A couple weeks ago we hosted a Forth meet up at the Kane County Flea Market, and boy, was it a doozy. If you've never been to this hot spot in the western suburbs, let me paint a picture for you. Treasures amidst junk, novelty, quirk, and ephemera abound. It's really worth the trek and the $5 admission fee to get in. There are such a myriad of offerings, from tablewear and textiles to furniture and toys. And if you have the time and the patience, you're surely to find some great loot.
Here are some tips & recommendations on how to shop the market:
1. Start with wine.
We sent a note to bring a sack lunch and a snack to share, and the offerings were bountiful. Macarons, cheese & fruit, rice krispy treats, stroopwafels, and of course, wine. As with all Forth outings (or most all) there must be a bit of alcohol to initiate the festivities.
2. Bring someone who knows.
Lucky us! Kelly of Nimble Well joined in this adventure, so we had pro collector and master guide in our midst. From educating us on the art of bartering, to identifying time period and recommended value of our goods, Kelly was an invaluable pal.
3. Look for oddities.
One of the best parts of a good flea market is that you'll find all sorts of crazy stuff. So much of the fun is just in the looking, and in the giggles that ensue. Want to learn to build a house of straw & catch a water polluter? The Mother Earth News has you covered. Need a battery operated smoking bear? Look no further, friend. Have a hankering for a new vinyl collection & 80s hair bands are at the top of your list? Done!
Heck, we even found a golden & glittery accordion fit for Liberace.
4. Buy in groups & look in groups.
Buying matching goods is great fun, even if just to compare Instagram photos tomorrow. Or let your friends know what you're hoping to find, so you'll have extra eyes peeled for your desired loot.
5. HAVE FUN! The best part of the market is the part where expectations are low, laughter is high, and good friends abound. Make that your mission, and you're sure to have a successful trip.
When all is said and done, gather up your goods, style them into a pretty bunch, and take a picture of what you've found. Pat each other on the back--it's been a great day!
*Many thanks to fellow Forth gal pal & pro photographer Dev Enarson for shooting along with us. All photos marked with an asterisk are hers, and used with her gracious permission.