With Mother’s Day fast approaching, you may be tempted to grab some generic item from a big-box retailer for the special women in your life. But if you’re anywhere near Tuscaloosa, Sylvia Parker, Jamie Cicatiello and Lori Watts have a better idea.
The three women are the creative and curatorial force behind one of Alabama’s most unusual shopping experiences, the 5th Street Vintage Market. Now in its fifth year, the market is held in the spring and fall, on the first Sunday of the month, and again in December for the holidays. Vendors are curated and sell vintage and antique clothing, jewelry, linens, records and more.
“You can find something really unique, that’s special,” said Parker. “Something you’re not going to be able to find in a chain store.”
They started the market in 2012 when they found themselves having to travel out to state in order to vend their vintage goods. Parker is a web designer who specializes in vinyl records. Cicatiello sells clothing, housewares, furniture and original art from her Tuscaloosa store, Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy, and does reupholstering. Watts operates her own store, This Ol’ Thing Vintage, inside Grace Aberdean. She also does estate sales and has a cult following for her jewelry finds.
“There are several old-fashioned flea markets, but they tend to open their doors to all vendors,” said Watts. “We try to stay away from the whole ‘flea’ aspect. We saw that Tuscaloosa needed a space for vendors to gather to sell vintage and antiques. We really wanted this to be curated and to bring in the things that we love. We’re just glad we created our own here.”