Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Update: Porter Flea and Hillsboro Village

This past Saturday I attended the highly anticipated Porter Flea Market. The East Nashville event showcased handmade goods, local fare, and vintage finds by a variety of vendors. According to their Facebook page, "Porter Flea strives to promote the indie craft movement, encourage sustainability, and support local businesses across Nashville." And seriously, this event did not disappoint. 

I arrived around 1:00 and the event was in full swing. I'm sure there were hundreds of people, browsing through paper goods, apparel, antiques, artwork, photography, posters, and jewelry, throughout the day. While a few of the vendors were posted up indoors (and more importantly, in the air conditioning), the majority of booths were located outside, under sun-blocking white tents. 
And despite the tent shade, it was hot. Seriously, miserably hot. But while the sun beat down, Nashville supported its local art community, chatted with friends, scored tasty treats from local food trucks, browsed products, and purchased unique items sure to receive compliments.

I did purchase a unique print from graphic design company, Paper Doll Print, that I am in love with. Blue and red is my all time favorite color combination, so when I saw this cheeky whale print, I had to have it. (The print is a little more red in person.)


 One of the things I love so much about events like these is talking with the designers/owners/vendors/antiquers/thrifters/etc. I mean, you can purchase cheeky prints at a retailer like Urban Outfitters, etc., but isn't is so much more meaningful when you purchase it directly from the artist?  You can chat with them, understand their inspiration for the piece, the meaning behind it, how they designed it, etc. The same goes for a uniquely designed dress or a craftily assembled furniture piece. There is something more rewarding about purchasing originally-designed items, rather than the mass produced goods found in chain retail stores. 


And although I didn't purchase anything from this next spotlight vendor, I do anticipate returning to Jonathan + Holly. This darling husband and wife duo began their company in September of 2009 with an online only operation. The Porter house location is their first retail store. According to their website, Jonathan and Holly hand make and modify all garments in this shop. All "garments exist in small quantities to promote originality and genuine style." 


Items merchandised outside of the small shop.


Photos shown on J and HP's website. Love the cozy interior of this store. 

The final highlighted vendor is Tracey E. Fords' Studio Fjord.  The jewelry displayed was clean, architectural, and versatile. This seemed to be a popular Porter Flea destination, as customers were always gathered around the handcrafted pieces. I think, though, that my teacher side came out of me for a minute when I saw the cleverly merchandised necklace placed upon a dress of business cards. For jewelry designers it is always advantageous to merchandise your pieces with clothing, so the customer can see how the jewelry would not only appear with a garment, but also what types of garments are ideally worn with your pieces. But styling your jewelry with a dress made out of your personal business cards? Smart.


Love this.

Here are some more shots of Porter Flea:


This childrenswear designer was adorable. And if I knew any babies, one of these owls would have definitely been purchased.

Craftville was there to help cool down guests and give them some fun diy craft ideas.


After about an hour of browsing and fighting the summer heat, I headed out of Porter Flea (coincidentally giving up the greatest parking spot of all time), and hit up Edgehill Village. I browsed through stores like whats-in-store and ivey, admiring designer duds and stylish jewelry. 

It's nearly impossible to take non-reflective pictures of window displays, but I loved the lace frames encapsulating the jewelry at whats-in-store. 

I also took a particular interest in tweed baby outfitters. I hadn't been to the children's retailer before, and I'm not really sure why I went so crazy for the merchandise selection, but seriously this place is adorable.
 I loved the adorably edgy and somewhat retro clothing pieces for both girls and boys, and the selection of pillows, toys, books, and home decor was charmingly precious. It seriously made me wish I had a friend with child so I could be the girl at the baby shower with the best gifts that everyone else gets jealous of. If you have a babe or know a friend who has a babe, you need to hit this store up.


That wraps up the fashion part of my weekend, and I'm off to a new week. The new quarter of classes starts today, so I anticipate it'll be a busy week. And I'm sure by the end of it, I'm going to need a little retail therapy! 

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