While there are many things to do and places to go on the Kenai Peninsula, antique shops and/or flea markets are rarely among them. Until the outdoor Swank Street Antiques & Art Market made its debut in Soldotna the weekend of July 18th, that is. “Swank Street is something that my friend Heidi Hinz and myself dreamed up so that we could gather local artists, collectors and home décor specialists at a central venue where they can offer their wears and antiques or creations, the best of their best at a setting similar to flea markets in the lower 48,” Jenny Smithwick told the Dispatch in an interview. The next Swank Street Antiques & Art Market will be held in between Pizza Boys and Kaladi Bros coffee shop on Kobuk Street off the Sterling Highway August 8th & 9th, and like the first market will offer a full schedule of local musicians playing live music for your shopping entertainment.
“I grew up here and miss a lot of the small shops we use to have. This has become a hobby of mine going to Homer and finding treasures in small shops. I make things and have a lot of talented friends that make amazing things so this was a fun dream Heidi and I had to meet that niche and give visitors, as well as local, the chance for some exciting summer shopping. We were excited at the response of our first market and the next one will be even better,” said Smithwick. At the first market well known artist and potter Kathy Painter was very impressed with the new market, “I’m just so excited to be here, there are so many talented artists in our area, potters, painters, glass workers and collectors, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to share our unique wares and meet the visitors that come here from all over the world. Jenny has done an awesome job bringing this together,” said Painter. According to Painter shoppers were not just looking with interest but buying what they saw, “This is a place to sell, I’m telling you we sold twice what we expected,” she said. “I use to have a small antique store in Kasilof, so this has been a perfect place for us to set up,” said Heidi Hinz of the Polka Dot Petticoat that featured a wide variety of enamel ware from Sweden.
The August 8-9 Swank Street Market will once again be overflowing with vendors favorite finds and creations including antique furnishings, up-cycled wares, pottery, paintings, vintage clothing, kitchen ware, home décor and textiles with concession stands including pizza by the slice from Pizza Boys of the Peninsula.