We love events in the neighborhood and are happy to recommend a micro-mini-version of  Food Truck Thursday, held off site this month at The Green Corner Store, and South Main Vintage Market in the Garden on Saturday.

Since the summer heat seems to have driven away some of the food truck regulars, Southern Gourmasian and The Green Corner Store are teaming up for a special offer: Dine on a Southern Gourmasian entree and get $1 off any soda fountain item at TGCS. Spicy and sweet – can’t be beat!

OK, enough with the rhymes. Let’s move on from food to shopping.

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Our vintage market has turned into a roaring success. Everything old is new again and recycling and upcycling seem to have reached a tipping point. We at the Garden love the concept of keeping things in use and out of landfills.

So does Brandy Thomason McNair of Bella Vita Jewelry, our featured vintage vendor. Her bachelor’s degree (from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville) is in Interior Design, but she realized shortly after college that “jewelry design is my passion.”

Brandy Thomason McNair credits her grandparents with inspiring her love of all things old. She turns them into new things.

Brandy Thomason McNair says her grandparents taught her to love all things old. She turns them into new things. Photo by Liz Sanders

Brandy credits her “wonderful” grandparents with guiding her in her love of making old things new. She even uses old cupcake tins and other vintage items to display her wares – some from her grandparents’ shops.

“My grandparents to this day save piles of what most people would call junk, but to me, it is my palette,” Brandy says. “Both sets of grandparents owned antique businesses, too,” so since childhood, her playgrounds were antique shops.

“I still go and pilfer through the shop that is still in business every single time I go home! I love it,” she says.

She also shares a love of antique and vintage buttons with her Grandma Florine, and the buttons she sells at the market come from her.

Vintage and antique buttons are part of Brandy Thomason McNair's stock.

Vintage and antique buttons are part of Brandy Thomason McNair’s stock.

“She is an antique button collector and dealer. We are both members of the National Button Society and attend meetings when we can. She even competes in the NBS competitions by curating beautiful trays of antique buttons.”

Brandy takes that love of buttons an extra few steps.

“I use the buttons in my jewelry designs and have even started a line of jewelry using the buttons for molds to make fine silver pendants.”

Though she loves buttons and started working with beads as a young teen, her favorite medium to work with is undeniable.

“Metal! Brass specifically. It’s so affordable and beautiful.”

We feel lucky to have Brandy as a vendor, but she feels lucky to be part of  “the garden in general and the vibe of SoMa.”

July was her first appearance and she’s looking forward to Saturday, especially “the shoppers that come by and admire the buttons and tell me about their moms’ and grandmas’ collections. I also get a chance to tell them about one of my biggest inspirations, my grandmother.”

We hope you’ll come see Brandy and the other vintage vendors, who vary from time to time but this week will definitely include Dayna Duncan with Roadside Attractions, Bev Kinley with Hillcrest CottageRoadside Attractions, Cindi Booth with Bijou Booth, and Nancy Dunning with Nancy Dunning Gallery.