Vendor Spotlight: DNL Woodworks
This full-season Shipshewana Flea Maret vendor booth, DNL Woodworks, (named after Dick and Lin Noll thus “dnl”) occupies spaces 467-470 and features wood crafts including snowmen, yardsticks, scarecrows, pumpkin pals, as well as, a huge variety of unfinished furniture.
Dick and Lin Noll have been selling at the Shipshewana Flea Market since 1992.
"I worked for a vendor here back in 1992 and when their business ended in 2001, we formed DNL Woodworks and have sold here and at many other shows across the Midwest since then,” said Dick.
DNL Woodworks’ crafts are all hand made just north of us in Michigan. So many creative wood crafts are stocked in this incredible local shop right inside the flea market, from the cute wooden pumpkins and colorful jack-o-corns to the pumpkin pals and furniture.
At first pass, I would have thought some of these were mass produced because they look so perfectly designed, crafted, painted and packaged, but the artistry comes right from these vendors!
When asked what their most popular item at their booth is, Lin said, “Wood or crafts? For the wood furniture, definitely the hall trees, and for the crafts the seasonal flowers in spring but our fall décor takes over after school starts.”
In the last quarter of a century, DNL Woodworks has seen a lot of change!
“Well, our main product, wood furniture and crafts has remained constant, but our designs and the style of these has changed," said Dick. “Country hearts and apples used to be the in thing and now stars and Americana have become the more popular trend.”
He added, “The furniture that used to be painted and stained to have a more country appeal, is now being painted with popular chalk paints in grays and shabby-chic colors.”
This goes to prove that while the products can stand the test of time, it’s really the look and style that can change and depending on the current decorating trends and the shopper’s style.
Customers love DNL Woodworks for their furniture because most of it is unfinished which allows them to customize it any way they want.
“We couldn’t possibly paint something everyone would be interested in so the unfinished look gives the customer the complete control and design over what the end product will look like in their home,” said Lin.
"If they want stain, they can, and if they want a more modern or trendy look, they can paint it in any color or finish they want, making it totally their own.”
She added, “The market has changed and along with that as a vendor you change too. The number of staff you have and inventory can always be scaled up or down and the products and their price points are something you adjust to along with the economy as well.”
Dick and Lin love being part of the flea market because of the interactions they get to have with their customers.
"We love having conversations with our customers to learn about their decorating style and are more than happy to make suggestions for how and where a piece can be used," said Dick. "Just because we call something a 'chest of drawers,' doesn’t mean the customer can’t use it for something totally unique to them. For example, we’ve had people use TV stands as fish tank stands.”
The quality and care taken in each piece can be seen and recognized and, you can tell in the tone of their voice the pride that comes from a job well done and personal to them, especially when they get to share that gift with their customers face-to-face. This kind of satisfaction just can’t be gotten in an online sales transaction.
Be sure to visit DNL Woodworks at booths 467-470 during flea market season.
Looking for a place to sell your unique craft or product like the vendors in this story? You can complete a vendor application or show up to sell any time during flea market season May – September or even check out our other Selling Opportunities available throughout the year.