Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dealer Spotlight: La Petite Chaise

Can you believe it? There are only 9 DAYS LEFT until the Three Speckled Hens Antiques & Old Stuff Show, October 3 & 4, 2015. Time is running out to purchase your tickets online! Tickets will only be available online until noon on Friday, October 2 so be sure to make your online purchase soon! If you are unable to make your purchase online before time runs out, tickets will also be available at the gate. We cannot wait to see all of you next weekend!

Our fourth and final installment in our fall Vendor Spotlight series features the quaint shop, La Petite Chaise. Mary de la Vega shares insights into her antiquing career, style, and all-time favorite finds.

How did your career in antiquing begin?
In a nutshell, it all began after I left my career in information technology and took an upholstery class as a kind of creative outlet. I started going to auctions to find projects and fell in love with all of the other beautiful old things I found. In 2000, I dubbed my business 'La Petite Chaise' after my passion for chairs and started out in an antique shop in San Juan Bautista. I opened my own shop in Mountain View for a while, but then decided to leave the shops behind and sell at antique markets like Alameda Point and Three Speckled Hens.

What do you enjoy most about antiquing?
I feel especially good about the fact that vintage is good for the environment – it is the ultimate in recycling, reusing and repurposing. They really don’t make things like they used to. Vintage is beautiful, functional, and green.

Tell us about some of your favorite finds.
Things have to be interesting and useful. My favorite finds are the kind of things that have great potential to be used in different ways like the large metal shelf that once hung in the dining room of the Cooper House in downtown Santa Cruz. That same shelf could work in the garden or large kitchen or in a winery where it ultimately found its new home. Or like the homemade workbench that could so easily be used in a craft room or as a rugged bar inside or out. 

Are there any items you have just never been able to part with?
Years ago I found a large glass cloche that I haven’t been able to part with. It was surely used in the garden and has a lovely purple hue with all the bubbles that you find in blown glass. I must confess that I also held onto a glass tank that holds my collection of glass floats.

Explain your style to us.
My style can be described as rough and refined. I try to put things together in interesting, surprising ways. Offering everything from flatware to furniture, primitive to industrial to traditional, it’s all in how you bring things together that make it work. Going with the original finish is my preference, but I’ll paint and repair to make sure it’s a great piece in quality and function. I mix elegant silver and delicate china with an industrial cart or primitive cabinet repurposed as an island, and everything is better on casters! I like to bring collections of seemingly ordinary things together like spools of thread, curtain rings, alarm clocks, flower frogs, paintbrushes, pulleys, and books.

What sets your pieces apart?
I don’t sell fussy antiques that you have to worry about. Instead, I want people to find beautiful, functional and quality items to add to their homes and truly enjoy for years and generations to come.

Do you have a favorite antiques show?
Selling exclusively at vintage fairs and markets as far south as Paso Robles and north to Petaluma, Three Speckled Hens is one of my favorites – there’s so much enthusiasm and excitement about what you’ll find and how it will be displayed. So many talented and creative vendors gather in one place. I love being part of that. Coming up with a theme or inspirational piece to build a design around and then putting together a collection of vintage finds is what really keeps me excited about my work. I look forward to seeing how shoppers respond, what they’re looking for and their excitement in finding just the right piece!

We are flattered! What types of items can we expect to find at the show?
My home is full of items that I love – each one has meaning to me – the giant spool of twine from my dad’s garage, the vintage bowl of sea glass from a family trip to Mendocino alongside the Audubon bird prints like the ones my grandmother had in her home. I try to bring that same sensibility to the fairs and markets I sell at.

For more information on La Petite Chaise, please visit You can also contact Mary directly at You can also follow La Petite Chaise on Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Vendor Spotlight: Farm Girls

The countdown is on! ONLY 2 weeks left until the Three Speckled Hens Antiques & Old Stuff Show on October 3 & 4, 2015 at the Paso Robles Event Center! 

Have you seen our list of vendors for the fall show? Make your game plan now by checking out all of our new and returning vendors at Don't forget, Early Bird Admission grants you access to your favorite vendors 2 FULL hours before the crowds arrive on Saturday. Purchase your Early Bird Admission now

The third vendor in our fall Vendor Spotlight series features the dynamic duo of Janet Stevens and Kamille Hughes. What started out as a hobby over 25 years ago, has led to a full time business for these two Farm Girls.

Janet, how did the two of you get into the antiquing business?
I started out working in the grocery business but always had a passion for design work. After being in different antique stores, I took the plunge into the staging world with Chic Staging & Design. It was around 2008 when the staging business and every other small business starting going under due to the economy.

Kamille had also just lost her job as a promotions director due to the struggling economy; so the two of us teamed up and started painting furniture to the max. Well, we have always done it, but this is when it really took off! After being in several antique stores we decided it was time to pull out of the stores and open up 4 days a week on our property. So a couple of years ago we quit staging and changed our name to Farm Girls Vintage Finds. As our family and friends say, "they have created a 'monster'." 

How did you get that name?
When Kamille sold at the Swap Meet, customers started calling her Farm Girl. It just stuck!

We hear you are a “Jill-of-All-Trades.” Tell us more.
It is just the two of us. We do everything from finding the items to refinishing them. Kamille wears many hats. Painter, builder, IT girl, bookkeeper and does all the marketing. I am the shop keeper, decorator, painter and show coordinator. We have three goats to keep the kids (and parents) entertained. 

Tell us about the shop.
The shop has a different vibe than you will find in a strip mall or antique store. All in all, we enjoy what we do and appreciate all our wonderful customers that make this job worth it all! Our shop is open Wednesday and Thursday 10am-4pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm-4pm. We are located at 7200 Shafter Road in Bakersfield, CA. You can also purchase a handful of our items online at

To learn more about the Farm Girls, visit their website at, call 559-430-7816, or email You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Vendor Spotlight: Down Home Antiques

For our second installation of our Vendor Spotlight series, we highlight the story of Don and Peggy Arbenz of Down Home Antiques and how their little antiques business (and family) has grown over the years.

Peggy shares how the semi-retired couple adapted their passion to fit their lifestyle, her philosophy on antiquing, and how she gets to share one of her greatest joys with her daughters.

Tell us the story behind Down Home Antiques.
My husband and I love the antique business and collecting antiques! I have collected antiques since I was a kid, and we have been in business for over 25 years. I always wanted my own store, and it was a dream come true when we opened Down Home Antiques in 1999. We opened our little Yorba Linda store and then moved to Old Towne Orange a year and half later. After 17 years of operating a store, a year ago we closed our storefront in an effort to semi-retire.

How has the shop adapted to fit your “semi-retired” lifestyle?
We still love buying and selling antiques, but we wanted to spend more time pursuing other interests and enjoying our family, especially our 5 grandchildren! So while we still own Down Home Antiques, it is a business without walls. We enjoy doing shows and flea markets, especially Three Speckled Hens! We also hold an event at our home twice a year when we get back from buying trips. It is a chance for our customers to view and buy fresh merchandise right off the container.

What types of antiques do you specialize in?
We have always specialized in primitives, architectural pieces, garden antiques, and farmhouse style. We search the country for one of kind antiques and try our best to offer pieces that are 100% old! 

Do you ever find pieces that you just can’t part with?
I know it’s been a good buying trip when I have a hard time parting with everything I bought. I love selling, but believe me I keep my fair share! 

Describe your home decorating style. 
Our home is filled with American primitives and farmhouse pieces. I love primitive cupboards and farmhouse tables. The only new pieces of furniture in our home are our couches. I also love incorporating nature, so it’s not unusual to see a nest or mossy covered branch in my home. I have collected for many years and have been to many flea markets and shows around the country. I have pieces that I have had in my home for 30 years and pieces I recently found, so my home is constantly changing and evolving. I can get just as excited about a tiny $5 item as I can about a large cupboard. My rule for decorating is that there are no rules. If you love it, it goes!

We heard you have an antiquing philosophy. Can you share?
My philosophy on antiquing is that it is as important as eating and sleeping. If you love antiques and the thrill of the hunt, it is a lifelong passion. I often hear customers say that they don’t really NEED a particular piece or I hear their spouse say, “you don’t NEED that!” I disagree! I guess they think it’s materialistic and a matter of want, rather than need. While I love my junk, I am not materialistic at all. People and family are my top priority. However, I believe that surrounding yourself with the things you love and creating an atmosphere that you love being in is good for the soul and has to be good for a person’s deepest emotional needs. Investing in your home and creating a beautiful environment is never a wrong move. 

You have three daughters. Do any of them share your passion for antiquing?
One of my greatest excitements is when one of our three daughters wants one of my treasures for their own home! I feel like my three precious girls who were dragged to every flea market as children and worked in the family business have embraced this wonderful passion of antiquing. It’s something we share and how great is that!

For more information on Down Home Antiques, please visit and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You can contact them by email at or by phone at 951-202-9599.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Vendor Spotlight: American Barn & Wood

In just four short weeks it will be that time again! Fall is right around the corner, and that means we are gearing up for another fabulous Three Speckled Hens Antiques & Old Stuff Show on October 3-4, 2015 at the Paso Robles Event Center.

TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE! Don’t forget that old saying; the early bird catches the worm! We won’t argue when that worm is a discount! Purchase your Early Bird admission tickets now and receive $2 off admission price. Use the code EARLYBIRD at checkout to reveal this discounted pricing only available until Monday. With your Early Bird admission, you will have 2 FULL HOURS to shop your favorite vendor booths before the crowds arrive.

We begin our fall Vendor Spotlight series with a one-on-one interview with the delightful Kira Olshefski of American Barn & Wood. Kira and her husband share a love for reclaimed barn wood and sharing the story of the wood’s history with their customers.

Tell us, Kira, how did American Barn & Wood come to be?
Our business, American Barn & Wood, started by taking lemons and turning them into lemonade. My husband John and I wanted to resurrect an old barn on our property to use as a home office. We purchased a Midwestern barn from a barn dismantler and had plans to bring it to California. It was a big barn, and it would take two truckloads to bring it out to California. We got the first truck, but the dismantler took our money, abandoned the job, and we never received the other half of our beautiful barn. In order to recoup our money, we decided to sell off the wood we did have. Lo and behold a business was born.   

What is the best part of owning your business?
The best part of our business is our customers. Everyone appreciates the beauty of the wood and what it can become.

What can customers expect to find when they visit American Barn & Wood? 
Coming to our business is like being a kid in a candy store. We have two industrial units and a lumberyard filled with barn wood, barn doors, beams, hardware and more.

What differentiates American Barn & Wood from your average lumberyard?
In addition to offering these one-of-a-kind materials to customers, we also photograph each barn before it comes down and research the history of the barn. This allows us to then pass that story on to our customers so the barn can live on.

What have customers made using your reclaimed wood?
People come to us with a project they have seen in a magazine, on Pinterest, or and are excited to see that they can make it happen with our reclaimed wood. Customer projects have included farmhouse tables, furniture, siding walls and ceilings, beams for mantels and truss works, and assorted smaller projects.

Any parting words?
We are looking forward to the Three Speckled Hens show October 3-4. We want to let everyone know that we will be in a new location at the show. This year we will be located in an inside building in Booth 106. Stop by and say hello! Also, if you are local or visiting from out of town, it is well worth the trip to stop on by our showroom. We are located at 3460 La Cruz Way, #D in Paso Robles and are open Monday–Saturday. 

For more information on American Barn & Wood, please visit or call 805-610-7838. Follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, or Houzz!