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The tiny town of Oronoco

You never know where life will take you. I bet our featured vendor never thought that would she'd find herself living in the little town of Oronoco, MN where she traveled every year from Iowa to shop and sell antiques! Meet Kathy, our latest shopper/vendor featured in the series.

Kathy, you have a very unique Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days experience in that you have been a vendor and a shopper and now you have a home in Oronoco! Your daughter remembers coming up to the show from Iowa as a child to spend the weekend helping at your booth. Tell us a little bit about your history with the show. 
Early on  Steve and I innocently started thrifting and buying our household items used. It's what we could afford. We also found it was a lot more interesting to shop that way than to buy new. Along with our daughter Jessica, the three of us took adventures whenever we had free weekends. When we would take day trips or vacations we were always veering off the route for an auction, antique store, flea market, you name it. 

During the 1990's we set up at several antique shows in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri. It was a time when many people were buying, selling and collecting antiques. Oronoco had a reputation as a profitable and fun market for vendors and buyers of all types. Over the years we had such a diverse, but like minded clientele. Decorators, designers, artists, artisans, and collectors of all types. Steve and I developed our individual tastes. Jessica had a great eye for the visual appeal of anything we picked up. Over the years she stashed some great textiles, arts and crafts pottery, fiestaware, and other eclectic finds she now decorates her home with. 

One of the hardest things about being a vendor would be deciding what to keep and what to sell. What are some of your favorite "keeps" over the years?
The things I cannot part with are; early Americana Folk Arts and crafts and individual quality work with age. Quilts and textiles of all sorts that bring color and creativity to our space.  

What advice to you have for shoppers at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days? My tip for buyers: It is not offensive to ask a dealer what their best price is on an item. For me, the more my customers bought from me and the more they repeated business each year, the better the bargains were....

I mentioned you had a unique experience with Gold Rush, part of that is you now have a home in Oronoco.  We are so happy to have you! Tell us a little bit about what brought you to our little town. Jessica married, and was educated as a nurse. Her and Adam (also a nurse) came to Rochester to work in the Mayo health system. They have three young daughters (our grandchildren) and built a home in Oronoco. Steve and I are now approaching 60, winding down our "real work" and our life goal is now to be in our grandaughter's lives as much as possible. When a special old house by the river in Oronoco came back on the market, I twisted Steve's arm sight unseen to buy it...I had admired that home every time I came to Oronoco. Now it was less than a mile to visit our grandkids!

We are so happy to have Kathy as a long-time shopper of Downtown Ornooco Gold Rush Days and a new citizen of Oronoco!

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Antiquing is often a family business and the vendors featured in our latest spotlight are no exception. Meet Cathy and Frank Dosdall. Cathy's mother and father started the family tradition of coming to Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days with their goods many years ago. They are some of our longest running vendors and we are happy to have them back year after year!

Your family has been a long time vendor with DOGR. Tell us a little bit about how that all started. My mom Marry Britt and dad Gene started coming many years ago soon after your event started. They were antique dealers known as Mary Britts Antiques.

 What keeps you coming back to DOGR each year to sell your goods?The tradition of being there for almost 40 years and it is a well run event.

Tell us a little bit about what we will find in your booth. Vintage and collectable items, repurposed stuff and Frank's refinished antique furniture.

Do you have favorite places to hunt for treasures to bring to DOGR?Perhaps a garage sale or auction for furniture to repurpose or paint.

Since you are a seasoned DOGR vendor, what advice do you have for new DOGR vendors? Enjoy the weekend and the good food. Meet your vendor "neighbors". It is fun to see the same people if you come back the next year. It's always fun to see the same shoppers come back to your booth year after year looking for new items.

Do you have any tips or tricks you can give to shoppers who are new to flea market shopping? Make reasonable offers. Most vendors are willing to negotiate. If something isn't priced, make an offer!

What is your favorite food to indulge in during DOGR? The Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches.

We cannot wait to have you back in August! Until then, where can we find your goods? This is the only in-person event we do. Selling online or local sales sites is all we do the rest of the year.

Make sure to stop by and say "hi" to Cathy and Frank at our show in August. Their booth will be located just south of the Post Office and filled with all sorts of treasures!

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Are you still on the fence about whether or not you should sign up for the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days 5k? Here are a few reasons we think you should hop off that fence and get registered today!

Inclusivity - Anyone can walk or run a 5k! It is a great distance for many people because the time commitment is completely manageable. A total beginner can easily train for this race in 6-8 weeks. There are many great training tools available including free apps that will help guide you along this journey. I recommend Couch to 5K.

Health - There are many health benefits to a regular exercise program. Whether your goal is to run or walk a 5k, you are doing your body and your mind a favor. Running and walking are both excellent ways to improve your cardiovascular health, build muscle and lose weight. Your brain will thank you too because running and walking releases endorphins which increases your mental health and decreases the body's response to stress and pain.

Goals - Life is messy and unpredictable. Setting goals can help us stay focused and accountable. Crossing the finish line of a race will motivate you to set more goals and work to achieve them. You will carry that feeling of accomplishment with you into every other aspect of your life moving forward.

Community - Many 5k races benefit non-profit organizations and the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days 5k is no different. Proceeds from the event will go back into the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days fund which is used to support local organizations such as National Night Out, the Food Shelf, the Senior Citizen Center, the First Responders, the Fire Department and many more.

Fun - The thought of running being fun may be a stretch for some, but I challenge you to look at it that way. You are outside. You are using your body. You are among friends and family. You might choose to dress up. You can listen to some great music. People will be cheering you on. You get an awesome t-shirt and a coupon for some great food!

We hope this helps you decide to join us for the 2nd annual Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days 5k on Sunday, August 18th. Registrations will be accepted through the morning of the event but prices will go up in July so register soon!

https://goldrushmn.com/news/5k/

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Melinda Daubitz has one of my very favorite booths at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days. As you will read below, I have made some pretty awesome purchases from her in the past. We are very happy to feature Melinda and Sparrow Antiques in our latest edition of the Vendor Spotlight!

First off you should know that I LOVE your booth. One year I bought two antique beds from you and I was in the market for exactly zero beds. Dana, we remember that year…lol, you also bought a mailbox that you were going to turn into a library in your yard.  We had so much fun watching you shop.

Tell us all a little bit about yourself, where you are from and what Sparrow Antiques is all about.  Sparrow Antiques is a collection of treasures from the past.  I am originally from the Chicago land area.  I relocated in Eau Claire WI with my 4 children about 18 years ago as a single parent.  I started to collect stuff, mostly broken.  I would repair and repurpose and then have little sales to supplement my income.  My love for collecting never stopped and my hobby became my second career.  We love yesteryear and just buy things that speak out and I think others may enjoy.

How do you go about collecting items to sell? Is there a particular style that you focus on?  We love to shop small towns, estates and auctions. Nothing like a good/full dumpster and a little sidewalk surfing! Our style is ever changing, we watch trends and colors and try to find things that we love and others might.  Many things I have bought, I bought for myself…..LOVED and then sell.  My house is always changing with my mood.

How long have you been coming to DOGR as a vendor and what keeps you coming back?  I have been coming to Oronoco for maybe 15 years,  I am in love with the small town feel. I love that the entire town becomes a mecca for shoppers.  Shoppers who love character, old stuff that tells stories of the past. The food is amazing and the great venders.  We look forward to seeing everyone, every year.  It feels like our little community for the weekend

We all have our favorite foods at DOGR - what are yours?  The food is amazing!  We really love the home-made ice cream sandwiches and the fireman breakfast is a favorite activity.

Do you ever get a chance to shop around DOGR? If so, what is your favorite DOGR purchase?  We don’t have a lot of time for shopping, but we do always seem to find a treasure for ourselves.  May it be an old bear, a handmade quilt from yesteryear or that one of a kind chippy paint piece that must go on the porch 

What kind of advice would you give to a new flea market shopper?  Well, we do like to give a deal! It never hurts to ask if we can do better!  I personally hate when someone rips on a piece, pointing out all its flaws…..for a good deal.  Our things are old and often imperfect that is what we loved about it and wanted to share it with buyers.  Also, I love when buyers want to know the story about a special piece….many things have been bought and someone told us the story, or who may have owned it.  Ask about the story, it makes each piece even more special.

 What can we expect to see at your booth in August? Do you have anything you are saving just for DOGR?  We are on the hunt right now, we have some medium sized chippy furniture.  Kitchen stuff is always popular and the colors are bright.  We are saving some wonderful carnival stuff, like a ferris wheel seat.  We like a few unique pieces to get folks to take a peek.  We usually have a little bit for everyone and our prices are great!

We are so excited to see you again in August. Who knows, maybe I'll leave with another antique bed! Until then, where can we find you?  We are so excited to come.  Truly our favorite place to be in August!!  Our new shop is in Eau Claire Wisconsin…just a hop and a skip away. Sparrow Antiques, 767 2nd Ave in Eau Claire WI is a shared space with Vintage Junkies.  We work many shows, helping each other out!

A follow up about the mailbox mentioned above. I was shopping with my sister when she bought the mailbox from Melinda. She did turn it into a little library for her yard and it is adorable!

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On Earth Day 2019, we invite you to do the earth and yourselves a favor by planning to shop second hand at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days, August 16th, 17th, and 18th.

Flea Markets and antique shows are full of second hand items just waiting to be repurposed, reimagined and ultimately recycled. Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is no exception.

Shopping second hand not only helps the Earth; there are also social and personal benefits to visiting your local flea market or thrift store. We've highlighted our favorite reasons why we think you should consider this option when shopping for clothing, home decor, furniture and more.

ENVIRONMENTAL

When you purchase a piece of clothing or furniture second hand, you are playing an important part in reducing the consumption of energy and resources that are necessary in producing new items. You are also giving new life to something that may have otherwise been tossed. Be proud of your second hand items and your positive impact it has on this earth!

SOCIAL

Shopping second hand at a flea market ensures that you will be supporting small and local businesses. This support of local businesses will keep your dollars close to home, multiplying their effect throughout your community. The small but impactful decision to shop second hand can have many positive outcomes on your life, and the lives of your friends and neighbors.

PERSONAL

The most obvious benefit of shopping second hand is that it can be significantly less expensive than buying new.  The not so obvious benefit is that you are able to put your own personal touch on your purchase and it will likely be more unique than anything you could buy new. This is a huge plus when looking to create your own personal style within your home or wardrobe. Originality is a priceless reason to shop second hand!

Red Wing Stoneware
Red Wing Stoneware

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Besides all the wonderful reasons mentioned above, Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is just plain old fun! Whether you are looking for that perfect bench to complete your entryway, that one last piece of pottery to finish your collection, or you just want to wander the vendor booths eating a delicious ice cream sandwich, there is something interesting for everyone! We hope you can join us on August 16th, 17th, and 18th!

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