A word from Andi:  "I've always been a collector. According to Mom (who inspired Lara Vintage Sales), it began when I was still in the stroller, and she used to walk to one of the old variety stores on South Orange Avenue, in Newark, to fabric shop. Mom said while she perused the patterns and fabrics, I amused myself looking at spools of ribbons and such. When we arrived home, she discovered that I had secreted away some particularly colorful ribbon under my carriage blanket. Naturally, Mom promptly returned it, but that was the start of my love affair with collecting.  This story, which Mom told to me not long before she left us, made me try to analyze the reasons behind some of the things I have collected over the years.

The ribbons, later supplemented by buttons and fancy scraps of fabric from Mom's sewing box, were a natural, given that she was a talented seamstress and craft-person in multiple media. Learning from Mom how to drape fabrics, and from a family friend the fundamentals of knitting, I turned my fledgling abilities into a little business hawking one-of-a-kind outfits Barbie doll outfits to the younger neighborhood girls. At the age of nine, I had earned just enough money to buy my first (toy) knitting machine. Bliss!

The sewing and needlework bug has lasted for a long time!  My collection now includes interesting examples of others' needlework, and other things that just strike my fancy, like the occasional Czech black glass button from Jablonec. But glass is a whole 'nother story..."

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Mom with her grandsons Luka and Leo