One of the joys of living in an old printing factory is that you never run out of room or projects. When a friend mentioned that it was time for the Round Top Antique Fair this weekend, I decided it was time for this Lifestylist to get down to Round Top and see what all of the buzz was about, and I wasn’t disappointed. I just wondered what took me so long to take advantage of one of the best antique and vintage shows that is an easy road trip from Dallas. It truly was 26 miles of weird, wacky, and wonderful buys that offered something for everyone.
The Round Top Antiques Fair is legendary — 49 years young, it lures celebrities like Martha Stewart into the fields lining Highway 237 in the typically sleepy town of Round Top, Texas. I’ve been fortunate to shop for clients and myself in New York, Paris, London, and my favorite shopping secret the Finger Lakes region of New York State — anywhere the road takes me. With all of the hype this show gets I was sure that it would be over-priced and full of desperate housewives with their designers looking for bragging buys.
I’m delighted to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sure, there were lots of Range Rovers full of people in white shorts and Wellingtons walking through the tents, but the treasures I discovered — people and unusual buys — made it all worthwhile.
Round Top isn’t just home and decor items – there are great fashion, jewelry, and food finds as well.
Bombshell Betty was one of my discoveries during one of my Las Vegas Market trips, and I love how she re-purposes vintage belts, leather, and metal fittings into jewelry and bags. It’s always a joy to see her and doing some shopping — supporting small artisans is as fulfilling as getting to own a one of a kind item that she carefully creates.
Thor Konwin of Branford House Antiques was one of my favorite discoveries. A historian, poet, and a true gentleman, he educated me about typewriters, the women’s suffrage movement, and Victorian oddities.
Did you know that the typewriter helped start the women’s movement? They got women out of the house and into offices where the typewriters were located which was one of the first jobs women had out of the house.
He also had this incredible find — a Women’s Ballot Box which was from when women just started being able to vote. They were only allowed to vote in certain elections, and their votes were kept separate from the men. I wish that I could have afforded this and given it to our own Candy Evans – truly a special part of history. Thor is also a poet, and he promised me a poem about the ballot box – can’t wait to read and share.
With prom season and June weddings right around the corner, there were lots of great finds to put together a one of a kind look. We can’t stop thinking about some of these any may have to go back before the show is over.
Unusual, affordable finds were everywhere — you just had to be willing to dig and ask for a deal. Some of our finds will be for sale at Lula B’s Oak Cliff, but there are others that we are going to keep. And I’m seriously thinking about making at least one more trip down there before the show is over.
What You Need To Know: The 49th Annual Spring Antique Show is officially open March 27 – April 1st, but we drove down on Saturday, and there were lots of vendors open for business. There was a major storm Friday afternoon, but Saturday was cooler temperatures and blue skies so we couldn’t have asked for a better day. Being the bargain shoppers we are, we stayed away from the permanent buildings and stayed in the temporary spaces and tents. You can be there for a week and still not come close to seeing everything that’s there.
Our suggestion is to have an idea of what you are looking for and a way to transport it home before you arrive, or you may end up buying something that costs you so much to ship it wasn’t worth the great price you thought you were getting. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so it’s a good idea to bring a cart to get your purchases from the booths to your car. Hotels and bathrooms are scare so plan accordingly — we left Dallas before the sun came up and drove back at the end of the day. There lots of interesting food tents and choices, so be sure to go hungry, and have a great time!