After a stint in London, Kate Keefe Sullivan was drawn back to Portland where she originally grew up. Once back, she began to miss her weekends wandering through the vibrant flea markets in London, and “craved the convenient, one-stop access to antique and vintage goods, the feeling of discovery and haggling to get the best price.” Knowing Portland already had such an amazing vintage culture, she thought it natural to try and replicate the London experience to share with the locals. And ta-da! Portland Flea was born.Exciting things are in the works for the Portland Flea. It has now switched to Sundays, you have no excuse to miss July 22nd, August 19th, September 16th or October 21st. Not only do you now get to hang out in the lovely Union/Pine and shop your little heart out, Union/Pine is opening vendor spots outside. It gets better. To celebrate the switch to Sundays, July 22nd has appropriately been named Sunday Bloody Sunday and morning cocktails, including the Bloody Mary, will be provided by New Deal Distillery.What makes the Portland Flea so fabulous are the vendors and the variety of beautiful, intriguing, one-of-a-kind pieces they have for you to indulge. So we asked Trent, Chris and Julia about their favorite finds. Trent Morgan – REthink Morgan DesignsI found an old industrial cart covered in dust at the bottom of a pile of boxes in a barn in Troutdale. After hauling the 300 plus-pounds cart up a muddy slope and into the back of my truck, it finally ended up in my shop. With a good pressure washing, sanding, and new reclaimed barn wood top, the old industrial cart-turned-coffee table came out looking great. The table is full of character, from the circular saw marks to its rusted hardware and large cast iron wheels. The cart now spends its days in a home in the Pearl District after spending its early years hauling merchandise in warehouses around the Portland area. The rusty metal handle was up-cycled into a bookshelf.Chris Davidson - Remnant (also known as PDX Picker)
My favorite item that I have picked recently is this Danish lounge chair. I found the frame at the home of a hoarder. When I arrived at the house, the clean out had just begun. I looked into a bedroom and could hardly see a thing because clothes were piled from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. The one thing that I did see was a chair leg sticking out of the pile of clothes. I dug deeper and pulled out the whole chair frame. It needed cleaning, new webbing and cushions,but it was a great project piece.
Over the next couple weeks my wife and I cleaned, re-webbed, and upholstered it just in time for the Portland Flea. It was a real show stopper and was sold in the first minute!
Julia Barbee –Julia Barbee Studio (XXXXXVintage)My favorite Portland find thus far has been a straw hat in a free box, of course, that had been smashed beyond recognition and looked absolutely beyond repair. I was taking a hat-making class with Dayna Pinkham, and brought it with me thinking there was some possibility of resurrecting this object, but I was super skeptical. Dayna simply steamed it, and we cut the brim down, and formed it into a fabulous cloche. I ended up selling it for quite a bit! Kate wants Portland Flea to continue to be a destination spot for members of the community by providing a place where people can “enjoy a cup of coffee, catch up with friends, find one-of-a-kind goods that will last forever or give them a laugh and a sense of nostalgia.” She is adamant about keeping the focus on re-use, and believes it is that commitment that will help keep it uniquely Portland.Portland FleaNext Flea is July 22ndheld at UNION/PINE525 SE Pine St10am – 4pm Photo Courtesy: Portland Flea