Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hit the Road...The Final Chapter

Finally, here it is the final leg of my Southeastern adventure.  Ok, so what you need to know about this leg is that it was in one of my favorite cities in the country – ATLANTA!!!  To be fair, I lived in Atlanta for almost 10 years and am in many ways more comfortable in Atlanta than I am in my current city, Boston.  I understand the layout of the city better and more importantly I know GREAT places to find decorative resale items!  On this trip I was on a limited timeframe and really wanted to explore some new spots but I couldn’t resist some of my old favorite haunts.

One of my first stops was My Sister’s Closet at 5350 Peachtree Road Chamblee.  Now when I lived in Atlanta one of my best work friends and I used to head to My Sister’s Closet fairly frequently for lunch – who needs food when you have phenomenal thrift finds right?  What I love most about My Sister’s Closet is their variety – you can find just about anything here from consignment designer clothing to a broad variety of vintage clothing & accessories to home accessories (both vintage and modern).  Prices are reasonable and sales are frequent and generous.  On this trip I restraingly only purchased a pin tray for my collection, a vintage silver butter knife and a fab button pin. 
Pin Tray, Button Pin & Vintage Silver from My Sister's Closet

Treasures from Attic Treasures!
My next stop was at a charity thrift store just around the corner from My Sister’s Closet – Attic Treasures at 3534 Broad Street in Chamblee.  This shop is run by and benefits the Assistance League of Atlanta and not only do they benefit a great cause but they are one of my favorite thrift shops in Atlanta.  Now, this shop is a fairly traditional thrift shop and has many “Goodwill” type items but sprinkled among them are real bargains and real unique finds!  All of the clothing is recently dry cleaned and the wares are well displayed – nothing dirty or musty in this shop.  I ended up purchasing several items: a Robert Burns Spode Plate, a fun drink shaker, a depression glass sherbet glass, a couple of decorative metal pockets (one for Easter) and a couple of bargain skirts (Brooks Brother for $2.50 ea. – really!).  I cannot say enough about this shop and its hidden treasures.

Attic Treasures
3534 Broad St., Chamblee GA

Now, one thing about these two shops that are worlds away in their approach to thrift they are less than a mile apart in locale.  Also in the neighborhood are several other more serious “antique” shops – I am not exaggerating when I tell you it would not be hard to spend a whole afternoon just meandering through the lovely antique/thrift/consignment shops of Chamblee.
So my next day in Atlanta started in Buckhead at Architectural Accents.  I had not visited Architectural Accents when I lived in Atlanta but had read about them somewhere in a magazine and had put them on my "must see" list.  This shop is located near some of Atlanta’s finest antique shops in Miami Circle and as expected by its “high end” neighborhood Architectural Accents does not offer many bargains but does offer a fascinating array of architectural salvage – any kind of door, mantle, hardware, molding you can imagine can be found in this large retail space where it does appear bigger is better. 

Architectural Accents
2711 Piedmont Road, Atlanta GA

This in my world is an “idea” place – a great place to expand thoughts and gain great ideas that can be reused in your projects.  My great-grandmother was a seamstress and used to “shop” high end department stores to see what was in fashion so she could knock them off for my grandmother at a fraction of the cost the stores were charging.  As a result my grandmother was the most fashionable kid in town – this same concept is applied at Architectural Accents.
One of the things I was most looking forward to in Atlanta was going to an auction at Gallery 63 – for those who may not have seen the TV show the Auction Kings this is the auction house that is featured on that show.  I have been to a fair number of auctions in my time and none have compared to the auction I attended at Gallery 63. 

It started at 4pm and I stayed for several hours watching everything from jewelry to rugs to furniture to 20’ stained glass windows from a church in Detroit to hula outfits go up for auction.  There was a lot more physical movement by the Gallery 63 employees than I usually see at an auction and this contributed to a somewhat chaotic feel but also gave buyers at the auction much to hold our interest.  Things moved rapidly and that was lucky given the number of items that were up for auction.  I left around 7pm to get some dinner and when I drove by around 10 pm heading toward my hotel the auction was still going on – talk about a marathon auction!   Unfortunately this was not an auction that was being taped for the TV show but it was certainly a show none-the-less.    For those who have not ever been to an auction I highly recommend them – you can get the best deals and see a wider array of goods in a short amount of time than practically anywhere. 

Hula Outfits being modeled by Cindy

So much stuff, so little time

One warning to keep in mind when bidding at an auction though – most (if not all) auctioneers charge a “buyers premium” of 12%-20%.   Be sure to factor this additional cost in when you are bidding as it really is part of the total you will end up spending for your item.  I usually factor 20-25% (for easy math) of my bidding price to account for this buyers premium as well as sales tax.  Clearly the auctioneers have it made – the sellers pay a commission for them to sell the products and the buyers pay a commission on top of the sell price – they collect from both sides!  Even factoring this in as I stated earlier you can find great bargains at an auction…just don’t get too carried away with the need to “win”.  Set your price and stick to it and you will do ok.
There are so many more placed I wanted to visit while I was in Atlanta but there is never enough time…  One of my favorite haunts that I did not have time to visit this trip is A Classy Flea at 1355 Roswell Road in Marietta.  I love, love, love A Classy Flea and I highly recommend setting a couple of hours aside to inspect every nook and cranny – plus the name is just a great one!  Next time rest assured they are top of the list.

A Classy Flea
1355 Roswell Road, Marietta GA

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