Russell Jacobi lives in the past, literally. Dealing limited edition vintage pieces from any number of eras at Geelong Vintage Market it’s like the adage – one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Russell loves to unite people with lost memories, inspiring people to recall and relive days gone by.
Good Old Days
Russell Jacobi: I was born and educated here in Geelong. My background is in Visual Merchandising, exhibition and display, and event management. I source and find props for my clients, so my background is creative, rather than your average second-hand dealer.
Geelong Vintage Market has approximately 85 stallholders all bringing in new vintage finds on a daily basis. Many of the stallholders specialise in a particular eras, for example retro teak furniture or rustic items like old metal tractor seats. We have unique vintage clothing from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, reinvented treasures from a distant heaven, old Hollywood glamour, a huge collection of vinyl records, LPs and singles and Australian recording artists like Normie Rowe. There are a lot of collectors that come in for things like swap cards, Coke memorabilia, stamps, coins, dolls and industrial furniture. Variety and price are a big draw card – you don’t have to spend anything, it’s just a lot of fun going back in time. For others it’s inspirational, wandering around collecting ideas. There’s lots of bargains to be found from as little as $5 – it’s a treasure hunt.
Many of my customers are from the movie industry, stylists, interior decorators and collectors. My motto is “Vintage Inspirations for the collector or Homemaker – Create your own Vintage Style.” By this I mean when a customer comes in I can work with them on theming a wedding, a party, an engagement or just an unusual piece for a special event. There are so many choices with so many stallholders to choose from. And being one of the day managers, I’m on top of where everything is and can usually turn an inquiry into a sale.
Before I became a stallholder here I was their biggest customer, bringing in my customers from Queensland and Northern NSW. I have supplied some of the biggest retail fashion stores in Australia with props for new store openings, promotional events and marketing thrusts like Easter and Christmas. Geelong Vintage Marketplace also have customers from Tasmania, New Zealand as far as USA, and the UK, and last weekend I had a lady in from South Africa who was looking for bone handle knives with wide blades for icing cakes. She bought two from me for $10 and she was so excited about her find. She had been looking for them for a very long time.
There is a lot of emotion attached to antique and vintage items, some happy, some funny and some sad. I love it when people share some of their life experiences and stories with me. It is wonderful when someone goes off happy with a treasure that they feel they are reunited with after a long separation. I think you have to have an old soul to appreciate preloved goods, and I just love talking to these people. Authentic militaria and taxidermy are highly sought after – there is really nothing that we can’t usually supply.
My Dad was a big inspiration to me in his retirement years. He would find an old chair or bedside table, give it a lick of paint and a new set of knobs and a little love, and it would be ready. Then I would put it on sale. Many times a young couple starting out in life would purchase the item and take it home with them. An old item with a new beginning.
There are a lot of old families, homes and businesses in Geelong and surrounding district so every now and then a clearance sale or an auction will unearth some of the local history. Geelong has a thriving creative scene with very talented musicians and fashion designers, extremely creative arts and crafts.
The Pickers Union Cafe attached to Geelong Vintage Marketplace have the best coffee from local roaster The Coffee Cartel. The Pickers Union specialise in coffee from around the world. In the morning when Chef Nickie is cooking freshly baked muffins the aroma is amazing. All food prep is on site and the food is amazing. Come in and get spoiled by the friendly team and say hello to the owners Sev and Bek.
Town and Country Pizza, Waurn Ponds shopping Centre. Traditional recipes, eat in or take away and simply the best Italian food in Victoria. Stop in and say hello to the owner Frank.
Torquay – best beach on the surf coast and Orange Leaf for the best frozen Yoghurt in Australia. It’s worth a drive on a hot summers night to try.
Finding treasures at Geelong Vintage Market
Pakington street Geelong West – great shopping precinct, great little cafes and bars.
Best Road Trip
The Great Ocean Road – sun kissed coastline, spectacular views on the way to Lorne.
More info at geelongvintagemarket.com.au