“I've taken the things that nobody wanted since I was little,” says Charlene Goetz. The co-creator of the Driving Miz Daisy vintage market at Saddleback College is a true digger. Goetz and her business partner, Shelly Peterson, have been antique dealers for 15 years at the Landmark Antique Mall in Mission Viejo, but they were ready for a new challenge. “People have to go to Long Beach, San Diego or the Rose Bowl for a good flea market, and we were tired of not having one here,” Goetz explains.
They started small in December 2014, with just 35 vendors. In less than six months, Driving Miz Daisy grew to host more than 100 vendors selling upcycled, recycled, industrial and vintage wares, plus live music, food trucks and a vintage-car meet-up. It's not an art walk; it's not a craft fair. It's not entirely a flea market, either. But they weren't going for that. “We wanted to offer the public a unique experience to find that one-of-a-kind piece,” Goetz explains.
The cutesy event is named after the flagship of the market, Miz Daisy, Goetz's beautiful, 1952 turquoise camper. “She's our office, our mascot, and my store,” Goetz says proudly. She encourages anyone who has a vintage camper or van to bring it to the event. “That's the thing with vintage—it adds a lot more character.”
But when you ask Goetz the secret to her choice finds, she replies she'd have to kill you. “You have to hunt. You have to see it and feel it,” she says, “and you often find better stuff outside California.”