Vendor Spotlight

Joseph Sweeney shares variety of small

collectibles at Sac Antique Faire

Image by: Dawn Balzarano

Joseph Sweeney interacts with customers at the Sacramento Antique Faire.

For three years, the Sacramento Antique Faire has played host to vendor Joseph Sweeney and his booth of antique collectibles, located in spot F-10. But the collecting began much earlier for Sweeney, who said he’s been selling and buying odds and ends for as long as he can remember.

Raised in Vallejo, Sweeney never strayed too far from Northern California. He moved to Napa after marrying and spent the majority of his adult life working in various stores, owning some and managing many, including drug stores and variety stores. For the past ten years, Sweeney has called Fair Oaks his home, which has given him the opportunity to become more involved in the Sacramento antique scene.

In 1960, while working at J.J. Newberry’s, Sweeney met two men with whom he began a lifelong friendship. Larry Ibes and Jerry Hiatt shared Sweeney’s passion for antique-collecting, and now share the SAF booth where they sell their collectibles.

Joseph Sweeney, Larry Ibes and Jerry Hiatt. (Image by: Dawn Balzarano)

This, Sweeney explained, is one of the reasons why he keeps coming back to the SAF. Spending time with his friends while showing and selling their unique collectibles to the public has put Sweeney in his element, surrounded by his most interesting hobby.

In addition to collecting and selling antiques, Sweeney also enjoys spending time with his family. They are frequent campers, and also attend church on a regular basis. On every second Sunday, however, Sweeney can be found alongside Ibes and Hiatt behind their booth of collectibles.

According to Sweeney, they have “kind of a different spread … We have collectibles, we have small furniture, household items, glassware, trunks … kitchen collectibles, signs …” Vintage comics carefully preserved in plastic sheets, hand-carved wooden collectibles, and antique wooden crates were all featured at July’s faire.

Antique comic books are just one of Sweeney’s many items for sale. (Image by: Dawn Balzarano)

Perhaps one of the most unique pieces in Sweeney’s booth is an old Singer sewing machine. In all probability, this machine was well-worn and loved by its previous owner. By visiting Sweeney’s booth, you’ll have the opportunity to give the machine a second life in your own home.

An antique sewing machine. (Image by: Dawn Balzarano)

A spread covered with well-seasoned kitchen utensils can also be found among Sweeney’s treasures. Some of the highlights of this particular selection include a worn ice cream scooper, a hand-crank whisk and several ladles and serving spoons. These items don’t even compare to the everyday staples you can pick up at any grocery store – these antiques have character.

Image by: Dawn Balzarano

And that’s just the start. If you’ve been inspired to deck out your home in antiques, or are just looking to add a special piece or two to your life, there’s a good chance Sweeney has something to suit you.

And if not, he most likely knows someone who does. Sweeney described the vendors as a closely-knit group of friends. This kind of camaraderie allows them to work together to provide advice or assistance to the faire-goers who are looking for something specific.

According to Sweeney, the SAF is really not the kind of place where you’d want to stop by briefly. “I would really want to try to see everything that’s there,” Sweeney advised first-time attendees. “To really see everything and look at every booth, it takes some time.”

You will find Sweeney and Team, along with 300 other vendors, selling their wares every Second Sunday. The Antique Faire is located under the freeway on 21st Street between W and X Streets, from 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Article courtesy of: Sacramento Press