Take a Stroll Back in Time at Gainesville’s Vintage Pop Up Market
There’s a place in Gainesville where wedding dresses from the fifties, hand made soaps and passed on children’s books all come together. It’s charming, quaint, the perfect place to spend an afternoon on the weekends and filled with wonderful company—and no, it’s not your grandmother’s house.
The Gainesville Vintage Pop Up Market is bringing something old, something new, something borrowed and even a few blue things too.
Walking into the pop up market is like being transported into a collector’s dream. Each nook is set aside for a different vendor offering something different and unique to the traveling store.
Walking in is a bit overwhelming— you’re not sure where to turn or what to head to first. The first collection I ran into was Sweets N’ Sayings.
Offering whimsical wall art, festive paintings in trendy calligraphy, and even small, meaningful items like sorority themed hair ties, they’re a college girl’s dream.
The first person that came to mind was my cousin who will be attending (for some odd reason) Florida State University. In my opinion, dorm decorating is somewhat of a rite of passage for freshman girls, and the FSU canvas peaking out from a stack of thin white pictures looked like the perfect solution to my cousin’s inevitably bland dorm walls.
Naturally, I had to get the matching FSU hair ties as well. While Sweets N’ Sayings doesn’t show off the rustic antiques the rest of the pop up has to offer, it showcases the youthful vibrance and quirkiness of Gainesville’s entrepreneurial community.
Itching for the full “vintage” experience, I walked over to vendors like WabiSabi Wonderful, which showed the artful eye of these collectors. They can find incredible pieces you never knew you wanted.
For me, the most captivating object in the room was a lacy, white wedding dress. You know, the kind that seem to mock single young women like, “Ha-Ha, look how gorgeous I am and you have no reason to buy me.” It’s cruel, really.
I was shocked at how much history was behind this stunning garment. According to the owner, the dress is from the mid twentieth century.
To a collector’s meticulous eye, the metal zipper on the back and silhouette of the garment were enough to indicate its age. I’m not sure if these vintage collectors are also part psychic, but their ability to see other times off of characteristics as simple as a zipper is its own sort of admirable talent.
The rest of the room was decorated with everything from antique china sets to gently used dolls and trains.
The vendors are attentive and eager to tell the story behind their pieces. Walking through the pop-up market feels less like a shopping experience and more like you’re getting told a hundred stories of little characters disguised as brooches and teddy bears.
My final stop at the pop up market was less traditional and antique, but definitely continued to showcase Gainesville’s local artistry.
Bofi Soaps is an all natural and organic bath and body product company that started with one simple goal in mind: producing products without harmful ingredients and utilizing local ones sourced right here in Florida. Some of the ingredients you’ll find in Bofi Soaps include local citrus, honey, ales from local breweries, goats milk and a variety of essential oils.
“Throughout my practice, I have seen the devastating effects that the overuse of chemicals and pharmaceutical products have had on the health of our communities,” said owner and creator Donna Wheeler.
“I garner a tremendous satisfaction knowing that when someone uses Bofi products they are cleaning, exfoliating, cleansing, moisturizing and adding to the overall health of their skin,” she said.
It’s not just the benefits of the all natural soaps customers will reap-— you’re supporting the small businesses that produce the local ingredients that go into the soaps as well.
The Gainesville Vintage Pop Up Market represents our quaint north-central Florida city in a nutshell. The antique pieces of the past are beautifully showcased to represent tradition and fresh, new ideas add a modern twist to the typical antique market.
The vintage market will be popping up around Gainesville in the coming months. To see when the next market is, check out the Facebook page here.