Hand-Me-Downs

Hand-Me-Downs

Old goods never die at the Vintage Bazaar. They just get repurposed.

By Virginia M. Wright
Photographs courtesy of Vintage Bazaar

Devon Chouinard was 6 when she acquired her first vintage collectable — a porcelain doll she found in her grandfather’s barn. “It was probably a treasure that my great-grandfather found,” she says. “He was a true junker before it was popular — late 1800s, early 1900s. He’d travel all over the country and bring treasures home. Once, he even rescued a steamship from Nova Scotia.”

Hand-Me-DownsIn fact, all the adult family members in young Chouinard’s life — parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents — collected and traded in cool old things, so it’s hardly surprising that she’s built her own career around them. Her Vintage Bazaar draws 180 vendors from Maine to California, whose charming displays can transform a venue into a village. Chouinard moved the operation (and her family) to Maine from Massachusetts in 2016 and has since settled into four events a year: December and April at Thompson’s Point in Portland and June and October at the Cumberland Fairgrounds.

Vintage Bazaar expands the antiques show concept to include architectural salvage and repurposed goods. At this month’s bazaar, in Cumberland, Sisters on the Fly of New England, an all-women’s outdoor adventure club, shows off vintage campers and demonstrates fly-fishing and cast-iron skillet cooking. With live music and food, it’s more a family festival than a sterile expo.

The Vintage Bazaar is October 6–7 at Cumberland Fairgrounds, 197 Blanchard Rd., Cumberland. Tickets are $10–$15 and available at the gate and at eventbrite.com. For more details, visit mybazaarlife.com.


Virginia M. Wright

Virginia M. Wright is the senior editor at Down East.