Lavonia Antique Market

The Lavonia Antique Market is located at 180 Lauren Drive in Lavonia, Georgia. (

The Savvy Picker travels around the Southeast looking for vintage merchandise to stock her brick-and-mortar and online shops. She returned to the North Georgia Mountains in September and stopped in at the Lavonia Antique Market. Keep reading to check out her hauls and pick up a few tricks of the trade.

Shopping with the Steel Magnolias

The Lavonia Antique Market, situated conveniently off Interstate 85 in Franklin County, was really hopping on the Sunday afternoon I stopped in to visit. The atmosphere was festive, and the folks there were exceptionally friendly. When I commented on this friendliness at the checkout counter, the lady at the register asked if I’d ever seen Steel Magnolias.
I nodded. (Who born in the South and alive in the 80s hasn’t?)

“We’re like Steel Magnolias but in an antique mall instead of a beauty shop,” she explained. “We’ve run this shop and been friends for years and years.”

The way the ladies took turns taking care of a cute little baby visiting the shop for the afternoon made it evident they really were friends. And when my conversation with the lady was interrupted by a call from the baby’s mother, who was addressed as Shelby (!!!!), it became evident they really were Steel Magnolias!

But back to shopping. This mall is a large freestanding building with a multitude of vendors offering everything from retro glassware to quality primitives to collections of just about anything.


Bargain hunting

In this mall, many of the prices were exactly right — but not low enough for me to purchase and then mark up to make a profit. Still, I haven’t walked into an antique store yet where I couldn’t find at least one great deal, so I kept seeking.

Soon I came upon a sight for sore eyes: an entire bank of shelving labeled $5 or less.


At this point, I started filling my empty buggy, which was strategically outfitted with a square of old carpet to keep things from rattling around.

The first item in the buggy was an oversized Red Willow mug by Churchill, followed by a pair of Italian rooster mugs, a glass ship paperweight, and a pretty bowl marked Nippon.


After these scores, I was feeling hopeful!

I kept exploring and soon discovered this colorful cat for $8 that I will easily sell for $16 at home. (Some shoppers just cannot resist cat figurines, so it is always best to have one or two in inventory!)


Not long after that, another $8 bargain lay in my path.

This iridized fish by Harris Potteries is valued at around $30. (

Now I was ready to head to the other end of the sprawling 15,000-square-foot store.

Along the way, I found this fabulous bamboo bird cage for $35! Though bird cages continue to grace the pages of designer magazines, keep in mind that not all bird cages are created equal. Luckily, this one was a real beauty. Asian bamboo cages like this one sell best for me, and because this one is vintage, large, and well-made, it should sell for close to $100.


Personal treasure

The thing I found that I was most excited about was a collection of Pisgah Forest pottery.

A few years (decades) ago, I worked at a summer camp in Arden, North Carolina, the same small mountain town where Pisgah Forest pottery was made. Back then, when we had Saturdays off, we’d drive a few miles down the road, pull up in front of the potter’s house, and honk the horn. Then the potter would come out and let us in a small shed lined with shelves full of pottery. We’d make a few selections for a few dollars each and head back to camp.

My collection grew from a single mug to several vases, teapots, pitchers, sugar bowls, cups, and candlesticks.

Known for its thick crystalline glazes, these pieces have become quite valuable, ranging in price from around $50 for a small vase to several thousand dollars for particularly unique pieces. Partly due to nostalgia, Pisgah Forest pottery is one of the few things my husband and I collect, so I picked up these mustard yellow pieces to give him for Christmas since it is a color we do not currently own.

Because there is close to a 0% chance he’ll get around to reading this article before Christmas, I’ll go ahead and share a photo of his future present.


Being able to recognize the Pisgah Forest stamp is advantageous for the picker! I’ve purchased several valuable pots over the years for pennies on the dollar because I recognized the stamp when others didn’t.

The potter’s stamp often is not well formed, but you’ll still recognize it if you know what to look for. (

The Savvy Picker takeaway

Whether you are shopping to fill out your own collection, or hoping to score a deal, next time you need something to do on a Sunday (or any day), stop in and visit the Steel Magnolias of Lavonia. You may not find an armadillo-shaped red velvet groom’s cake, but you’re sure to discover something just as unique!

The Lavonia Antique Market is located at 180 Lauren Drive in Lavonia, Georgia. For directions and hours, visit their Facebook page.

Who should visit: This is a particularly good shop for collectors!

Score of the day: Bamboo Bird Cage

Predicted profit on cage: $65

Re-seller takeaway: Make sure to look to the right when you enter. The booths running sales will be posted on a board here!

For more great reads and finds, click here. For additional tips on tracking vintage treasures, visit The Savvy Picker website.

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