If you follow me on Instagram (@almostfabme - completely shameless plug), you may have noticed that I've been posting a lot of "mini-hauls" recently from what I like to call my Treasure Hunting in Sacramento. For those of you who are new here - first of all hihowareya, secondly, while I am traditionally an LA Queen I am currently residing in Northern California (Sacramento specifically) with my mom while we wait out the pandemic.
One of my all-time favorite activities, especially when I'm home in Sacramento (hello, everything is way cheaper than LA!) is Vintage/Consignment/Antique shopping. Now that I'm home at least through the end of the year, I've been visiting my old haunts and exploring some new ones as well.
While I'm a HUGE fan of "the hunt," I know it can be quite overwhelming for many people. I've frequented many a flea, antique, vintage market in my time so I've picked up a few tips and tricks here and there that I wanted to share with you.
Let's make YOUR next Treasure Hunt the most successful and best one yet! Read on for AlmostFabMe's Treasure Hunting Life Hacks.
Whether you're visiting a flea market for the first time or hitting up your favorite seasonal holiday market, take the time to pre-plan. You may be asking what I mean by "pre-plan," well, let me tell you. If the specific market has a Facebook Page, Instagram Profile, etc. - join, follow, like the page to get a feel for what you can expect to find. They may even have a map and list of vendors (for those really organized markets) in which case you can explore the list of vendors and make note of who you absolutely must visit and who you're okay with missing out on.
2. Properly Hydrate and Feed Yourself Beforehand (I mean it!)
This hot tip comes to you by way of my numerous visits to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Los Angeles. This is one of the LARGEST markets I've ever been to and as a result I find this tip to be one of if not THE MOST crucial. A lot of markets open early and if you're a savvy shopper, you'll find yourself in the front of the line when those doors open. That being said, early means you may not have time to properly "wake up" before attending. Whatever you do, even if it means waking up even earlier - prepare yourself for the journey ahead by properly hydrating and fueling. The last thing you want to have to do while scouring the rows of unique finds is suddenly feel distracted by your growling stomach or be frantically searching for water if it's particularly hot. You may also want to check out the bathroom situation wherever you're visiting in case you're someone who finds themselves in need of a potty break often.
3. Identify Items You're On the Hunt For
It can make the process less overwhelming if you go into a Treasure Hunt with a clear cut idea of the items you want to look for. For example, when my mom and I first visited Antique Trove it was on a hot August Day, I was sweaty, hungry (see above - didn't follow my own guidelines!) and had no direction as far as what I was looking for. The next go around, thanks to one of my favorite YouTubers (Julia Havens), I was inspired to see what good vintage jewelry I could find. As a result I ended up walking away with two necklaces, a bracelet AND a ring and even managed to stumble upon the unexpected prize of a vintage carry-on suitcase. Big time score!
4. Don't be Afraid to Dig
Your ability to dig is often determined by your current mood (again, back to the importance of rule number #2!). If you've ever frequented ANY kind of market, you should know that things aren't always beautifully merchandised and arranged for you. Often times, you have to DIG. I can almost guarantee that the dig will be worth it but I can also almost guarantee that you won't find those hidden gems if you stick to the surface level - literally. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! At a recent market in Sacramento, there was a table stacked with clothes. And I mean STACKED. There was no rhyme or reason, no organization just like someone dumped a pile of clothes on a table. While I wasn't keen on digging at first, I ended up diving in and found the cutest Halloween Holiday Vest in pristine condition and guess what? It was $.25. Yes, you read that correctly, one quarter!
5. See Beyond What's In Front of You
This is perhaps one of my favorite tips and tricks when it comes to Treasure Hunting. As a creative and a big proponent of sustainability and up-cycling, I love to reimagine items for what they could be, beyond what they currently are. Could something be transformed with a new coat of paint? Or maybe an article of clothing is too big but you love the pattern - could you have it altered? Or could you repurpose the fabric to make a scarf or a bag? Putting yourself in the frame of mind to where you can see beyond what's in front of you is guaranteed to help you walk away with even more treasure than your eyes could have imagined.
With the Holiday and gift giving season rapidly approaching, I'm sure (hopefully!) you have many Holiday Markets and/or shopping trips planned. Take these tips and tricks into your next adventure and just wait and see what you walk away with!