Announcing..."As Luck Would Have It" -- the Website!

FINALLY! The "As Luck Would Have It" Website has launched! Now, in addition to the offerings at Home Store Manassas, my carefully edited collection of vintage treasures are available thru Be sure to check it out daily, as there are many more pieces of inventory to be posted. And tell ALL your friends, family, co-workers, strangers you meet in bars....Trust me, they'll thank you for it! At least I will...!

Monday, August 9, 2010


A few weekends ago was the quarterly DC Big Flea, held at its usual venue, the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly Virginia.  And, although I did find myself on those esteemed premises those days, I did not wander the Expo’s hallowed halls in search of treasures. No, Dear Readers, I did not meander down the many aisles of the two buildings that were bursting at the seams with hundreds of purveyors of fine vintage goods.  I did not join the throngs of shoppers as they carefully (and sometimes maniacally) chose their precious bounty of the day.  Why, you may ask, was I at the Expo Center but not partaking of (and, as has become my habit, filming) this quarterly shopping ritual??? Because I was there – for the first time ever – as a VENDOR!

Yes, Yours Truly brought “As Luck Would Have It” to the DC Big Flea!  After many excursions with BFF Diana The Lady D, I decided it was time to take the plunge and sign-up for not one but TWO Flea booths.  It was an invigorating (and exhausting) experience.

The Thursday night prior to the Flea weekend, Sig-O graciously agreed to assist me with the ceremonial loading-of-the-truck.  And by ‘ceremonial’, I mean ‘pain-in-the-nether-region’.  For although I appreciate having the ability to transport large quantities of vintage home furnishings, thanks to Bianca the Cargo Van, I nonetheless find the loading/transporting/unloading cycle both daunting and tiring.  And, due to the selections I made for the ALWHI’s Flea debut presentation (“MAD about MID-CENTURY”), several items of the collection were not only bulky but weighed a bloody ton:  an eight-foot Henredon sofa from the 1960s; the hand-painted mirrored screen (recently seen in the Home Store Manassas “Wild Things” collection); and, a Thomasville mid-century Danish Modern-style dining set with a table that extends ad infinitum.

So, with godson “V” supervising, Sig-O and I loaded up Bianca.  But, because I am incapable of doing anything simply, I had designed a booth space requiring an inventory that far exceeded even Bianca’s capacity.  Therefore, we filled not only the van but also the trusty Passat to the point of critical mass.  And, if I must say so myself, we did a phenomenal packing job.  By the time we squeezed the last lampshade in place, there was barely room for air to circulate.

Bright 'n early the next morning, Sig-O showed up at Casa de Howard to begin the convoy to Chantilly.  Admittedly, I was a tad anxious about My First Time as a Flea vendor.  Oh sure, I’ve shopped it, but now I was about to embark on my maiden behind-the scenes voyage.  Where would we park?  Does one stand in line to be allowed entre’ to set-up, or is it a big free-for all?  How would I find my space?  Would all the other, more experienced vendors be able to spot the newbie?  It was like the first day of high school (oh GAWD, don’t let me start reliving that hell!).

But first (speaking of Hell), we had to get through Northern Virginia traffic.  Ah, yes, NoVA…. Where there’s no such thing as “going against traffic.”  There’s congestion and gridlock in every direction, including the westward trek from Arlington to Chantilly.  However, once we broke through the disaster that is The Beltway, we quickly made it to the Expo Center – with ten minutes to spare!
Rosanna's FAB Florentine Purchase
First thing I noticed was that the other early arrivers had parked their cargo carriers not lined up in front of the building’s entrance, but in regular parking spaces in the lot.  And while some vendors were just milling about, coffee in hand, others were busily unloading their wares into parking spaces adjoining those occupied by their vehicles.  While pondering this activity, I noticed a lovely woman walking towards me from across the lot.  Lo and behold, it was Rosanna, a friend of Furniture Redo Diva Blanca and fellow Furniture Addict and shop owner!  Rosanna informed us that she wasn’t there as a vendor, but as an early shopper….Turns out, dealers often show up at the crack of dawn on Set-up Day to shop the vendors as they’re unloading their vehicles.  As Rosanna explained, a few savvy Flea vendors actually get to the Expo super-early, and unload their wares to enable such opportunistic shopping.  Now we know!  You can bet that “As Luck Would Have It” will take full advantage of this activity next time.  The lovely Rosanna even shopped the back of my van – and twirled away with a Florentine chandelier that just screamed FABULOCITY!

As soon as we vendors were allowed into the Expo Center’s North Building, the real fun began.  Having located my space, Sig-O and I proceeded to unload Bianca and drag all my carefully selected (and did I mention, heavy) offerings inside.  Naturally, everything that needed to be set-up first was packed into the back of the van, or underneath all the smaller, more fragile items.  But, with the help of our assigned porter Bob, we made haste with the heaviest of pieces – the Henredon sofa and the mirrored screen.

This being my first time setting up my Flea space (and being the consummate perfectionist, much to Sig-O’s chagrin), the most time-consuming part of the morning was getting every item in my “Mad about Mid-Century” vignette placed just so.  However, it finally all came together, and as I hope you will agree from the photos, it was Mid-Century FAB! (Be sure to view the video to get a partial idea of the effort involved!)

The next two days were a blur.  Your truly accepted many compliments on the design of booth space, and the “OOHs” and “AHHs” were in abundance.  And I even sold some treasures!  Of particular thrill was the purchase of the orange Danish ladder-back chair pair, selected by a dealer for his mid-century modern shop in tony Georgetown.  Russel Wright enjoyed popularity on Sunday, and several collectors (including Ray and Jose – fellow vendors featured in one of my earlier Flea videos) left with cherished additions to their collections.  BFF Diana The Lady D was on-hand throughout the weekend, supplying me with caffeine and other nourishment.  Friends Cundy and Ginny, along with Gin's daughter and grandkids, stopped by to lend moral support.  And Butch and Barry even made an appearance; Barry seemed pleased by the place of honor given to his mother's Russel Wright collection.

Hand-painted Mirrored Screen
Alas, all good things must end, and the DC Big Flea was no exception.  Unfortunately, however, for us vendors the end of the Flea does not mark the end of the day.  Au contraire, it’s only the beginning of what some (myself included) would argue is the hardest part of the event – breaking down the booth, repacking and reloading.  UGH UGH UGH.  I had decided to let Sig-O off the hook, after all his hard work on the packing and set-up, and instead had hired handy-guy Craig to assist with these loathsome post-Flea tasks.  Along with his GF, we spent the next five (yes, five) hours completing the cycle of Flea participation.  This included sitting in the horrid NoVA traffic back to Falls Church to unload a portion of the remains into The Warehouse, then on to my Arlington home to unload and place – for the final time, I’ve sworn – the most fab mirrored screen (after all, my heart cannot take the danger of transporting such a fragile – and monstrously weighty – item again!).  No tears, though; I get to enjoy this beautiful treasure each time I walk through my living room.

Battleworn, tattered and torn, I somehow managed to crawl upstairs to my awaiting boudoir and felines, where I dozed a fitful sleep filled with replays of the weekend’s events.  It was great fun, albeit exhausting.  And if you missed it, SHAME.ON.YOU.  However, you will get another shot at being in my good graces; I’ve signed up for the next DC Big Flea, September 18th and 19th.  You will be there….Resistance is futile.

1 comment:

  1. You're right--I must be there! I'm so sorry I missed it. How did I overlook the bulletins, the sky-writing, the passenger pigeons?? I'm glad your first foray on the other side of the booth turned out so well. :)