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One of the vendor’s displays at St. Clair Antique Emporium in Gladewater.

Antique and vendor malls in the Upper East Side of Texas are a favorite destination for many shoppers. People enjoy vendor mall experiences for a variety of reasons. Each store offers its own vibe but the one constant is the thrill of the hunt.

Walking into a vendor mall feels a little like stepping back in time. Many are in historic buildings. Booths are divided with lace-covered screens, vintage doors hinged together, or dark fabrics hanging from the ceiling on metal bed frames.

Each booth offers its own distinct look through the vendor’s selection and curation of items. Many offer handcrafted artwork or new items like candles, soaps, and lotions.

Shoppers find toys from their youth, old Pyrex dishes, the china pattern their grandmothers used, stoneware or pottery crocks or vases, or antique furniture. Some venues in newer buildings are lighter and brighter with cleaner division of spaces and carry antiques or newer items.

These venues offer several advantages. They help the environment by reselling or repurposing items rather than being thrown away.

Local residents and out of towners seek out vendor malls and look through each space. Groups of friends often get together and go on shopping trips, enjoying both shops with new items and malls with vintage or used items.

Some are looking for antiques or certain furniture items like a drop-leaf table or chest of drawers. Others might be searching for a certain vintage piece, like an old flour sifter or a specific style of lamp. Others are looking to see what new trinkets or treasures are available each time they visit.

Starting at Wills Point on Highway 80 and traveling east to Gladewater, there are several vendor malls in small towns along the way.

Wills Point has a population of 3,711 and is a quaint old town with brick streets downtown. Mineola, with a population of 4,814, has a lot of shops and vendor malls for shoppers to enjoy. Gladewater, with a population of 6,134, was named the Antique Capital of East Texas in 2010. The malls in Gladewater are two and three blocks south of Highway 80 in the downtown area.

A couple of places to check out in Wills Point include Nook & Cranny and Julie’s Junque. In Mineola visit LW Antique Store, Karen’s Korner, Between Friends, and Vintage Charm. In Gladewater go to Gladewater Antique Mall, Round-Up Antique Mall, Antiques II, and St. Clair Antique Emporium. Call before visiting them to verify open hours of operation.

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