Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Wanna get away? That was a popular advertising line from a big airline here in the US a few years back. And it certainly rings a bell right now as many of us are facing freezing temperatures, ice, and too much snow.
If you are indeed planning a vacation, have you ever considered proactively weaving a bit of your Steiff passion into it? Steiffgal has found numerous Steiff treasures while "on the road," both via quests as well as serendipity. There are many ways to add a little "button-in-ear" to practically any destination. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
General antique shows:
Antiques are a national passion, and for the most part, there are shows happening all over the country at any given time. Once you know your travel dates and destination(s), simply google this information along with words like "antique" and "show," and any major or promoted show should pop right up. Steiffgal recently took a trip to Florida. In preparation, she googled "Florida," "antique show," and "January 2016" and came up with two shows that were near her travel destinations. She found one great Steiff treasure at each.
Doll and toy shows:
In addition to general antique shows, Steiff enthusiasts on the road may wish to time their visits to specific doll and toy shows - which often also feature great Steiff. A good website to see when many of these shows are happening is http://dollshowusa.com/, which lists events by state and date. These could be smaller shows, and can be associated with regional doll clubs. But you can do quite well at these events, and it is always energizing to be around fellow collectors.
Of course, the "mother of all doll shows" in the USA is the annual United Federation of Doll Clubs (UFDC) national event, which is held in July of each year. This gathering features a magnificent salesroom, which is open to the public for one day. It is truly worth the trip to see this museum-quality presentation, which always features a number of fabulous Steiff selections. You can read all about this annual show here: http://ufdc.org/convention/. UFDC also holds a number of smaller regional events that can be wonderful Steiff destinations; these are listed here: http://regions.ufdc.org/calendar.
Local antique malls and stores:
It is always fun to browse through area antique malls and stores, especially when the weather is not cooperating on a vacation day. And you never know what might turn up in the next glass showcase! Steiffgal has found that searching on www.Yelp.com is a good way to find the better destinations in any given area. You can also check out https://www.antiquemalls.com/ which lists area antique malls. But always call ahead to make sure that the store or mall will be open (or is still in business) when you plan to visit.
Doll clubs are another great source of information for Steiff collectors on the road. UFDC has clubs all over the world. These are posted by regions on the organization's website at http://regions.ufdc.org/. Try pinging the area director of your destination area via email. This contact information is available on the webpage. These folks should be able to tell you the best museums, destinations, and toy/doll/antique shopping in their areas. They will also be aware of any upcoming area toy events and shows that are open to the public.
And finally, Steiffgal would be amiss if she did not mention Facebook as a great way to add a little Steiff to any vacation. Putting up a post on your page requesting Steiff-centric destinations in a specific area is a good way of getting "boots on the ground" information. If you are comfortable with it, and you know a Facebook friend with a passion for Steiff who lives in the vicinity of your travels, perhaps contact them and suggest you meet for coffee. Steiffgal has done this numerous times and has made some great friends in the process!
Steiffgal hopes these recommendations will help you source some fantastic Steiff finds on your next vacation!
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