Dan and Janie Anthony are sitting in handmade wooden chairs under a sizable canopy-umbrella, surrounded by all manner of custom-made bourbon-barrel crafts. Scratch that. Crafts sounds so, well, arts-’n’-crafts-y. These are cool. Both upscale — a wine rack made from a barrel plank that holds the bottle sideways via balance and gravity — and…ohsweetheaven, is that a table made out of a bourbon barrel with an ice cooler full of beer in the belly?
How did you make this? Why? I blurt out.
And before Dan can answer, his wife does: “He likes beer!”
It goes for $300. Hmmm. How’s business been? “Absolutely great,” Dan says. “We had people here even before we were set up.”
You can make the case that America’s favorite pastime is shopping. Consumers R Us. And flea markets are nothing new. Dating back in this country at least to the Trade Days in Canton, Texas, circa early 19th century, why, they even pre-date malls! So what is it about this market in this town that’s attracting these crowds?
Erickson thinks it may be as simple an economic concept as supply and demand. The market demanded a market like this, and Erickson and Kunnecke and a whole host of artists and booksellers and junktiquers and creative folk — makers, meet collectors — obliged. Hey, keep Louisville bazaar.
When Erickson first landed in Louisville a decade ago, “I was shocked the city didn’t really have any vintage clothing stores.” (Nitty Gritty, Readers’ Choice winner of Best Vintage Clothing Store, as revealed in this very issue, was just gaining its footing.) “People like shopping and people love the bargain element of a flea market or vintage store,” he says. “You never know what you’re gonna find.”
As if on cue, a woman stops by to show Erickson and Kunnecke her purchase — tap shoes — noting that she didn’t know she wanted/needed them until she saw them. How very American.
As for me, I didn’t realize how much I wanted/needed that bourbon-barrel table with the built-in beer cooler. I wonder: Will Dan Anthony take a free magazine subscription in trade?
Photo: courtesy of Louisville Magazine