NorthStar Collective is not in the business of hosting reunions and meet-and-greets, per se, but as a show promotion and management company both are bonus outcomes of serving the antiques and collectibles community.
This was indeed the case during NorthStar’s unveiling of the Boone County Treasure Hunt in September. Featuring 300 vendor booths, the three-in-one show was held at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, Indiana. The shows include the Boone County Gas & Oil Show, Indianapolis Antique Advertising Show and the Boone County Vintage Market. In 2018 NorthStar will present two Boone County Treasure Hunts: May 5-6 and Sept. 22-23.
The Treasure Hunt came about following NorthStar’s purchase earlier this year of the Indy Antique Advertising Show, as well as the Gateway Gas & Ad Show, from B & D Promotions. The Indy Ad Show as it is commonly called by dealers and attendees alike, is in its 45th year; and it drew vendors and attendees who hadn’t seen one another in a while, explained Nona Amour Wilson, founder of NorthStar Collective.
Antique Trader caught up with Wilson recently to chat about the Treasure Hunt. And we got the scoop on future NorthStar events, and gain insight into ‘show business’ of late.
The Treasure Hunt goal
Antique Trader: Tell us a bit about the idea behind the Boone County Treasure Hunt, and your three-shows-in-one approach.
Nona Amour Wilson: We hoped to draw collectors from across different areas of interest and produce a more diversified crowd of collectors. It gives the whole family a day to enjoy because there is something for everyone.
A husband may enjoy the Gas & Oil show while his wife can go into the general antique section and find items to decorate their home, as well as acquire personal items for herself like jewelry, etc. They come together at lunch and enjoy the great food vendors on the fairgrounds and share their newly found treasures. They could move on to a different part of the show and choose to participate in the auction. (The auction was presented by 326 Auctions).
AT: What unique qualities do you feel the Indy Antique Advertising Show and the Gateway Gas & Advertising Show bring to NorthStar’s family of shows (four unique shows in total)?
Wilson: Indy has always been the place to go to find the best of the best in advertising and general store items. This show brings more depth to our dealer base and buyers as well. The Gas & Oil Show is steadily proving to be a popular show for all ages of collectors and has been on the bucket list to add to the portfolio. It’s just a natural fit with the hardcore advertising collectors. It brought groups of people together, who in many cases, had never attended the other types of shows. It also attracted a lot of first-time buyers, from what we learned speaking with attendees and dealers.
Producing antique shows
AT: Tell us a little about your company, NorthStar Collective.
Wilson: With over 20 years of combined experience in antique sales, NorthStar Collective is a business solely focused on the promotion of great antique shows. In regards to the team, I as the owner, along with my husband and our son (Tim) manage the shows. We get the work done, but God only knows how. We are very thankful and humbled by the way dealers and buyers alike have received us and welcomed us into the business.
AT: What changes/developments are you seeing in ‘show business’ the last year or so? (Types of dealers selling, audience interest, objects offered and sought after?)
Wilson: People are still looking for and actively buying high condition rare items for their enjoyment and investment. They are also having a great time decorating with repurposed and up-cycled items from the past. It’s good to see these items pulled from junk piles and made into something useful for our lives.
AT: If you were to describe an antique and collectible show to someone who had never been, what would you say?
Wilson: It is like a walk down memory lane for older demographics and a history lesson for the younger generation.
It’s also an opportunity for individuals to look at their investment portfolio and determine if investing in the history of Americana makes sense for them. For many, it has made a great deal of sense because as the items become more scarce, values tend to increase.
Antique show appeal
AT: Antique and vintage advertising appears to be a common focus of your shows. What is it about that collecting interest that NorthStar Collective finds so exciting and appealing? In what ways have you seen interest in advertising items evolve over the years?
Wilson: We are passionate about the collecting; that excitement about our events’ content makes it easy for us to promote these type of shows. And it isn’t NorthStar’s events, it truly is about the vendors’ hard work and participation. They are the heart of the show; without them we would be nothing.