Perusing the rows of stalls chock-full of one-of-a-kind antiques, vintage swag and kitschy bric-à-brac at ‘A Paris Street Market,’ you might mistake your Littleton, Colo., surroundings for the street markets of Paris – La Ville-Lumière – itself.
The outdoor market, celebrating its 12th anniversary this year, boasts more than 120 exhibitors from a number of states whose merchandise ranges from antique lighting to refurbished 19th century dressers to local artisanship, like wine holders made of castaway bedsprings.
Kim Calder Cronin is among the throng of 8,000 to 10,000 shoppers who visit the bazaar located at the Aspen Grove Lifestyle Center each month:
“When you shop the market, it is like finding yourself in the midst of a treasure hunt. Each market presents new merchandise,” Calder Cronin, marketing director at Aspen Grove Lifestyle Center, said.
Her treasures? A shabby chic, turquoise Hoosier cabinet she uses to display fine china and a repurposed standing door to accent her living area.
Littleton-based husband and wife team Tim Vandel and Sandi Newman-Vandel own and run the show. Newman-Vandel also owns Vandel Antiques. The pair acquired the market six years ago and make it their mission to spotlight local artisans and small businesses.
“It’s the thrill of the hunt.” – Tim Vandel
WHO CAN ATTEND
The market is open and free to the public. The market has something for all ages and demographics from the teenager with $10 in his pocket to the seasoned antique dealer to newlyweds looking to furnish their first place. However, Vandel professed, the targeted audience is women, “If it was men, we would probably be out of business,” he said with a laugh.
The market is best enjoyed with family and friends, even those of the animal variety. Both the market and Aspen Grove Lifestyle Center are pet-friendly. Dogs, iguanas, birds – you name it, the market has seen it. Just remember, if it is a hot, summer day leave the pets at home.
WHAT THEY SELL
Don’t expect déjà vu; merchandise varies each month. Here is a list of items you might find:
- Fall home and lawn décor (unique to October’s market)
- Crystal, glassware and fine china
- Antique furniture: chests of drawers, coffee tables, funky chairs
- Old doors, windows and door knobs
- Antique lighting
- Architectural salvage and signs
- Antique hardware: rusted metal, bolts and wire
- Antique jewelry and vintage/consignment clothing
When I attended the August market, I took home a 1950s Smith Corona flamingo pink typewriter for $45. Prices range from $1 for a mason jar of miscellaneous buttons up to $750 for a piece of furniture.
‘A Paris Street Market’ screens and charges its exhibitors to insure they sell the crème de la crème: “We really pride ourselves on the quality of the items. It’s ‘A Paris Street Market,’ not called ‘A Paris Flea Market’ for a reason,” Vandel said.
When you need a shopping break, visit one of the food vendors on site. Trésors Doux offers gluten-free treats, Styria Bakery brings baskets full of its artisanal breads and The Duffeyroll Café sells its famous cinnamon rolls from the back of a vintage ’63 Volkswagen van.
“Eclectic and reasonable.” – Katie Westerberg
WHERE IT IS
The market is held in the parking lot of Littleton’s Aspen Grove Lifestyle Center (7301 S. Santa Fe Drive). The location mimics the “old meets new” vibe of the market as Aspen Grove Lifestyle Center (www.shopaspengrove.com) touts more than 50 storefronts of its own including home-inspired stores Pottery Barn, Pier 1 Imports and Cali & Mo.
An easy way to arrive is via the Littleton/Mineral light rail station, which spits out right at the market. If you live closer, think about riding your bike or walking the trail along the Platte River adjacent to the shopping center.
WHEN IT IS
‘A Paris Street Market’ is held six times each year on the first Saturday of the month, May through October, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Set up for exhibitors begins at 5 a.m. and the market begins buzzing with shoppers around 7:30 a.m.
“There are benefits to arriving early,” Calder Cronin said. “Parking is ample, summer temperatures are cooler, you can be first in line at popular places like Starbucks and Panera, and most importantly, you can be the first to find those one-of-a-kind, unique treasures.”
The last open-air market of the season is Oct. 6, so be sure to mark your calendars.
Keep your eyes also open for the ‘Rue de Noel By A Paris Street Market’ indoor, holiday marketplace Nov. 30 through Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., also at Aspen Grove Lifestyle Center. For more information visit www.aparisstreetmarket.com. Until then, au revoir!
D.C.Y. (Do Couture Yourself)
- Wear your sunhat, shades and sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, water and a bag that allows you to keep your hands free to shop. The market presses on rain or shine.
- Bring cash or check. Some vendors accept credit cards, but not all. There are ATMs on site.
- Haggling for a price is allowed. Exhibitors might be willing to work with you, so don’t be shy!
- Drive a vehicle that can accommodate large purchases.
- Have a go-get-‘em attitude, be prepared to sift to find those diamonds in the ruff and have a good imagination.
Brittany Stevens is a zealous antique hound, loves all things vintage and cannot get enough of HGTV. She is bringing her lifelong love of fashion to a new realm – the home. Who says the décor we surround ourselves with shouldn’t be as fashion-forward as what we wear?