Antiques add soul and history to a space, and High Point, North Carolina has become a go-to place to shop for these unique pieces—at the Market, and now, year-round. Traders are taking note and expanding their presence in the area. Gosia Korsakowski Chicago-based Architectural Anarchy maintains booths in not one, but two locations around the city to keep a foot in the burgeoning scene. “High Point attracts serious buyers,” he says, echoing the general sentiment.
One such customer is a designer from Athens, Georgia Tami Ramsay of Cloth & Kind. “The High Point antique and vintage scene is our go-to for over-the-top acquisitions,” Ramsay said. “It’s literally a resource we can’t live without – some of our most interesting, unique and treasured finds come from here.”
High Point’s antiques boom has led to an early rush, as designers gather days before the Market’s official opening to grab first-hand bragging rights. “Every market they’re coming earlier and earlier, they’re literally trying to sneak in the door days before they open,” he says Steph Schofield the 214 Modern Vintage dealer collective, which opens on the Wednesday before the market.
Retailer and designer Rich Schell one such devout early bird who enjoys the “sophistication” of High Point compared to the “big, ugly antique malls” in his native Colorado. “There’s a lot of FOMO in this scene,” says Schell, whose first stop Thursday morning is the High Point Antique & Design Center, located on Market Square. Of its more than 70 dealers, Schell beeline for Carol Pollard Antiques. “They’re real pickers and finders,” he says. “They have amazing stuff and good prices – but if it’s late, they sell everything.”
Courtesy of Unique Loom
Courtesy of South + English
Ball: Courtesy of Unique Loom | Right: Courtesy of South + English
Amanda Kinney, who co-owns the Antiques and Design Center, says most of High Point’s antiques are in care. “Here, you’re not weeding through every level and type of commodity,” he explains. “We cater to designers, and the retailers that come here have a certain aesthetic that designers can relate to.”
Schofield feels the same way. “Designers who share your vision will find you—there’s nothing more gratifying than connecting with your people,” he says. Designer from Pasadena, California Jeanne Chungwho makes the pilgrimage to 214 Modern Vintage every two years, fondly remembers three Martin Sumers paintings from the dealer Gillian Bryce “before Kelly Wearstler got his hands on it.”
Antiques don’t just appear in dealers’ shops—High Point Market’s furniture makers rely on vintage and custom furniture to add character, while sourcing antiques for projects was once optional, driven by supply chain challenges and sustainability awareness. new customers to the showrooms, where there is a lot of new stuff. That’s how Bobo Intriguing Objects — a quirky mix of French and Belgian commercial and garden antiques that’s now a High Point destination in its own right — hit the market in 2008 in partnership with Lee Industries.
Antiques are also scattered among new furniture launches from Gabby, Modern History and South + English, to name a few. Modern history Michael Beaver likes to decorate European Impressionist and Modernist paintings between 1850 and 1950, while South + English Palmer Smith focuses on unique lighting. “We buy unique lighting because this method of production requires a lot of inventory and management, and is still the [manufacturing] bigger-ticket items like furniture and upholstery,” he explains.
Antique rugs also abound in the city, with several showrooms around Piac tér including Feizy, Unique Loom and Eliko (Ramsay’s favourite). Roughly 30 percent of Feizy’s inventory of 30,000 unique rugs is more than 20 years old, while Unique Loom’s vintage offerings—about 700 in each showroom—are in the 50-year range. A few blocks away, Capa boasts old Turkish Anatolian rugs, yastiks (small rugs that double as rolled-up pillows), and Moldovan kilims.
Courtesy of Bobo Intriguing Objects
While sourcing antiques for projects was once optional, supply chain challenges and sustainability awareness have introduced new buyers to the world of “used” furniture. Korsakowski noticed an uptick when many designers who hadn’t previously used vintage pieces started buying from him because of delays.
Jared Weinstein of Golden Oldies also felt the unprecedented boom of the pandemic. Although his family business has been in business for 50 years and has been in High Point for 10 years, the Weinsteins decided to open a new space, Chelsea on Green, in April. The 20,000-square-foot multi-merchant destination is open five days a week — between demand from residential and hospitality customers and North Carolina’s growing economy, Weinstein says, “not being open is crazy. There are too many possibilities.”
It was driven by the same market forces Jana Vaughan and Joey Marlowe to open the 26,000-square-foot Boxwood Antique Market last August. In 2019, they met at the Twin Deer Antique Mall and decided to look for a location downtown. “We saw a great need for a marketplace that offered high-end antiques, designer decor, gifts and vintage goods,” says Vaughan, whose network of 130 sellers and 100 consignors (one of which is the Southern and English company Smith) is the formal and offers a mixture of primitive elements. , industrial, mid-century and French imports, as well as fabric lampshades, outsider art and gently worn clothing. For a unique touch, classic movies can be played on the big screens. “Joey wanted us to be like vintage Disneyland,” says Vaughan.
The influx of market players has generated plenty of new options – and new momentum around the category. “High Point is becoming more and more the place to shop for antiques as we now have three antique malls open year-round,” he says. Charles La Vene, an insurance salesman turned antiques and upscale fabric dealer whose store, Charlie La Vene Antiques & Fabrics, is located near Hamilton’s Big Chest. Fellow dealers see the boom as an opportunity, not a competition: “The more antique shops, the better,” he says Randall Tysinger, who has operated his eponymous High Point store stocking European antiques for more than 35 years. “It builds a customer base and generates interest.”
Many antiques dealers also hope that designer interest in their wares can be a catalyst for citywide transformation. Weinstein, Kinney, Beaver, Smith and Tysinger are all members of High Point x Design, a nonprofit organization founded in 2020 to bring together High Point showrooms, brands and retailers that will remain open outside of the Market, for which he previously served as executive director. I joined. this year. Kinney now opens the Antiques and Design Center by appointment and for HPxD events, and Schofield regularly calls designers who have never been to the market but have heard of antiques. “When you think about it, it’s amazing how a vintage venue is a gateway for traders coming to the Market for the first time,” he says. “It’s a testament to how important this niche is – vintage, antique and one-of-a-kind have a special appeal in the neighborhood.”
With so much energy and enthusiasm surrounding the category, some believe High Point has the potential to be its own version of Round Top. “We’re trying to get High Point on the map as much as possible,” says Weinstein.
“Suddenly, it seems like antiques venues are popping up all over town,” adds Kinney. “It’s funny how things take years to happen overnight.”
Homepage image: Row of antique shops at Chelsea on the Green | Courtesy of Chelsea on Green