Meet Holly Snelling


I think it’s such a treat to have creative people in my life. Especially creative people that come from a different design discipline. When I’m fumbling around with my brand of creative projects in my head all day, I love to see something new, something different. Something that stretches my own ideas out of their comfort zone. That is why I’m friends with Holly. Holly is a creative soul and, along with her husband and business partner Scott, is a seriously successful flea market vendor. This girl has a consistantly great eye for shabby pieces and a gift for displaying everything in a cozy-cool style that makes me swoon. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s sweet and she affectionately tells me she “loves me more than bacon.” Meet Holly Snelling.

Anne Potter: So Holly, tell us what you do.

Holly Snelling: Scott & I, plus my Mom and Aunt Jo, go to auctions, shows, rummage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, and curbsides constantly. (Aunt Jo is the Curbside Collection Queen.) I’ve been selling at shows & markets since 1995 (age 18 or 19 – can’t completely remember). We also host a twice-yearly vintage and handmade market, called Hobnob Market, for all those like us who love the old, the unique, the different, the amusing, and the wonderful.

AP: I’ve shopped your flea market stall and I just love your look. So do a ton of your fans. It’s fun and retro and sweet, but very elegant, too. Where did you get your designer’s eye from?

HS: Practice.

AP: Ha! ‘Wasn’t expecting that.

HS: My Mom let me start rearranging my room whenever I wanted when I was in grade school and she gave me free reign on decorating the whole house shortly thereafter. We always went to a lot of garage sales and junk stores (especially in warm weather since she was a teacher and had summers off) so we dug around in a lot of little dusty, musty places stuffed with all sorts of castoffs but we scored lots of really neat old things. I did loads of displays in my room and around the house with the things we found.

AP: Moms are great. So what are some of your favorite go-to styling tips, the things that us common people don’t know?

HS: Honestly I sometimes think it’s people without what they would consider “creativity” who have the best homes. The ones where everything is simple and neat, laid out and arranged for comfort, economy of motion, and convenience rather than for looking pretty. I have so many half-finished, half-baked projects around and so much excess crap for all my “someday” ideas that I’m sometimes shocked the producers of Hoarders haven’t knocked on my door.

AP: I know what you mean! Whenever I tidy up my house because company’s coming – banishing all my projects and crap to drawers – I look around and think, “Why don’t I keep it like this all the time? I love this place!” So what has been your design crush lately?

HS: Anything Selina Lake does – I especially love her new book Pretty Pastel Style.

AP: OK, so I had to quick-google Selina Lake and guess what? I love her! I have her book Bazaar Style and I really admire her aesthetic. What inspires you, what gets your creativity flowing?

HS: Driving around back roads in the summer and seeing old farmhouses and barns and smelling hay and grass, listening to The Avett Brothers, reading tons of magazines.


AP: And if you could plan a perfect day (with children behaving, of course), what would it look like?

HS: LOVE this question!!! With kids it would be everyone waking up in happy moods, going to play somewhere, taking a train ride, good naps, getting ice cream, and going to an outdoor blankets-on-the-ground showing of a movie with lots of popcorn.

Just on my own (without the babies or husband) it would be going to Target and Archiver’s and shopping for ages, eating a huge meal plus dessert with no thought to caloric intake or nutritional content, watching some new chick flicks, and finally getting the entire house well organized and arranged.


AP: If I could have a meal where calories didn’t count, I would have deep-dish pizza (with sausage and green olives) and a tall pint of good beer. But that’s off-topic, I guess. So Holly, you know flea markets. Tell us: what’s an up-and-coming junk/vintage trend that us junk market junkies can still pounce on?

HS: 1960s-era home-keeping accessories like metal trays, cute wastebaskets, etc. in bright colors. They’re so fun and still inexpensive.

AP: Excellent. Now tell us about Hobnob Market.

HS: It’s a pop-up vintage and handmade market and we handpick our vendors so that we can give our shoppers a terrific experience. Our goal is to show the customers lots of love and roll out the red carpet. Friday night (June 7) is our Fresh Picked Preview Party from 5-8 pm central. Tickets are $15 each (available on our Facebook page and Tickets include 3 hours of early buying from our 50+ vendors, special giveaways, live music by Black Coffee Fridays, a delicious buffet by Shady Rail Farm, a cash bar by Tuscan Hills Winery (their signature sangria will be flowing!), fun demos by guest author Jerusalem Greer, and free re-admission on Saturday. Saturday, June 8th is Market Day and we’re open from 8 am to 5 pm central. Shoppers will find wonderful goods in the re-stocked vendor booths, free DIY workshops in the barn loft, craft demos and book signings by author Jerusalem Greer, lots of giveaways, yummy Shady Rail Farm food, wine and a cash bar by Tuscan Hills Winery.

AP: You have so pulled together the perfect market! On behalf of the Midwest, let me thank you for putting on a first-rate market that we can actually get to and enjoy (instead of just reading about in Country Living). One last question, because I know you’re busy getting Hobnob ready: where would you love to see your business in five years?

HS: I want Hobnob Market to become a must-attend market in the Midwest (or the country!) and be established as a lively, fun event that’s full of friendly people and great stuff – a really special something that should not be missed. I’d also love to branch out into other creative areas (like scrapbooking materials) using my vintage collections and inventory.

AP: Holly, you’re wonderful. Thank you so much for chatting with us a bit, and I so look forward to Hobnob Market in just a few days. You know I’ll be there! See ya Friday?

HS: Wouldn’t miss it!


Facebook: Hobnob Market


temp-post-image temp-post-image