Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vintage and Antique shopping in Columbus, OH

Things change, I know, but so many great stores have disappeared from the C-bus landscape. For me, the most lamented is Avalon shoes. We stalked up and down High Street in the freezing cold thinking we missed something - but it is gone.

Rag-o-Rama on High Street still exists and reminds me a bit of Buffalo Exchange here in San Francisco. Great for used clothes but you won't really find much in the way of vintage here.

Mad 4 Mod - despite the name - has vintage from many decades. The store is clean and well organized, though I was a bit frustrated by the rack system. They had eye-level racks and above THOSE were another level of racks, which for short people, presented a problem. The staff were happy to help get things down for you with a hook and ladder, but still a bit odd. I was able to find some really terrific stuff here and our salesperson was able to negotiate with us on the prices. Everything I found was in good condition and without odd odors, stains or needing repair work.

Across the street is the Eclectiques Antique Mall. This place seemed endless, but in the basement I found racks of vintage clothes - though not in as good of condition as I had hoped (still bitter over the chiffon dress with the stains on the front). Tons of knick-knacks, kitchen tools, furniture, brownie cameras, old photos and tons of jewelry. What books I could find were not in good condition. It was fun to browse and poke around, but in the end we didn't buy anything here.

Down in the southend of C-bus we found the Greater Columbus Antique Mall. Much like Eclectiques, this place needs time and the energy to really be on a treasure hunt. The vendors here seem to focus more on furniture and "stuff", not clothing.

Finally - the mother lode: Captain Betty's in Delaware. She keeps odd hours: Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 5pm. However, this small store is packed with good, quality vintage. Feel free to snoop in the boxes and drawers and baskets for more clothes and jewelry. Betty herself is a unique lady - approaching 70 years of age, she knows her business and if she likes you, she will bring styles to you to try on and play dress-up on you. I have heard if she isn't in a good mood or doesn't like you, she can be rude - but we didn't experience this. She worked with us on prices and I walked away VERY happy. For the guys: she has a great collection of mens' suits and clothing.

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