Friday, November 18, 2016

Vintage and Small Business Shopping - Katy, TX

Mr. P. and I traveled to the Houston, TX area for a family wedding the first week of November. The wedding was in Katy, TX, about 45 miles west of the airport. We found ourselves with idle time on both Friday and Saturday of the planned weekend events. What to do? Google  "best antique stores Katy TX" - BAM! Let's go shopping!
I chose KT Antiques, arrived at 10 am and, as fate would have it, it was Christmas Open House weekend. Most dealers were having 20% off - yippee! KT Antiques had some great dealers with equally great displays and great stuff, so I thought I'd share some of what caught my attention.
Pictured above was an adorable woodland mannequin tree in one booth, while the frames on right were the displays in the store's front windows. I loved them both - a child mannequin decorating a tree full of new ornaments, and a cowboy Christmas theme in the other window.

This store had a few dealers offering a mix of vintage and new retail items. Normally, I take exception with a shop calling itself an antique store and promoting new items, but the dealers who did this (mostly in the space at the front of the store) did a really fine job of merchandising display. One, in particular, caught my eye with her merchandise styling.
I loved how this dealer used the suspended screen door above her booth space and had grapevine boughs with lights on top. So pretty! Her items were a mix of new and old, and the woodland Christmas tree (pictured above) was also in one of her spaces.
The photo above shows some of her items in a little more detail. Look at those tiny chandeliers suspended on the table - those are ornaments! Nice vintage linens, transferware, and silverplate.
Directly across the aisle, the same dealer also had the space pictured above. She did a fine job of mixing antiques with new merchandise. I loved the spaghetti-style ceramic tree in the top right frame seated on the silverplate sweet meat basket. The tree was new, the basket vintage. I had to think hard about what I chose to purchase, as we traveled by air, and I had limited room to pack and carry on.

Once back at the hotel, I received a call from KT Antiques, telling me they pulled my name for a $25 gift certificate to one particular dealer. Back to the store I went! That dealer had also recently opened a store across the street called Ruizstudios, and I was able to shop either her booth at KT or her new store! Let me show you around her lovely store where most of the merchandise is new, not vintage.
She carries Pom Pom at Home and Pine Cone Hill Textiles (above), and a nice selection of candles and infusers, along with a few food items (jellies, dip mixes, chocolates).
She had a garden section with faux topiaries, flowers, vessels, and statuary.
She tucked a few pieces of blue & white porcelains and ceramics, along with glass cloches, in the mix.
Her holiday display was very attractive, too. There was a small section of traditional red and green in the back area.
My favorite display was probably this huge parasol she had in the front window (below). Decorated for Christmas on this holiday opening, I could see the parasol being quite versatile for any season. Imagine spring flowers!
On this trip, we also took an extra day before the wedding events, intending to explore San Antonio, but the forecast called for thunderstorms, so we went about 45 miles south of the airport to the Webster area. There, we visited the Johnson Space Center, but I also looked for antique shopping between Webster and Katy. Using Google, I chose the Market Place Antiques and Collectibles for the prospect of finding several dealers in one locale.
The website noted two buildings with 72,000 square feet, and nearly 90 dealers. The first building had a layout concept I have never seen before. You walked in, through the outside doors, into a hallway (see Mr. P. in the right frame of the collage above). There were glass enclosures for most of the dealers alongside the inside hallway. A few dealers were situated on the walking aisle. We were there on a Friday morning, 10 am, and there may have been 3 or 4 dealers there. I finally spoke to one man, a coin dealer, and asked him to explain this layout to me. He said each dealer manned his/her own booth, the dealers come and go as they please, and most likely the majority would not be there on a Friday. There was one dealer who apparently kept watch of a couple other dealers' spaces, and she had their doors open for shopping. Weird. The second building was more traditional in style, a large warehouse, but I was underwhelmed overall.

Some of the vintage merchandise that I did not purchase, though caught my eye while on this trip, included all the items pictured in the collage below.
The ironing board cover was repurposed from an old quilt, and had a nice pad included with it. That, along with the brown transferware bath set in the upper right frame, were both in the KT Antiques location. What looks like an antique beaded purse is actually a stained glass with bead fringe. The wicker basket was HUGE - a hot air balloon basket! The latter items mentioned were in the Market Place Antiques.

The things I did purchase on this trip are pictured below, all from KT Antiques (except for the vintage garden sign, spotted in Ruizstudios, and purchased with my winning gift certificate).
Clockwise from top L:  a jar of vintage watch faces and timepieces; a polychrome transferware salad plate and figural napkin ring in front of it (dog chasing squirrel); a French pilot's leather cap from early 1900s, a color litho print of collie shepherd before a newborn lamb in snow (titled "Shepherd's Call", by Albrecht Schneck - 1828-1901); hand-painted garden sign, and three vintage, hand-crocheted potholders.

I also purchased a few new items - couldn't resist. Seasonal, snarky dish towels - possibly hostess gifts; lime-green dish towels - possibly for a future tablescape; and the cutest dark chocolate bars - Choc Stars - I've ever seen, a product of Germany. Those will likely be part of door prizes for an upcoming, Tiffany-themed bridal shower I'll be co-hosting in March 2017. The items below all came from Ruizstudios in Katy.
Of the shops I visited on this trip, I would highly recommend the Katy, TX shops (KT Antiques and RuizStudios). There were a few other shops - all of them clustered along 2nd Street - worth visiting, but I just ran out of time. I would not necessarily recommend making an effort to visit Market Place Antiques between Webster and Katy.

Have you done any vintage shopping lately, or found some new stores worth mentioning? I always appreciate the mention, especially of vintage and antique stores, either in comments from readers or from fellow bloggers. One never knows when a trip might land you near a great shop someone has mentioned. The chance to meet another blogger or reader in one of those locations would be the icing on the cake! Don't forget - November 26, 2016 is Small Business Saturday - a great opportunity to help small business owners by shopping their stores!

Thanks for tagging along on my latest shopping trip. Your readership and comments are appreciated! Please feel free to leave a comment here today.

Rita C. at Panoply

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