Monday, July 30, 2012

Flower Power


If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you might remember these cool vintage jars I picked up while happily thrifting with my sister.

When my blogging friend Jill saw these little pieces of flower power on my blog, she emailed me and kindly offered to send me some matching pieces.


Jill, who is a great collector and a member of The Pyrex Collective, also lives in Ontario, but several hours away. Not only did she give the pieces to me as a gift, but she sent them on a journey to me through family members, so that I only had to go to her son's nearby GTA home to pick them up. Thanks so much Jill for your kindness and generosity!


Here is my happy little orange set now. I love the feeling of the round coffee cups in my hand, and the bright flowers bring a smile to my face.


Jill pointed out that one of the pieces has a sticker on the bottom indicating that they were made in Japan for Consumers Distributing. That brought back some memories for me. I recall going there often with my mom and waiting eagerly for employees to bring out our selected items from storage.


Wikipedia explains that Consumers was a catalogue store in Canada and the United States that operated from 1957 to 1996. At its peak, it operated 243 outlets in Canada and 217 in the United States, including stores in every province in Canada and in the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, California and Nevada.

Consumers Distributing aimed to reduce costs for customers by stocking merchandise in a warehouse type stocking system instead of displaying them in a costly showroom. Customers made their selections from a catalogue, filled out a form with product identification, and waited for stock staff to retrieve the items from the warehouse.


I had completely forgotten about Consumers until Jill mentioned it. I even had friends who worked there.

While some online sources indicate that these dishes are from the seventies, they look like the eighties to me. What do you think?

Did you shop at Consumers?

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36 comments:

  1. I shopped at consumers distributing - had a friend who worked their early 1990s. At one point I owned a small Christmas tree that I bought there. It is always nice to find matching pieces - how nice of her to give them to you.

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    1. I wonder if my mom got her little Christmas tree there too...I'll have to ask.

      Yes, I am happy to have matching pieces! :)

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  2. Oh my, what a lovely friend you have!!

    So kind of her to complete your set for you. I guess you'll think of her every time you have a coffee now :0)

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    1. Yes, I have met some incredible people through blogging. Jill is very kind. I will indeed think of her when I look at and use the cups.

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  3. That's very lucky! What a fun and bright collection.

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  4. How fantastic!! Isn't blogging wonderful lol {& I agree, they look early 80's to me too}

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    1. We don't do it for the money, do we? ;)

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  5. Darcy told me that the transfer happened yesterday, it makes me feel so good to "pay it forward" - they really do belong with you!!

    It's a lucky thing that the Consumers sticker was still attached, at least it gives us a clue about their origin. Consumers used to be the place to go for Christmas shopping, it was a sad day when it closed!!

    Enjoy that coffee!!

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    1. Jill, you are so very kind! I will cherish them! I can't quite remember Consumers shutting down. It's funny.

      I will enjoy my coffee (and mostly tea) for sure! Thanks!

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  6. You are so lucky! What a treasure you have there!
    Carolyn http://sillyhappysweet.blogspot.com

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    1. It is a sweet little set, isn't it? :)

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  7. Great collection there! Pretty orange flower. They look 70's to me. Thanks for sharing at cap creations.

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    1. Interesting...could be 70s. I just thought because my mom had similar kind of spotted dishes that they would be more eighties, but I don't really know.

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  8. Yay for awesome blogging friends!

    We shopped a similar store when I growing up, but I think it was called Service Merchandise...?? (It just took me 20 minutes to remember the name, was driving me bonkers!) You could see your items come from the back on a conveyor belt and I thought that was so cool. :)

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    1. Hi Julee! Sorry I gave you a brain freeze. ;)

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  9. omg, what a stunning set. Adore this post, hun. If you get a sec, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my latest outfit post and guest post for Lauren Conrad. Thanks, love. xo

    www.fashboulevard.blogspot.com

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  10. Oh Wow, what a gorgeous set! What a lovely friend you have to give you soe matching extras! x

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    1. Thanks! I am lucky indeed to have a great new friend!

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  11. What a gorgeous set Jo! I love anything vintage like this, there is something so satisfying in owning something that has been passed down. Your friend is awesome! x

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    1. You are so right! I love things with a sense of history to them.

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  12. these jars are so cool, I am so jealous!

    xo Jessica
    www.newlyloved.com

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    1. I will have to make good use of them! :)

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  13. Such a happy and cheerful set! Your mention of Consumers Distributing brings back a lot of memories. I used to spend hours pouring over their catalogue.

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    1. Wasn't it so much fun looking through those catalogues? :)

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  14. This is such a lovely set. It reminds me of the wheat pattern dishes I got from a thrift store recently.

    I love how you framed the photos in bright borders. I am looking for more interesting ways to display photos on my blog. Have you checked out Paris Loves Pastry blog? I love the design and now I want to do something similar to that in design for my blog. Oh goodness I am so fickle these days. I love you banner. It is very create and professional.

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    1. Thanks for the compliments and the suggestion. :) I will check out that blog asap. I love to look at nice designs. Good for you that you want to keep changing. Great opportunity to use your creativity.

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  15. Oh that is so lovely. Your friend is so nice. Love the whole matching set!

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    1. Glad you like it! She is kind indeed.

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  16. Came over from Barbe's to see your china. I think it is neat you have found the history of these pieces!

    Distressed Donna Down Home

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    1. It's always nice to know something about your pieces for sure.

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  17. Hey Jo, I so love your new set! I hadn't thought of Consumer's in a long time; loved that place. My dad had this set of dishes as well as the matching canisters!

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  18. What a fun retro set! And what a generous friend! Thank you for sharing at TTF. Have a terrific day!

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