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!