By Ashley Jayne
Ingham County Chronicle
In February 1997, antique traders Randy and Annette Wiles hosted the first annual Tiger Productions Garage Sale and Flea Market at the Ingham County Fairgrounds. Since 1997, the Wileses and other vendors have returned every year, making Feb. 7 and 8, 2015 their 19th annual show. For the 2015 show, 143 vendors came from all around southern Michigan. While some offered homemade items, such as knitted scarves and hand-painted birdhouses, others brought antiques they had collected to sell at the garage sale.
For commercial and industrial painter Mark Haskell, this year’s show was his first as a vendor. Haskell brought hand-painted
items including two vases, a canvas and some mason jars.
“I started to do some artwork around the house, and I felt like enough people were telling me I was good enough at it,” said Haskell. “I wanted to do some cheaper paintings and try to sell them.”
Craig Ferris brought his hand-crafted Native American art. On his tables were woven friendship bracelets, dream catchers, medicine bags and hair accessories. According to Ferris, all his products are made from materials used by Native Americans.
“I used to live on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota,” said Ferris. “I’ve been doing it for 30 years, and take great pride in using all of the real materials. It is all real glass, brass, fur and wood. I don’t use any plastic.”
Several vendors sold collected antiques at the show. Garage sale host Annette Wiles and her husband, Randy, displayed items ranging from old license plates to antique dolls to vintage jewelry. The couple had one of the largest booths in the arena and collects their merchandise from many places.
“We collect from auctions, antique sales and sometimes garage sales,” said Annette Wiles. “It’s good old stuff. That’s what I like to call it.”
Tiger Productions is owned by the Wileses and is a small business that promotes and organizes flea markets, estate sales and garage sales, including the annual Ingham County Garage Sale and Flea Market.
“The turnout here is great, every year,” said Wiles.
The 2015 show seems to be no exception as the Wileses estimated that more than 3,100 people attended the event.
The attendance of the event is exciting and encouraging to the vendors. According to Ferris, his profit from the garage sale has motivated him to sell his products at the Ingham County Sports Show on Feb. 20, 21 and 22. Haskell also found success at the event.
“I have already reserved my spot for the show next year,” said Haskell.