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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Uncover the clues at local market

    Savannah Douglas /The Daily Wild
    Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wildcat Gather is a vintage market open once a month for four days that offers eclectic pieces at affordable prices. Each month, the antique store creates a theme and places clues around the shop. When the clues are solved by customers, they receive a gift card. (Check on how they refer to the name in the article)

    It was Ms. Scarlett in the library with the candlestick.

    Gather: A Vintage Market on St. Mary’s Road is selling items this month that recreate the world of a certain beloved board game, but Professor Plum-lookalikes of Tucson will have to act fast — since this store is only open four days out of the month.

    This business strategy may seem counterintuitive in a post-recession economy, but it makes sense why the market does its hours this way when looking at its concept.

    “We do a theme that changes every month,” said Elizabeth Smith, an associate of the market. “We break down [and] redo everything, so every month is a different look.”

    The theme for this month is inspired by the classic board game “Clue,” and all the vintage items in the market are representative of a room or item from the game. There are even clues scattered throughout the market for customers to solve while perusing. If a customer is able to solve these hidden riddles, they receive a market gift certificate.

    “It takes a long time to create the style we do,” said Tray Gers, the owner of the market. Gers said the store plans out its monthly themes almost a year in advance and that his customers like the idea of a market that adopts different aesthetics.

    Gers said his team of vendors all collaborate in creating the theme, and each weekend the store is open, there is usually a crowd of about 50 people waiting outside to see how the store has changed. The store’s October theme is labeled as “Fall Harvest” and revolves around a Thanksgiving motif.

    The market first got its start with vendors who previously knew each other through antiquing events. Gers eventually decided to give each of them a call.

    “Tray said we should get our stuff together with a theme, different every month,” Smith said.

    The market started in January 2013 with just a few vendors, but it now has about 10. The vendors came from antique malls where sellers each had their own walled-off section, segregated from other vintage vendors. At the market, however, the vendors all mingle together into a melting pot of nostalgia.

    The demographics of the market also vary, according to Smith. Often, college students come into the market with their parents, looking to decorate their dorm rooms or apartments.

    “We’ve always talked about getting the college students to come in,” Smith said. “It’d be neat.”

    When out hunting for market items, the vendors come across things that would be perfect for college students to have in their rooms or apartments, such as knickknacks, desks and books.

    “We all get inspiration from one another,” Smith said. “The beauty of [the business] is that we feed off each other’s ideas, and some things we do are larger than life.”

    Part of the inspiration comes from the customers as well. Smith told of a day when an older woman came in looking for old dresses, such as a night dress. She was going to have it cinched at the waist with a belt, and she got a new dress from her purchase that was appropriate for a hot day.

    Not all vintage items are just for aesthetic purposes; functionality is just as important.

    Many of the things in the market have practical uses, such as tables, cutlery, trumpets, doorknobs, desks, chandeliers and beds. There was even a vintage rotary telephone.

    Walking into the store each month is like playing the lottery: You never know what you are going to find. Many of the store’s items are reasonably priced. The dates when the market is open can be found on its website, and its hours of operations are either from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. or until 6 p.m., depending on the day.

    —Follow Ivana Goldtooth @goldiechik93

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