A European Style Flea Market. Flea market shopping has universal appeal, whether it’s a souk in Marrakech, a soggy field in Massachusetts, Mahone Bay’s Great Scarecrow Festival and Antique Fair in Nova Scotia, or the grande dame of all flea markets, the Marche aux Puces in Paris.
When the goods are closer to home, as they will be on May 2-3 when the seventh annual Kimberley Seldon’s Designer Market ™ comes to the Distillery District, the thrill of the hunt is undiminished and shipping charges are non-existent. “Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that,” says the show’s founder?
Like similar European style flea markets, Kimberley suggests arriving early to get the best selection. “We typically have a line up of fabric hunters first thing on Saturday morning,” says Seldon, “since Robert Allen Fine Fabrics has a booth for trade only fabrics. The fabrics normally retail for $100-$600 per yard but are sold at the Designer Market for a fraction of the cost. It’s a frenzy!”
In addition to fabrics the sale features furniture for home and garden, area carpets, accessories and hundreds of decorative toss cushions. There is also a selection of barely used furniture which comes from model suites and this year a gently used 36” Wolf Range is available as well. For fashionistas there’s jewelry, scarves, lotions and for the first time this year, makeup. Daniel Thompson Beauty is providing onsite makeovers and Crabtree and Evelyn offers 5 minute manicures. All of these extras are included with the $5.00 admission fee. “The sale is a lot of fun, but it’s also worth noting says Seldon, “we’ve donated more than $35,000 to the Toronto Star Fresh Air and Santa Claus funds in the past four years.”
When it comes to negotiating at the Designer Market, it’s always acceptable to ask for the dealer’s best price. Some of the vendors are open to respectful discussion while others have items firmly priced. “It’s always a good idea to show your enthusiasm for a dealer’s goods before venturing to make a deal,” says Seldon. “Negative comments like - you can’t be serious, I wouldn’t pay that much! - are unlikely to result in positive negotiating.”
To get the most out of the sale, Kimberley suggests getting prepared in advance. If you are shopping for furniture make sure to bring floor plans and colour schemes so you can make informed choices. With more than 40 vendors there is a lot to see and a lot to experience. You will want to visit the café (where mum-in-law Mary Seldon presides) for fresh sandwiches, coffee and pastries. That’s not the only family member you’ll meet. Kimberley’s husband, sister-in-law, niece and nephew will be working the front door and children Raleigh and Cooper are there to carry packages to cars and assist as required. “Everyone gets in on the action. The Designer Market is definitely a family affair,” says Seldon.
So, don your most comfortable casuals (no wellies and rain slickers required as the market is an indoor event), grab a tape measure, swatches and floor plans and rush headlong into adventure – and great savings. Kimberley Seldon’s Designer Market:
Location: The Fermenting Cellar
Great Finds and Great Deals!
This is more than a home show – it’s a shopping event!