Fernie man Wade Gardner (left) has launched a new craft business, Vintads, with his brother Billy. They’re pictured at the Spring Craft Fair in Fernie on Saturday. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

New craft business makes market debut in Fernie

Blast from the past: “Vintads” offers vintage magazine advertisements in custom built frames

Rummaging through yard sales and scanning classifieds has become a regular past-time for Wade and Billy Gardner.

The brothers are the brains behind newly launched craft business, Vintads, which specializes in vintage advertisements in custom-built frames.

They showcased their products for the first time at the Spring Craft Fair, held at the Fernie Community Centre on Saturday.

“I was at a garage sale and buddy had a bunch of advertisements cut out in a little milk crate, and I was asking him how come he doesn’t have frames for them,” explained Wade.

“They don’t make that paper size anymore. I bought all the magazines he had and then made my own frames.”

Reusing and recycling is important to the Gardners.

Working between Fernie and Calgary, the brothers source vintage magazines from yard sales and Kijiji, using their dad’s cabinet making shop to build the frames, which are sprayed with leftover paint from the autobody paint shop next door.

Wade, who lives in Fernie, said their current range dates back to the 1950s to ’70s and has been categorized according to subject, from alcohol and household appliances to sports and entertainment.

“Most are out of LIFE magazines but we’ve got a bunch of old National Geographics that we’ll be cutting up and making frames for here, going forward,” he said.

Billy said it has been fascinating to see how attitudes and advertising standards have changed over the years.

Some of the ads featured in Vintads’ collection would raise a few eyebrows if circulated today.

“Most of these ads you’d get in trouble for if you were showing them,” said Billy, referring to an advertisement for a dishwasher with the caption ‘let her have a break from the kitchen’.

“It’s old stuff that you’d never see so it’s kind of comical.

“For older people, it brings back memories for them… and it’s cool for the younger generation to see.”

Wade and Billy plan to sell their wares at future markets around the Elk Valley, and will soon launch a Facebook page for Vintads.

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