Searching For Treasures In All The Right Places

by Rachel Ashwell

For over a decade now, during mid-September and mid-March, I head out to the Round Top, Texas Antique fairs. Over the years the fairs have grown in both size and time span, lasting now close to a month. The early days of the fairs tend to be the rummage for treasures days, leading up to the most curated Marburger Show. After all these years I have my favorite “go to” vendors, but I always stumble across new little pockets of treasures. Frequenting the same shows for so many years, I enjoy reconnecting with familiar faces. And I always treasure meeting new.

Sometimes I find bargains, but sometimes I am just so happy to come across unique finds. With so much soulless sameness in the world I don’t let budget deter me, as these special treasures have served as heirlooms once upon a time, and now they have new chapters to live.  I have great appreciation for the effort I know what it takes for vendors to travel far and wide to bring their treasures to market.  It’s both a talent and pure hard work, making these treasures priceless. Most of the treasures below were found on my most recent treasure hunt. Soon to be on shabbychic.com
My purpose for being dedicated to these shows have many reasons. The most obvious is to find treasures for my store, my website and our partnership with One Kings Lane. I also find the process inspiring for palette and finishes. And some of the displays are pure storytelling.
Over the years the shows have attracted artists who create products that are breathtaking. Quality to detail and whimsy that I love to bring into my world.
Vintage is the core of my design. There are signature pieces that I have been searching for and buying for over 30 years. And while trends come and go, I find these treasures to be timeless.  They can be part of my romantic and shabby world or they can add a layer of welcomed imperfection into a more modern, minimal aesthetic.
My original vision for Shabby Chic was faded elegance. To combine glamorous accents with everyday life, so that the glamour brings the feeling of something special into a practical world. 
While I don’t consider myself a religious person, I am a person of faith and prayer. Therefore, I’m also always on the lookout for religious artifacts, that bring that sense of peace. I look carefully at facial expressions, palette and patina.
Shopping the fields of Texas are not for the faint-hearted. It’s often super-hot. Myself and my associates walk for miles and miles. We often bump into spiders and other creepy crawlers along the way.
But as I recently stated in an article, “the evidence that is revealed in vintage finds, whether through layers of paint and patina or threadbare fabrics are priceless and unique."  So, it’s worth every step it takes to find these treasures.
 
And of course, always so appreciative to stay at The Prairie at Round Top

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© 2017 Rachel Ashwell