Seldom do I blog about any of the podcasts, but as I am sitting at O’Hare Airport, I decided to write about my experience at the Randolph Street Market in Chicago. I had more than an excellent time podcasting at the 10th anniversary celebration, Memorial Day Weekend.
In a conversation a nearly 4 years ago with Eric Bradley, (formerly the editor of Antique Trader), he mentioned that I needed to do a podcast with Sally Schwartz. He told me that she was fun and a real Chicago icon in the antiques world.
I found out Sally was all of that and more. Rarely do you meet someone that is entrepreneurial, follows her dreams and make things happen the way Sally does. This market is just one of her great events, she is a very busy woman and somehow keeps it all together. The connection I have made with Sally has certainly enriched this podcast, and my life. By the way, she really does have a great sense of humor.
Speaking of humor, to find out we have a mutual friend, Greg Willett who joined us for the podcast (also in podcast 42) was icing on the cake. Besides being an amazing picker, Greg has hit the comedy clubs for three years now with over 300 gigs under his belt.
This is my third, but not last visit to the Randolph Street Market. I attend shows all over the country; my favorite is Randolph Street Market, followed by Round Top in Texas. Both shows have one thing in common, they make it more than just an antiques show, they make it an upbeat and festive event. There is great music, good food, and a huge variety of dealers that handle diverse objects that range from $10 items to pieces in the multiple $1,000s.
My father always told me when I was growing up in the auction business, that if you can keep people from thinking about spending money, they would spend more. By that in the auction business, he was talking about a quick wit. At this antique show, the music, the great food, alcohol and the upbeat atmosphere does the trick. I saw a high percentage of attendees carrying their purchases, and surprisingly, a lot of them were in their 20s.
We talk all the time about how important it is to keep young people interested in the antiques business. Sally’s savoir-faire abilities makes this happen on a yearly basis. Besides making it a fun event to attend, she is big into attracting them through social media, and it works. I walked the crowd and talked to several young adults, most told me they were there because of hearing about it from their friends. Many thousands of people attended and at least 50-60 % were in their 20s, bravo Sally!
While waiting to do the podcast, I sat in Sally’s cabana at the show. I can’t tell you how many people rushed up to see her like they were long lost friends. They all were welcome with elation and open arms. She sat and talked to each and every one of them. How many show promoters are this approachable?
If you are a dealer, or love to attend antique shows and fairs, I highly recommend a trip to Chicago. You have an opportunity once a month and you will not regret it.
Listen to the accompanying podcast here.