The Brass Armadillo
Welcome to Summer 2015’s first installment of There’s No Place Like Local. On the first Saturday of every month we will take a trip to one of my favorite places to find…well…great finds.
We start this week at my favorite antique store in the Denver Metro Area. The Brass Armadillo. I can’t remember how we found The Brass Armadillo, but since its right off the highway I can imagine that had something to do with it.
This place is my favorite for a few reasons.
- Its organized! Don’t get me wrong, I love picking through a heap of old antiques, you know the places I’m talking about, that store where there are piles….and not piles that would make any sense; here’s the pile of books, here’s the pile of old pictures frames, here’s the pile of mason jars, nope at this place there is no rhyme or reason to the piles, there are just piles. Those places are great and I will share some about those places later. But The Brass Armadillo is not like that, its organized, and easy to wander peacefully through, weather you have something in mind or are just browsing. There might be a little digging. One time we went and all I wanted was an old soda crate with 24 (yes it had to be exactly 24) spaces. We walked through two booths, I looked up saw the one I wanted, we headed back to the registers, payed and were back out to our car in less than thirty minutes.
- Tip number one: look up, look under, look in. Even though it’s organized, there is a lot of stuff, so take the time to look around, open cabinets, see whats it them, carefully move things if there is something behind or under them.
- There are lots of different types of vendors. Its kind of a one stop shop for antiques and collectibles. Antique china, they have it. Vintage clothes, yep that too. Furniture pieces that have already been refurbished, look no further, or ones that need extensive refurb for that matter (I think you can see where I am going with this). Some of our finds there have included furniture, gifts for friends, I got my hat for this years Kentucky Derby here (yes I wear a hat on Derby Day, don’t judge). Granted I don’t always leave with something, but to be honest I always leave with ideas.
- Tip number two: take photos of pieces you like. They provide inspiration for later. I keep a note on my cell phone with the fun ideas (this DIY Cloche was one of those ideas I got a while back).
I love the color of these Patio Chairs. I have some plastic ones that could use some brightening up, maybe I’ll give this color a try.
- They offer sales! I started following The Brass Armadillo on Facebook the moment I first walked in. And now every once and a while I see that they are offering sales on everything in the store. Now, I should clarify, The Brass Armadillo is not a single seller, this is the type of store with dozens of booths and each booth has a private owner, sometimes the owners offer sale prices apart from the store and usually the only way to know about those sales is to follow the vendor, or the signs they post in the booth. But I love that there are some times, when I can go in and anything I like is a part of the sale, no matter the seller.
- Tip number three: if the store or vendor is on social media, follow them. Its a great way to get information and updates.
- The place is CLEAN. This kind of ties back into number one, but I love when I don’t have to worry about my dust allergies going crazy the minute I walk in.
- The Locations . That is not a typo, there are multiple locations for The Brass Armadillo; Denver, CO, Omaha, NE, Kansas City, MO, Des Monies IA, Phoenix, AZ, and Goodyear, AZ.
- Last but not least, the People. This place has a ton of great vendors and employees and that makes the experience so much more enjoyable. My favorite thing is when I walk past a booth and the vendor is adding new items or rearranging things, its a great chance to chat with them about where they get there items, how they got into the business and maybe even haggle over a piece that you might want.
There are some drawbacks to a Antique Market like The Brass Armadillo. Because you never know if the vendor will be at the booth bartering can be a bit hard.(I love bartering, I feel like its a lost art form, we will talk more about that next month.) The prices can be a little higher, you are paying a retail price, not wholesale. I always recommend if you are looking for a specific piece, have an idea of the price you are willing to pay and stick to it. This isn’t the kind of place to find something that you need immediately, it can happen, but in most cases you are going to need to spend some time shopping around for what you want, based on price, condition, etc.
I have been searching for one of these Sears antique fans for a while. I love the sea foam green stands, I just have to find the right one at the right price.
I love visiting this place because it is a lot like a treasure hunt.