Starting Saturday, anyone on the hunt for vintage, antique or custom furniture and home decor will have one more D.C. venue to prowl.
The District Flea, a new offshoot of the popular Brooklyn-based market, opens Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 945 Florida Ave. NW, just north of U Street. It will feature jewelry, art, crafts and food. Want more info? Read the Going Out Guide’s full roundup Monday.
We spoke with three local vendors who will set up shop at the market this Saturday.
Foundry, the furniture and clothing shop at 1522 U St. NW, is a culmination of Freeman’s long-held passion for vintage items and design. The store is now more than two years old, Freeman said.
“It had always been my dream to have store,” Freeman said. “I quit my job and opened it.”
Beyond setting up a shop at the inaugural Grant Avenue Market in Takoma Park this summer, Freeman said she has only ever rummaged through items at other flea markets. Having shopped at both the Brooklyn and Philadelphia Flea markets, Freeman plans on setting up shop at the District Flea for its whole six-week fall run.
“The folks from District Flea reached out to me and asked me to participate. I’m very excited,” Freeman said.
What can shoppers expect to find from Foundry at the market?
“I’ve always thought that upholstered furniture was very expensive,” Freeman said. “I’m trying to bring interesting, fun pieces that are reasonably priced, so it doesn’t have to cost anyone a fortune. There will be a bunch of that.”
Based out of her back yard and garage in Northwest Washington, Eleanor Madison takes what she calls “castaway” furniture and breathes new life into it. Madison, a recent University of Colorado graduate who grew up in Washington, fell in love with antique furniture when she and her college friends went shopping. Madison said she was often called upon to decorate bedrooms and apartments, and she would paint and accesororize old items for friends.
“I felt that we are living in this culture of newness and that we are so quick to devalue things that aren’t brand-new anymore. I was looking on Craigslist and was kind of shocked by how much stuff people were throwing away. I figured I had been doing this for fun since college, so sort of decided to go all in.”
Madison describes her aesthetic as “shabby-chic with an edge” and says that District Flea shoppers who stop by her spot will find anything from small, affordable accessories to a $700 vintage dresser.
“When I heard Brooklyn Flea was coming here, I was so, so excited,” Madison said. “It’s gonna be great.”
A former illustrator, Dino Paxenos said a co-worker and fellow artist introduced him to the world of antiques. After witnessing the business potential in buying and selling old furniture, Paxenos said he “saw freedom.”
“I didn’t hate my corporate job, but I didn’t want to do it forever,” Paxenos said. “I love the independent nature of the work. I kept going with it.”
Paxenos left his home and work in Reston and moved to Hyattsville. In 2003, he launched his Web site, Modern50, and he’s been reselling antiques full-time since 2007.
“I make things from salvaged parts,” Paxenos said of his work, which uses pieces from the 1890s through the 1940s. “That kind of assemblage stuff is popular these days. Even the nuts and bolts are old. I only use old stuff. That’s what people dig.”
Paxenos said he has shopped at various flea markets but rarely acts as a vendor.
“I’ll have some odds and ends, some furniture. Mostly weird little small tchotchkes.”
A vintage warehouse in Baltimore, with mid-century modern furniture, artwork and more.
Company founder and head designer Tony Oliver creates furniture and light fixtures with recycled material. Oliver was lead carpenter for the art department on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
Chris Ransick is a Delaware-based vintage furniture and home decor reseller. Ransick’s offerings include vintage bar and kitchenware.