One of my favorite past times is finding a local thrift store or flea market and perusing the space as if I’m hunting for some type of lost treasure. In actuality, this act of searching for some rare find is indeed a treasure hunt. You go through piles and piles of clothes until you find that one item that takes your breath away. As you are searching, you look for certain signs such as bright colors or a sparkle. Something suddenly catches your eye and as you pull out the garment, you realize that after going through dozens of racks you have found the buried treasure.
When I found out about the return of America’s largest market Randolph Street Market, I knew I would be in for quite a wondrous treasure hunt. Featuring 8 acres of indoor and outdoor shopping, as well as live entertainment and dining; perusing through Randolph makes for quite the Saturday morning. To make the morning even better, Randolph Street Market treated some bloggers and media to quite a wondrous breakfast before we began our day of shopping. Our task of the day was to go about the market and tag our favorite items and declare them blogger approved.
Upon first entering the market, admittedly I was quite overwhelmed. Everything from animal hides to vintage typewriters crossed my line of vision. I wanted to tag anything and everything as Kori approved. Remember when I said, that thrifting and perusing through markets are akin to treasure hunting? Well, if thrifting is a treasure hunt Randolph Street Market is a trove full of treasure. One doesn’t have to search too hard to find a brag-worthy item. Whether you are looking for vintage clothes or eclectic home goods, I can assure you that you will find it a Randolph.
As you are shopping, they are a variety of activities one can partake in. Dozens of food vendors are scattered throughout the site serving various delicious offerings from sweet to savory. The sounds of live music set the tone, as they play the soundtrack perfect for a day of shopping. It was enjoyable just to take a leisurely stroll to see the best of the best of what Chicago has to offer.
What is particularly interesting about the market, is many of the items are rare and one of a kind. Some of the vendors only sell their works at Randolph, so it really puts the pressure to snag up that one of a kind item before it’s too late. I can assure you, that if you decide to pass up on an item at Randolph not only will it be gone but you will regret your decision as you’ll never come across another item like it again.
As you make your way through the various booths it’s almost as if you are adding stamps to your passport. You travel from one country to another whether that be from African jewels or Haitian fashions. For my visit to the market, I took a brief visit to Columbia in Tulia’s Artisan Gallery. As I scanned the shelves I witnessed the craftsmanship involved in palm leaf baskets. These intricate works of art feature arduous hours of labor and the end result is absolutely breathtaking. Warehouse Studio Chicago was another favorite of mine. As I made my way through the booth the brightly colored pillows and the tapestry livened up the space. The ethnic patterns and embroidery immediately caught my eye as I imagined my future apartment decorated in this fashion.
However, since I couldn’t bring myself to not look at clothes, I have to admit that this department is where the market truly shines. The finest quality of vintage clothing is scattered all throughout the market. Every decade imaginable was represented from the shift dress of the 60’s to the disco era ensembles of the 70’s. Even rare vintage finds such as Chanel and Dior could be found in the designer booths.
With such a plethora of items of choose from, it became quite difficult to decide what item was going to go home with me. After much contemplation, I went back to one of the first booths I visited and purchased a green bejeweled cocktail dress. I’m quite pleased with my purchase and I believe I found the hidden treasure that I had been looking for.
To best ensure that you find your hidden treasure, I would highly recommend purchasing the early bird ticket. Since there is so much to choose from, you want enough time to scan the space before you make any rash decisions. Trust me, waking up at 8 am on a Saturday is completely worth it if you want to go home with an envy-inducing item. Also, I can promise you that it is virtually impossible to not bring back something from the market. I’m probably the pickiest when it comes to shopping and even I couldn’t resist taking home that dress.
If you want to go to the next Randolph Street Market, go to RandolphStreetMarket.com The next one is June 27th-June 28th. The full calendar is available on the website. Hope to see you there! 🙂
Special thanks to Eric of EricMichaelClarke.com for select images