Vendor Profile: Urban Relics

Vendor Profile: Urban Relics

We’ve been friends with Jan Cowdrey for years. Recently we’ve been combing the Dallas collector and antique dealer’s collection of finds for our store and scored everything from a bench made from an old chippy paint door to vintage shutters we’re turning into a mobile wall display. The huge French antique frame that outlines our popular vendor photo wall in the office is from Jan and one of my favorite Canton finds ever.

For the past 20 years, Jan — a Carrollton Texas resident originally from Wisconsin — has been in the antique business. She used to be a retail buyer for chain and small novelty stores and now has her own junking small biz and sells in Canton each month and at Dallas antique malls.

Get to know this hard working woman and give her a high five next time you’re in Canton! Speaking of, the market starts today and will be open through Sunday at sundown.

How long have you been collecting and junking? Since I was a teenager!

Where do you sell your finds? I have been selling at First Monday Trade Days for the past five years and I am in an antique store called Benny Jack Antiques in Dallas.

Why did you choose to vend at First Monday Trade Days? I chose Canton because it’s a great outlet for my kind of items — chippy paint frames, old doors, metal patio sets. I also love my customers there and like all of the vendors around me. It’s fun!

Which months are you there? I am usually there about 11 months out of the year. If I miss a market, it’s because I’m out of town.

How would you describe your finds’ style? My style is a lot of things — bohemian, industrial, farmhouse, rustic, unusual and one-of-a-kind. I can’t say no to things with chippy paint!

Where do you collect your finds? I find things at other flea markets, east coast and midwest estate sales, auctions, Facebook, Round Top, thrift stores and wherever my heart leads me. I handpick everything I sell myself.

Why do you do what you do? It’s the thrill of the hunt! I love this business so much. If I could have sold my things when I was in my thirties and eliminated all of my other jobs, I would have.

Tips for shoppers that want to shop First Monday Trade Days? My tip for Canton shoppers is to shop the Antique Alley area outside of the Civic Center. That is where you find the best things.

Most people might not realize that First Monday vendors sleep on site. What that’s like? We have a big travel trailer that stays in an RV Park right off of the grounds. I love the people that own it. They are like family. So I call this my little country home because I live in a suburb in Dallas. It’s my home away from home. When we first bought the trailer, we replaced almost everything on the inside of it because we wanted it more bohemian and funky. I recovered all of the cushions and valances in a funky fabric. It’s more “us” now.

Where are you located in Canton? I am behind the Civic Center, on the last aisle along the creek (row 106 space 20).

Do you find time to shop the market? I have a little time to shop when my husband is there with me. I also shop the vendors that are close to me. We support one another.

What is your favorite flea market find ever? My favorite ever is an old concrete swan planter that had part of the neck missing. I found it in Canton many years ago. I love things that have missing parts like a headless statue.

Meet Jan each month at First Monday Trade Days located at 800 First Monday Lane in Canton or shop her wares at Benny Jack Antiques located at 1920 N. Haskell Avenue in Dallas.