Whether I’m on a treasure hunt to find the perfect Polaroid camera or a quest to track down the perfect vintage scarf, a trip to an antique store is one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday afternoon. When I was a kid growing up in Franklin, my mom used to drag my brother, sister, and I to all the different antique stores on the South Side. Back then, I hated antique stores. I thought they smelled funny and there was never anything for me to do except answer my mom when she asked if I liked a certain lamp or a lace tablecloth. As I grew older, I started to realize the value of antique stores and the unique products within them. Dresses. Dishes. Knickknacks. Old art.
My love for antique stores increased dramatically once I started to attend DePauw University over in Greencastle, an hour west of Indy. If you’ve never been there, it is the most charming little town, but if you want a new pair of flats or a cute new blouse, you’re in the wrong zipcode. I am not trying to insult Greencastle in the least, I love that little town with all my Hoosier heart. But when I went on study-benders where the only way to regain my sanity was with a bit of retail therapy, the only stores Greencastle had to offer me were a Peebles and a Fashion Bug. So I started my weekly trips to the antique and thrift stores.
Today, some of my favorite possessions came from my antique treks: an owl lamp, leather lace-up boots, a poofy black dress, the list goes on. And while I’m no longer in school, (now I work for Scarves Dot Net, an awesome scarf store on the South Side), I continue to explore the shops around central Indiana. Here are my favorites.
♥ Bird on a Wire and Salvage Sisters, Franklin
Salvage Sisters, 398 East Jefferson Street, Franklin, Indiana
Bird on a Wire, 462 East Jefferson Street Franklin, Indiana
These two shops on the South Side are some of the best I’ve ever been to. They are feminine and fun, yet they still have incredible prices on some of their items. Salvage Sisters has more clothing and home decor while Bird on a Wire has a mix of handmade goods meets vintage. If Pinterest had a store, Bird on a Wire would be it. I cannot recommend it enough.
Globe lamps from Bird on a Wire.
♥Exit 76 Antique Mall
12595 N. Executive Drive, Edinburgh, Indiana
Another one of my favorites, the Exit 76 Antique Mall is enormous. It has a mix of collectibles and antiques– there are clothing booths, camera booths, furniture booths, and taxidermy animal booths. (No joke.) I love this antique mall because I’ve found my favorite vintage camera bag here, as well as some clothes and a few vintage suitcases. You see people from all over the state and country walking down the aisles and it is almost overwhelmingly large.
♥Midland Antique Mall
(Downtown) 907 East Michigan Street Indianapolis, Indiana
I recently visited Midland Antique Mall for the first time and I was floored. This place is not only HUGE, but there are so many wonderfully-curated booths with decent prices. Some of the items are a bit pricey, but Midland has incredible furniture and some well-known art mixed with doctors’ bags and a room full of chandeliers. Seriously a room full of them. I also thought a classroom map of the US was really neat.
♥Carmel Old Towne Antique Mall
38 W. Main Street, Carmel, Indiana
With their cool old building, unique mural, and great location a stone’s throw from Bazbeaux pizza, the Carmel Old Towne Antique mall has great glassware and is a more classic antique shop. If you don’t like the kitschy retro antiques, this is the place for you.
♥Reclamation in Broadripple
5335 Winthrop Ave, Indianapolis, IN
Photo from Sarah of Tulle And Trinkets
If you’re looking for a shop with great photo ops, this is the place. Reclamation has a great selection of clothes, the setup is quirky, and the prices are fair.
♥Days Gone By Antique Store in Fountain Square
A cute little shop in the heart of Fountain Square, Days Gone By has a wonderful collection of trinkets, clothes, and cheap records. It has an eclectic and small-town feel even though it is close to downtown. One of the racks was full of vintage shirts and dresses and there was another entire section of formal gowns.
♥Gilley’s Antique Mall in Plainfield
5789 E US 40 Plainfield, Indiana
One of my favorite haunts during my DePauw years, Gilley’s has an insane collection of furniture, clothes, hats, trinkets, dishes, everything. Most things have very fair prices– this is where I bought my favorite pair of vintage lace-up boots you can see here on my blog. I love, love, love Gilley’s and it is totally worth it to make the 30-minute drive out to Plainfield.
♥Yellow Moon Antique Mall and the Mooresville Open Market in Mooresville
8 West Main Street, Mooresville , Indiana
Finally, another two of my favorite shops. These two stores are located right across the street from each other and they have wonderful vintage dresses, table cloths, home goods, and cameras. I bought one of my favorite Polaroid cameras from the Mooresville Open Market.
Whether you’re a vintage newbie or you’ve been a thrifter for life, central Indiana has some of the best antique stores in the land and I am so happy to share them. (As long as everyone stays away from the scarves and Polaroid cameras. ;)) If anyone has any suggestions or more advice, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter! (@SewStacie)