There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that goes like this: “Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.”
If Frederick were an oyster, it could be said that its antique, vintage and previously-owned treasures were its “pearls.”
In shops all around the county, furniture, clothing and trinkets are just waiting for someone to dive on in. Here’s our guide to some of the area’s unique vintage and consignment stores and tag sales.
Chartreuse & co.
4007 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday on the third weekend of the month
“When we’re open, the crowd is here, the music is playing, the food truck is serving freshly-prepared gourmet fare; locally-grown flowers, herbs, and cut flowers are for sale,” says co-owner Virginia Crum. “It’s an event, a fabulous outing in the country, and a chance to score some great vintage finds.”
Those finds include vintage, industrial, European, garden, architectural salvage, “all displayed in inspired vignettes,” Crum says.
Her recent favorite finds are “blue-and-white, fleur-de-lis tiles salvaged from the kitchen of the rectory of the Ghent Cathedral,” she says. “I found them at a quirky flea market in Belgium and still haven’t been able to bring myself to put them out for sale.”
Chartreuse & Co. is housed in the farm buildings and tenant house of Crum’s grandparents’ farm.
Chic to Chic Boutique
30 E. Patrick St., Frederick
Chic to Chic describes itself as a high-end consignment boutique.
It asks its consignors for brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach, Prada, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, though lots more labels can be found on its racks. Gently worn and more recent styles of purses, shoes, dresses, work wear and jewelry, most of which cost a fraction of their brand new counterparts, can be found in the small downtown shop.
A “big sister” store is located on Luanne Drive in Gaithersburg.
415 S. Jefferson St., Frederick
“We love vintage, retro, weird junk and recycled fun,” says Elizabeth LeBlanc.
“In years past there was a stigma in second-hand shopping. Thankfully it has now become cool to buy vintage with shows like ‘Flea Market Flip’ and websites such as Pinterest making it easy, practical and less wasteful to recycle, upcycle and reuse items that have been loved before.”
Some of her own favorite items include globes, old maps and vintage suitcases.
24 E. Patrick St., Frederick
“We try to create an inviting atmosphere that is like walking into someone’s house,” says owner Judy Russell, who describes her store as an upscale resale shop that offers a continually changing inventory of gently-used furniture and decorative accessories.
“Furniture is arranged in tasteful vignettes. ... We have had people purchase entire vignettes where the items might have been consigned from three or four consignors. We do our best to merchandise the furniture and accessories in a way that makes sense, even though the items are from multiple households.”
110 E. Ridgeville Boulevard, Mount Airy
9809 Liberty Road, Frederick
Lucy’s is another consignment store geared toward young people — really young people. In fact, their focus is babies.
“Consignment of children’s items is a perfect marriage of recycling and saving money,” says owner Ginny Baird. “So many children’s items are used for just ... a matter of weeks before a child grows through that size. So due to the short cycle of use, many items are like new.”
Between her two locations in Frederick and Mount Airy, almost 3,000 items are processed per week, including brands like Gymboree, Gap, Janie and Jack, Under Armour, Stride Rite, Nike, The North Face and Ugg.
Lucy’s also carries clothing for young children and teens, footwear up to adult size 10 for girls and adult size 13 for boys, maternity clothing, toys, books, DVDs, baby equipment and bikes.
5100 Buckeystown Pike #162, Frederick
Plato’s Closet is not your typical consignment store. They pay their consignors cash, on the spot, for trendy, gently used items.
Plato’s is geared more toward teenagers, and that’s part of the reason Debra Kattler and her husband, who have two teen daughters, chose to open a franchise in 2010.
“It is also important to us that we are part of the movement to reuse and repurpose clothing,” she says.
Sweet Clover Vintage Barn Sale
4051 Stanford Court, Frederick
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday on the third weekend of the month
Sweet Clover is a once-per-month vintage tag sale held in a two-story barn.
“We offer an eclectic mix and carry industrial and rustic styles all the way to midcentury and glam, and everything in between,” say COOs Sarah Zullo and Cassie Bustamante. “Our vision is to offer our customers a wide variety of styles under one roof and help them see their spaces in a new light.”
“Cassie and I met via Craiglslist,” Sarah says. “Maybe it sounds a little creepy, but I learned of her furniture business and blog when I was trolling Craigslist for furniture after moving. We got to know each other as local Maryland bloggers. When Cassie moved closer to me she invited my daughter and I over for an afternoon of crafting. As our friendship and our children’s blossomed, Cassie suggested that we partner to sell painted furniture and vintage decor. When the opportunity came to us to start Sweet Clover two years ago, we jumped at the chance.”
1507 W. Patrick St., Frederick
Thrift Angel carries a spectrum of items, from furniture — antique, shabby chic and modern pieces — to housewares, shoes and clothing for men, women and kids, collectibles and antiques.
“We offer something for everyone, whether it be that family looking for items to start a new house with a limited budget or that person looking for that hidden treasures,” says co-owner Gary Amsley.
Venus on the Half Shell
101 E. Patrick St., Frederick
“My focus is on wearable vintage clothing for men and women,” says owner Jennifer Stillrich. “I like my things to be something someone could actually put on and wear right out of the store that day if they wanted to ... things you can mix with newer fashions.”
Clothing items at Venus range from mid-century ballgowns to ‘80s band tour T-shirts. The store also carries jewelry and accessories.
In April, they celebrated 19 years in business. Stillrich opened the store with her best friend at the time, who she worked with at an antique mall. They both loved vintage clothing.
“We would toss around the idea, ‘Oh wouldn’t it be fun to have a shop one day?’” After joking around about it for a while, her friend rented a small space for fun. “It took off and a year later we needed a bigger space,” Stillrich says.
Her favorite piece that ever came through the store: A 1940s black mesh gown with floral appliqués. She bought it to have in her personal collection, thinking she would be able to fit into it after losing a few pounds. When that didn’t happen, she took it to the store and it sold soon thereafter.
Six years later, she walked into an antique mall and saw it. The woman who had purchased it had a booth there. She bought it back on the spot.