Sue Rowley is moving in today, carting in furniture and setting up right at the far end of the front desk. Sue’s business is called Bella, but she swore up and down that it isn’t named after the vampire girl. The business was named Bella when she started it in 2007, because “bella” means beautiful. It’s pretty clear that Sue has an eye for beautiful things. However, she described her aesthetic with different words, like “eclectic” and “industrial.” Her aesthetic seems to be a rather open ended one that admits both chipped paint, victorian intricacies, and rusty wagon wheels.
Sue and her husband Joe are not only locals, but they are also well experienced. The two have been living the Portland metro for about 4 decades. Which, seems like a very long time when you say it out loud. They visit estate sales all the time and find most of their treasures locally. Sue rented her first little bitty space to sell her finds back in 1993. According to Sue, what happens is that when you get started going to flea markets and estate sales, pretty soon you start finding deals on things that you know you don’t remotely need. And, even if you don’t need it, often you just can’t give up a good deal. If this goes on for a little bit, soon your house will be full of stuff, and the only thing to do is resell your lucky finds. Since 2007 Joe and Sue have been renting spaces, attending flea markets, and traveling to do shows such as Alameda Point Antiques Faire and The Farm Chicks Antique Show. Andrea asked them to join the Grand Marketplace as vendors back in July of this year, but Sue said she felt like she was too busy to nab the opportunity then. While we are doing a little reorganizing now, Andrea asked her again and this time Sue said “yes.” Andrea says she asked three times.
I asked Sue if she had brought a favorite piece to the Grand Marketplace with her, and she said she had. She has this little turquoise colored metal cabinet on rollers that she adores. She says she loves it because the cabinet is fully functional, on little rollie feet. She loves the two colors of chipped paint and the little spots of rust. I kind of fell in love with it because of a little switch on the side of the cabinet that claims to turn on the motor. Sue says she doesn’t know what it was originally used for or why it would need a motor.