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Randolph Street Market ~ Chicago Antique Market ~ Indie Designer Market ~ Modern Vintage Chicago ~ Fashion, Jewelry, Flea Market, Antique Shows
Randolph Street Market ~ Chicago Antique Market ~ Indie Designer Market ~ Modern Vintage Chicago ~ Fashion, Jewelry, Flea Market, Antique Shows

By Danielle Carlson

The holiday season is the season of the senses. It’s the smell of freshly baked apple pie, the sound of fires crackling and children caroling, the sight of twinkling lights and New Year’s kisses.  Luckily for Chicago, a festive feast for the senses was under one roof this past weekend at Randolph Street’s Holiday Market. Crowds of sweater-clad and scarf-adorned shoppers got cozy with a plethora of merchants offering vintage and modern goods to add a touch of style to all aspects of the holiday season, from entertaining and décor to gift giving and outfit accessorizing.

Friday night found editors from some of Chicago’s top media outfits such as Arianne Nardo of Interiors Magazine, Jessica Mernane of Country Living, and Lisa Shames of CS trolling the booths for the market’s best finds during the Editor’s Entertaining Extravaganza. Meanwhile, vendors unpacked their merry wares, hanging ornaments on tinsel trees and tying vintage skates on red wooden sleds. As the guests hurried in on Saturday morning with cups of steaming coffee in hand, they were treated to the editors’ fully dressed table - a clear indication that many people had been nice this year.

For many shoppers, unique and stylish décor was the name of the game, and fortunately for them, there were vendors for every taste from classic and woodsy to modern and shabby chic. Newcomers to the market Kerri, Liz, and Kristin of Handcrafted with Love, were offering a contemporary twist on a holiday favorite with hand-wrapped yarn wreaths adorned with felt flowers and other seasonal embellishments. When asked what makes their product such a hit, they replied, “You don’t have to just hang them on your door. People have been hanging them in their nurseries. Kitchens, windows, everywhere.”      

David Ginoble of Store B Vintage was delighting shoppers with a booth packed with specialty items such as vintage barware from the 50s and 60s designed by Art Institute graduate Georges Briard. “We have a variety from vintage ornaments from the WWII era, contemporary ornaments from Christopher Radko and Old World Christmas. They’re definitely specialty ornaments.” A regular at the Holiday Market, David happily reported, “I’m thrilled to see the number of people out.”

Ramsey J Prince of Ramsey J Prince Designs was showcasing his custom-made holiday floral “for someone who wants something a little bit different.” Glitz and glam seemed to be the inspiration for Ramsey’s pieces, which made it no surprise when he stated, “You need a big impact with holiday décor.”

As Randolph Street Market’s resident style guru, Ramsey also made a stop at NBC 5’s studios to discuss tips for adding a bit of vintage glam to holiday decorating.

With décor checked off the list, shoppers could focus on finding the perfect gift, even for the person who has everything. This year’s holiday market lived up to its recommendation from for “top holiday shopping” by offering hundreds of one-of-a-kind gifts in every price range that are sure to make friends and loved ones trill with awe and delight.

Jacob of Eggtoy Studios showed off his custom glass, metal and woodwork, including small bowls and vases priced at $10 and lauded as the perfect hostess gift. As Jacob explained, not only can you personalize them with candy or potpourri, “nobody else is going to show up at that Christmas party with the same item as you.”

Perched above the hubbub in the building’s balcony was Patty of Paper Patty, with table upon table of antique books, prints, and paper. As curious shoppers thumbed her hand-folded books made into holiday card holders and Christmas trees, Patty explained that the popularity of her products come from the fact that, “everyone really loves the idea of using something we already have that was going to go to the wayside.” Also available at her booth were paper wreaths made from the crumpled pages of distressed books that she had accented with gold and silver flourishes.

For the accessory lovers on their lists, shoppers could choose from a myriad of options including Maggie & Mel’s scarves made from repurposed cashmere and Merino wool sweaters. As owner Pamela Pole explains, “It is a unique product. People come in here and say ‘Oh my gosh I haven’t seen these before’.

Cymbre Peterson of Nek Jewelry was on hand selling her line of unique repurposed jewelry made from old metals, antique watch chains, and semi-precious gems. As Cymbre explains, “A lot of people buy them for gifts, but a lot people [also] buy them because they’ll see a piece and it will speak to them. Like, my grandmother used to be a Daughter of the Eastern Star or my grandfather used to pole jump or used to ice skate.” One design that particuarly stood out was her necklaces made from temperance and prohibition medals earned by children in the 1920’s for winning anti-drinking writing contests.

Another exciting find was Vert Moderne’s jewelry made from recycled bicycle tire inner tubes. The husband and wife team behind these surprisingly stylish pieces get their materials from a Schwinn bike shop in Oak Park, and then add second hand jewels to create a rebirth of style that is also an ode to Chicago itself.
For fashion moguls in training, Kristin Gonzales of Double Dot Designs was selling her own line of boutique-style girls’ clothes that she crafts from a unique mixture of different prints and fabrics “so that [the kids] feel like they aren’t wearing the same things as everyone else… The clothes come to life when the kids have them on because they have great movement. There is great twirl factor on the dresses.” It was only halfway through Saturday’s market and already Kristin was predicting selling out of her holiday skirts.

To ensure a truly memorable holiday season, shoppers could also add a splash of sparkle to their holiday party or New Year’s Eve bash with a piece of vintage jewelry from Gallery 23. Owner Phyliss Grofman entices eyes with a glittering expanse of pieces from the 1920s to the 1980s. As her business card proclaims, “I don’t see jewelry. I see a look.”

Capping off a successful day of finding holiday gems, shoppers relaxed to the sounds of holiday tunes as Randolph Street Market’s merry helpers wrapped and tied up gifts at the market’s free holiday wrapping table.

Here are a few of other gifts and treats on our wish list:

1. Flirty hostess aprons by Anne Perry Designs
2. Statement jewelry by Nov (pictured below)
3. Custom vintage jewelry by Jewels in Bloom
4. Artisan soaps and bath products by Abby Brown (pictured above)
5. Recycled cashmere apparel and accessories by Stella Neptune (pictured above)
6. Gourmet baked goods from Cacao Sweets and Treats

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