Hello there! Today on “Meet the Dealer” we have wonderful Linda Hiatt Wahl and her daughters, Jackie and Christi, who all together form “The Sparrow’s Nest” booth. The fam has been a part of the Stars and Splendid Antiques family for over a year and you can come visit them at Splendid—they are dealer #186!
“Go early, hope the person was hoarder, bring gloves and dig in.”–Linda Hiatt Wahl, Splendid dealer #186
It’s a family affair right down to the littlest family members, Linda’s granddaughters! Linda has spent much of her life in the handmade and recycled vintage businesses. Jackie owns Every Husband’s Nightmare (at the Washington Co Fair Grounds) and is an expert junker who’s always on the lookout for a deal and anything rusty. Christi loves sparkle and adds vintage jewelry to most of her creations. Christi likes to spendsher free time digging through vintage jewelry on the hunt for the perfect piece for her re-imagined jewelry line. Linda’s husband, Roy, paints and fixes much of the furniture in their lovely booth. Hunting for furniture to refurbish is Linda’s new favorite hobby—it remains to be seen if it’s her husband’s favorite.
How did you get into vintage?
Vintage has long been a passion of mine. It started in the early 1980s when my daughter, Christi, was little. We’d spend hours traveling from one Shirley’s estate sale to the next. At the time I was making pillows with antique linens and buttons and I taught her how to spot mother of pearl buttons and what was a good “cutter” piece of linen. Christi had a keen eye by 3, not many 3 years olds had melt downs that eventually took their Mom’s back to a vintage store for a little white wire dolly table and chairs–maybe that’s why she went on to study art history. My other daughter has been a bargain hunter her entire life and vintage was a natural extension of that skill. Today, she’s teaching her two daughters, Josi and Jaida, how to spot good vintage pieces amongst the junk at garage and estate sales. It’s really a family affair these days!
Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
Currently white vases, Rose Chintz and brown transfer ware make my heart dance. I’ve recently re-done my living room to focus around these three loves. For Jackie, it’s owls and anything rusty or galvanized. She lives out in the country and is currently planning her dream home that will be filled to the rafters with her chipped wood dressers and rusty baskets. Christi is always on the prowl for vintage Halloween and has a growing collection–she’s even trained my granddaughter Jaida to spot skulls and black cats.
What is your dream vintage score?
Hands down–it would be a Coats & Clark spool cabinet at a good price.
What is the vintage score that got away?
Back in the 1980s I spotted a set of floral chintz plates. At the time I had children at home and was on a tight budget. When I finally made up my mind to splurge, they were gone when I went back.
Any vintage shopping tips?
Speed matters, finding that diamond in the rough is all about being the first one to spot and grab it. As such, you can’t debate too long. Estate sales tend to have higher prices, garage and barn sales are the best. Go early, hope the person was hoarder, bring gloves and dig in. I also recommend buying what you like, if it doesn’t sell right away it’s always a good excuse to grow your own collection.
What is your favorite place to eat in Portland?
My husband and I live out in Hillsboro and have become addicted to this new noodle shop, Vivi’s Vietnamese Noodle House at 1035 NE 25th Ave, Hillsboro, OR. Also, the old theater in Hillsboro which has been transformed into the Venetian Theatre & Bistro (253 E. Main Street). One place in Portland that will always hold a special meaning to my daughter and I is Papa Haydn’s. When Christi was young, we used to make special trips just to indulge in their black forest cake.
What non-vintage shops do you frequent?
I’m a big fan of Hollyhill Quilt Shop in West Linn.
Do you find inspiration in any movies, TV shows, music, theater, arts, sports, recreation etc?
All love all of the picking shows and HGTV.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working or sewing for the store, I like to travel, spend time with my little 3–soon to be 4–granddaughters. The granddaughters keep me young and entertained.
How do you unwind?
After much harassment by my family, I’m taking the year to finish the 40+ quilt tops sitting around my house and everyone is getting a quilt this year.
Have any fun trips planned?
I go several times a year to see a friend in Boise and we visit local quilt shops and Antique Malls. My daughter, Christi, volunteers for an organization, GiveLove helping to rebuild Haiti and hopes to visit Port-au-Prince this year. Jackie is ready to go back to Mexico, lay in the sun and finish a couple good books while the girls splash about in the pool.
Are there other collectors in your household?
It’s family affair–no age is too young to teach the granddaughters how to junk. My granddaughter Jaida’s already started a little collection of ceramic animals from Japan and her sister Josi is always pointing finds out and asking when she can sell her stuff in the booth.
Have any shop announcements?
We’re always refreshing our booth with new finds and looks for the season. After Jackie’s little ones get settled in school, we anticipate switching the booth to an autumn look!