Can you believe it? There are only 9 DAYS LEFT until the Three Speckled Hens Antiques & Old Stuff Show, October 3 & 4, 2015. Time is running out to purchase your tickets online! Tickets will only be available online until noon on Friday, October 2 so be sure to make your online purchase soon! If you are unable to make your purchase online before time runs out, tickets will also be available at the gate. We cannot wait to see all of you next weekend!
Our fourth and final installment in our fall Dealer Spotlight series features the quaint shop, La Petite Chaise. Mary de la Vega shares insights into her antiquing career, style, and all-time favorite finds.
How did your career in antiquing begin?
In a nutshell, it all began after I left my career in information technology and took an upholstery class as a kind of creative outlet. I started going to auctions to find projects and fell in love with all of the other beautiful old things I found. In 2000, I dubbed my business 'La Petite Chaise' after my passion for chairs and started out in an antique shop in San Juan Bautista. I opened my own shop in Mountain View for a while, but then decided to leave the shops behind and sell at antique markets like Alameda Point and Three Speckled Hens.
What do you enjoy most about antiquing?
I feel especially good about the fact that vintage is good for the environment – it is the ultimate in recycling, reusing and repurposing. They really don’t make things like they used to. Vintage is beautiful, functional, and green.
Tell us about some of your favorite finds.
Things have to be interesting and useful. My favorite finds are the kind of things that have great potential to be used in different ways like the large metal shelf that once hung in the dining room of the Cooper House in downtown Santa Cruz. That same shelf could work in the garden or large kitchen or in a winery where it ultimately found its new home. Or like the homemade workbench that could so easily be used in a craft room or as a rugged bar inside or out.
Are there any items you have just never been able to part with?
Years ago I found a large glass cloche that I haven’t been able to part with. It was surely used in the garden and has a lovely purple hue with all the bubbles that you find in blown glass. I must confess that I also held onto a glass tank that holds my collection of glass floats.
Explain your style to us.
My style can be described as rough and refined. I try to put things together in interesting, surprising ways. Offering everything from flatware to furniture, primitive to industrial to traditional, it’s all in how you bring things together that make it work. Going with the original finish is my preference, but I’ll paint and repair to make sure it’s a great piece in quality and function. I mix elegant silver and delicate china with an industrial cart or primitive cabinet repurposed as an island, and everything is better on casters! I like to bring collections of seemingly ordinary things together like spools of thread, curtain rings, alarm clocks, flower frogs, paintbrushes, pulleys, and books.
What sets your pieces apart?
I don’t sell fussy antiques that you have to worry about. Instead, I want people to find beautiful, functional and quality items to add to their homes and truly enjoy for years and generations to come.
Do you have a favorite antiques show?
Selling exclusively at vintage fairs and markets as far south as Paso Robles and north to Petaluma, Three Speckled Hens is one of my favorites – there’s so much enthusiasm and excitement about what you’ll find and how it will be displayed. So many talented and creative vendors gather in one place. I love being part of that. Coming up with a theme or inspirational piece to build a design around and then putting together a collection of vintage finds is what really keeps me excited about my work. I look forward to seeing how shoppers respond, what they’re looking for and their excitement in finding just the right piece!
We are flattered! What types of items can we expect to find at the show?
My home is full of items that I love – each one has meaning to me – the giant spool of twine from my dad’s garage, the vintage bowl of sea glass from a family trip to Mendocino alongside the Audubon bird prints like the ones my grandmother had in her home. I try to bring that same sensibility to the fairs and markets I sell at.
For more information on La Petite Chaise, please visit www.lapetitechaise.com. You can also contact Mary directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow La Petite Chaise on Facebook and Instagram.