Go vintage and your gift could be the most unique one under the tree [imagebrowser id=26]
photos by mary preiser potts
If you’re on a mission to keep it local this holiday season, consider the advantages of giving vintage, antique and re-purposed gifts. Not only is it friendlier to the environment, it can be easier on your budget as well. The following are a handful of shops in downtown Vancouver where you’ll find a selection of unique and useful treasures with personality, pizzazz or a pinch of whimsy. PS: Check out our excursion to Kalama on page 14 for more antiquing opportunities.
The Cat’s Pajamas
1411 Broadway Street
If sheer variety is important, The Cat’s Pajamas should be at the top of your list. The space is not huge, but it’s well-utilized and the displays are eye-popping. Standout items are industrial and primitive furnishings, a collection of colorful perfume bottles, cowboy boots, western handbags, pictures, prints, Native American pottery and a magician’s rabbit table (you just have to see it). Kitchen items, ornate boxes, camping gear, telephones and typewriters round out an impressive assortment of desirable items from yesteryear.
108 Ninth Street
2nd Bloom is owned by sisters Keri Frendt and Kayla Castiglioni. Inviting displays feature an eclectic mix of rustic vintage home décor items, silver, lamps and jewelry. They also carry unique jewelry made locally from re-purposed objects by Humblebug Jewelry (humblebugjewelry.com). Vegan, organic candles made by Objects with Purpose also make a great gift. The warm candle wax is scented with essential oils and is pure enough to be used warm as a body butter or dabbed on wrists as perfume.
815 Washington Street
If it’s vintage fashion you seek, this is the place to find an amazing collection of plaid, leather jackets, hats, women’s gloves and men’s long-sleeve shirts. There’s also luggage, jewelry, vintage glass, local art and handbags created locally from re-purposed materials. Most Everything is also the engine behind Couve Couture, Vancouver’s fall fashion show event.
904 Main Street
Divine Consign is a community fundraiser nonprofit staffed by volunteers. The ample showroom is filled with mid-century, traditional and contemporary home furnishings for every room of the house, as well as rugs, tableware, lighting and smaller home décor items. Divine Consign gives grants to local charities providing community services in the arts, education and human services. Not only do they have a great selection, but it’s for a great cause.
Main Street Vintage
1817 Main Street
Owned by home decorating enthusiast Marci Fitzgerald and her husband, Glen, Main Street Vintage features 30 antique and vintage dealers. The displays are impeccable and the selection of merchandise is well curated. From large furniture pieces to vintage toys, tools, storage solutions and unique lighting fixtures, this is a store to get lost in.
Meadow Lark Tea Room & Antiques
1803 Main Street
Located in the same shopping center as Main Street Vintage, Meadow Lark Tea Room & Antiques is an antique mall with a twist. The mall showcases more than 25 antique dealers with an emphasis on glass, china and costume jewelry. A large English tea room serves home baked items and a wide selection of loose leaf teas. There’s also a gift area featuring the work of local artisans. Do a little shopping, have a bite to eat, do a little more shopping, all while staying dry!
1006 Main Street
Amour Mercantile is a fusion of mercantile, vintage and antique shop where you’ll find an array of home decor, reclaimed and re-purposed treasures of all kinds, vintage treats and military collectibles. And, just in time for the holidays, the mercantile is also carrying wearable arts from local artisans in the form of cashmere hats, gloves and scarves, as well as playful skirts and t-shirts; simple, locally crafted and custom jewelry; and a line of organic bath and beauty products.
Hot holiday shopping
So, what items do the proprietors of downtown Vancouver’s fine vintage and antique shops think will top gift giving lists this holiday season? Let’s have a look:
2nd Bloom: Angel wings wall décor and jewelry, because of the versatility and range of style and price.
Most Everything: Anything with owls on it and crazy Christmas sweaters.
Amour Mercantile: Vintage candy, handmade jewelry and soap.
Meadow Lark Tea & Antiques: Tea cups, hand-embroidered pillowcases and loose leaf tea.
Main Street Vintage: Mercury glass, pewter and Native American blankets in neutral tones.
Divine Consign: Pairs of traditional chairs, unique glass items and anything in the color range from apple green to turquoise.