickens! He was a nice guy and told me to contact him with anything I needed. I need more guys like you Nathan, I thought. Pickers make my life easier and more predictable if they source things instead of me blindly going in search of things. He said he’d let me know about special sales he holds at his home a couple times/year. Thank you, Nathan.
Second gentleman, Caleb, had this beauty.
She is truly breathtaking in person and Caleb was another lovely meet-up. He says he specializes in finding the funky which makes him my kind of guy. He’s had some hard times lately and I feel good to be part of the antique food chain. They make a buck and we hopefully make some too. It is a local, American, “green” cottage industry and many partake. And they genuinely love these old things as much as I do and love telling the stories of where they came from. Caleb also said to let him know what I need in the future. Thank you, Caleb.
My final picker man was Johnny, a sweetheart of an older gentleman, 73 years young.
Told me the love of his life happened to live in Raleigh now, a former high school sweetheart who he should have snatched up when both their marriages failed years ago. But she has a longtime boyfriend now. These are the stories I get to hear, stories of loves lost amongst the stories of things found. Johnny had interesting stuff but I was captivated by all his old cameras.
And many other lovely smaller dealers provided me with fresh pickins’ from Pickens for the store.
Design work happening back in Raleigh (photos of design board coming soon), courtesy of ML who is also minding the shop with the fellas. They make it possible to do what I do, as does Mr. F&F, who allows me to go on these adventures, such as today, by keeping up with little man’s activities and who has been integral in the start up of the store and who takes care of me and reminds me to eat lunch. Thank you, Mr. F&F.