A Paris Street Market Magnificent

IMG_0525By Jon DeStefano

Have you ever been to a true French or Paris market. You can experience it by visiting Tim and Sandi Vandel’s Paris Street Market. Take a trip down to the Aspen Grove Center and get a good look and feel about the market and the vendors. The basis of the market is built around antiques sprinkled with homemade things, flowers, food vendors, many vintage items such as clothing and jewelry, fabulous, repurposed one of a kind articles, furniture, industrial items and, of course, plenty of yard art and patio accessories. Antiques of all types and great collectibles overflow the tables and tents.

That is just the beginning. There is a lot of furniture, accessories, Art Deco, farm primitives, tools and more. The show’s vendors occupy about one third of the Aspen Park parking lot. The show is shopper-friendly providing several pick up stations so you don’t have to cart everything around while you finish shopping.

Additional assistance is provided to shoppers by facilitators helping people with finding things and moving larger items to your vehicle. It is also pet friendly.

The crowds are great, too—8,000 to 10,000 people attend and it makes the show special—more like an event or festival. It’s exciting. They have 100 to 120 vendors routinely.

People come from all over Colorado and many come from Northern Colorado, Wyoming and even other states. So the show has become a destination place for many people who are not from this area.

Talking to vendors is one great way to find out the the truth about a show or venue. Let’s meet a few.

Kevin Schmidt who trades under his own name will be a vendor for his 75th show with the Paris Street Market and is in his 12th straight year. “Paris Street Market is fabulous. It is by far the best show in the Rocky Mountain region. The sales are wonderful. Tim and Sandi Vandel are great to work with and all the vendors are friendly and like family. The customers are also great. I’ve become friends with many of them through the market. It’s just so friendly.”

He continues, “I’ve been in the trade professionally since 1996 but I started buying and selling toys when I was 7 or 8 eight years old. I sell whatever I can sell. Whatever people want. Today I focus on mostly furniture, garden decor and vintage. I sell so much at each show that it takes me a month to get ready for the next one. I usually sell about three quarters of what I bring and I fill a large 16 foot box truck for each show and it is well packed. I price things to sell. This way the customer takes home a treasure and it is great for the vendor too.”

“This show is a big part of my life now. While I sell a little on EBay and Craig’s List the primary part of my livelihood is the Paris Street Market shows. I do their Holiday show, too, and it is also great,” concludes Kevin.

Bill and Terry Pfister have been vendors at the Paris Street Market since its inception in Old Town Littleton. Terry, who calls her business East of LA, raves about what a great venue the Paris Street Market is. “The show is well promoted and well received in the community and very well attended. In fact the traffic is phenomenal. Bill and I get there at 4 a.m. to set up and by 7, it is starting and by 9, there are so many people you can barely walk down the aisles,” Terry says.

Terry deals in mostly French and Italian furniture and smaller pieces, as well as vintage lighting and brings two to four unique chandeliers to each show. Bill brings architectural pieces and decorative iron pieces, mantles and the like from New Orleans and LA.

She attributes the success of the show to a number of things, “there is a good diversity of vendors, and a good number of quality food vendors, the people who come, come to buy. They want to make a deal quickly because there is never enough quality vintage and if you don’t get it, it will soon be gone.”

Bill and Terry owned the Castle Pines Antique Mall which is where she met Sandi and Tim Vandel who were dealers of theirs. “I appreciate them on a multitude of levels,” she continues. “They are very professional in how they run their business. It is very well promoted. They maintain good vendors and they are good people as well as good businesspeople.”

Terry concludes, “while we don’t do the mall anymore, it is great to still do business in the state without the daily grind of keeping a shop open. Paris Street Market is one of the best venues in the country.”

The Miekle Way— One very unique vendor is Junk Chic 5280 run by Sheri and Lo Miekle. They began with Paris Street Market when it was in Littleton fourteen years ago. Sheri has always had a creative flare and together they make everything from salvage. For example they take old windows and doors turning them into tables and other items which they make into chic home deco. Working together their family tears down old barns or chicken coops or whatever but everything comes from salvage. Sheri says, “We love doing it. We give everything a second life.”

“The show,” she continues, “is a great success. It is by far Colorado’s number one show. It is fabulous and is actually our main livelihood. It does so well because of the great variety of quality vendors, excellent pricing, and most of all a superior location drawing thousands and thousands of customers.”

“It is one of the few shows left where people can get great collectibles, vintage antiques and great furniture. Sandi and Tim run the show beautifully always looking out for the interest of their customers and vendors and supporting all of us,” she concludes.

The owners of the Paris Street Market Tim and Sandi had been vendors at the show from its inception fifteen years ago and then they moved it from Arapahoe Community College to the Aspen Grove shopping center at Mineral and Santa Fe. The move really impacted the show in a good way.

“We have a great relationship with the people here,” Tim notes. “Most of the time the stores love the show because quite frankly it brings a lot of traffic to the center and that generates a lot of business for them. Much of the time the entire parking areas are full. It says a lot to think how long the show has been here and that they always want us back.”

“One of the reasons Paris Street Market is so successful is we haven’t taken our foot off the pedal when it comes to marketing and advertising. And, we focus on local. For example,
we advertise in The Mountain States Collector. That is the voice of the antique community. You have to spend money to make money,” Tim continued.

“We are always looking for new and different things. We only allow certain categories and a lot of people don’t get in. Sandi puts the show together. She gets it. She understands the
right balance so it’s a win win for our vendors.”

Making the show great took a combination of things for Sandi and Tim: a love of antiques, extensive experience in the antique business, an understanding of sound business and marketing principles, and a commitment to their community. It was something that they had prepared for their entire life without ever knowing it.

One other thing which contributes to their great success is the way they treat their customers and vendors—the way they always wanted to be treated. “We try to treat people equally. That is not always popular but it’s fair and people appreciate that. Honesty, safety and having fun are always our priorities,” Tim added.
If you haven’t visited the Paris Street Market yet, make sure you do. It is a unique and great show. Take the time to meet and visit Sandi and Tim Vandel. Just like the show, they’re special.

Want more information, then visit them on the web or on Face Book: (www.aparisstreetmarket.com – FB page A Paris Street Market). If you have never been, then go for an hour and you will probably stay a half of a day, and you will probably go again and again.

Great dealers, great crowd, great merchandise and a down-home fabulous management team.

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