Donna and Peggy Cannella are busy year round.
Between running their antique shop in downtown Braselton to planning two antique shows with 300-plus vendors, they don’t take much of a break. They even host a few other antique shows throughout the year, one of which, the Art-Tique Vintage Market, is coming up Aug. 23-25 in Braselton. The market will run from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 23, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 24 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 25.
“There's nothing going on this time of the year,” Donna Cannella said.
So, with her wife, Peggy, Donna Cannella puts on the show that has brought in 100 vendors and at least 10,000 guests each time for the past few years.
“It's everything from antiques, home decor, boutiques, salvage and rustic items,” Donna Cannella said. “There’s really popular stuff like jewelry, pottery, repurposed furniture and local artwork.”
One of the vendors that comes out to many of the shows hosted by the Cannellas is Beth Ford. She owns Burlap & Bluebirds and loves visiting with all the people who stop by her booth.
“It’s fun and exciting,” Ford said. “It’s one-on-one contact with customers.”
She sells vintage home decor pieces, antiques and primitives. She said she also does some repurposing on “old pieces when they’re not useful in today’s society.”
“I do a little bit of everything,” Ford said. “I try to appeal to somebody somewhere.”
She said the Art-Tique Vintage Market is one of her favorite shows since it’s so close to home. It has more of a “hometown feel” than some others she visits and she always enjoys seeing the locals who come out.
The Art-Tiques Vintage Market has an extra touch, though, because it’s hosted by the Cannellas, who Ford has gotten to know over the years. Their shop in Braselton, Countryside Antiques, was the first shop where Ford had a space.
“I love working with them,” Ford said. “They’re wonderful people. … And the shows they do are always good shows and close to home. They have a really good following, so it works out really well.”
Debbie Turner feels the same. She runs Turner’s Treasures, which specializes in vintage jewelry, and makes sure to go to as many markets and festivals the Cannellas host as she can because of how smoothly everything goes.
“We draw in a great crowd,” Turner said. “There’s such a variety of stuff, and I have very loyal customers that come back to see me.”
She has a booth in Countryside Antiques, too, but likes getting out at markets so she can talk about her items with the people who are interested in them.
“All the people are just nice as can be,” Turner said. “The people that live around there that come every time to the festival are wonderful and just good people.”
This life is something Donna Cannella said she stumbled into. She was in health care before her life in antiques. The person in charge of the Braselton Antiques and Artisan Festival, which the Cannellas now own, needed someone to take over.
“Somebody that believed in me more than I did myself back in 2008 … was moving out of state and across the country and said (the market) is going to die,” Donna Cannella said.
He told her she had the “personality and drive” to carry on the market and started telling people she’d be taking over.
“That kind of put the pressure on,” Donna Cannella said. “But he was right, and I'm so glad because it gave me a completely new avenue in life.”
The Cannellas have grown the Braselton Antique and Artisan Festival to a twice-a-year market that draws 30,000 people and vendors from places like New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and all across the southeast.
The Art-Tiques Vintage Market is the “sister show” to that festival, but that doesn’t mean the Cannellas treat it as if it’s less important.
“My promise to (vendors) is that I'm going to bring people here,” Donna Cannella said. “And their promise to me is to bring things that people are going to want to keep them coming.”