Promoters Say Millennials Will Remake Antiques World

Promoters Say Millennials Will Remake Antiques World

14 February, 2015

CHICAGO (June 26, 2013)–Antiques Shows will grow to reflect the preferences of millennials, or perish, say promoters of Vintage Garage Chicago, the Grand Rapids Antiques Market, the Dallas Vintage Clothing and Jewelry Show and other events. Also known as Generation Y, millennials are generally considered those born between 1982 and 2000. There are as many as 95 million millennials in the U.S. (compared to 77 million baby boomers).

“The baby boomers brought a lot of energy into the antiques world in the 1980s,” says Eric Miller of Vintage Promotions, LLC. “That same energy will return in the next decade as the youngest millennials move into homes and start families.

“But don’t expect them to pick up where the boomers left off,” Miller cautions. “They have their own interests and like what they like for their own reasons.”

While some Millennials do collect, Melissa Sands of Vintage Promotions says to a larger degree they are looking for things that are useable and wearable.

“They want things they can incorporate into their lives; things that are an expression of themselves and their personalities,” Sands says. “They also look to vintage for its local and sustainable qualities.”

While millennials are the first generation to grow up digital, they have affinities to old-word technologies. The recent resurgence of the vinyl record is credited to interest among millennials. Moreover a recent study found Americans under age 30 were more, not less likely than older adults to have read a printed book in the past year.

“They may not be buying furniture and glass yet, but there certainly is a solid interest in the old world,” Miller notes.

While the numbers of millennials show promise, there is some reason for caution in the immediate future. Millennials are staying single longer, living in smaller spaces or with relatives and sometimes foregoing driving. Plus recent economic times have been particularly hard on this generation.

“On one hand being single longer may provide more time for activities like antiques shopping, but small living spaces and lack of mobility (especially for purchased objects) presents other challenges,” Miller says. “Shows in accessible locations will have the best opportunities to reach these consumers.”

“The boom will start when the economic outlook for millennials improves and they move into larger spaces that better allow for the accumulation of vintage things.”

Currently, Miller says, millennials likely don’t often see antiques for their historical or artistic qualities. But window shopping is only so much fun.

“When they have the means, I suspect the interest will be right behind it,” Miller says.

About Vintage Promotions, LLC
Vintage Promotions, LLC is operated by Melissa Sands and Eric Miller. Melissa has decades of experience as a dealer in vintage merchandise and is an expert in vintage clothing and jewelry. Based in Dallas, Eric is engaged with the antiques and art world, has experience in formal antiques shows and is a well-known proponent of sustainable living. In addition to the North Shore Flea, Vintage Promotions operates Vintage Garage Chicago, the Dallas Vintage Clothing and Jewelry Show and Texas Art Collector Show and Sale of Early Texas Art.

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Millennials Antique Shows