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Lawndale Design Fair early-bird shopping spree party highlights new vendors and cool crowd

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14 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Haley Lightcap, Pamela Thompson
Haley Lightcap, left, and Pamela Thompson Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
2 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 crowd venue
The Design Fair preview party drew a large crowd who got an early start on purchases. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
22 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Khoa Tran, Trang Nguyen
Khoa Tran and Trang Nguyen Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
11 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Alex Rosa, Tatiana Bacci, Marly Rosa
Alex Rosa, from left, Tatiana Bacci and Marly Rosa Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
21 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Sarah Platt, Jessica Dolan
Sarah Platt, left, and Jessica Dolan Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
20 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Marletta Henry, Leonard McDonald, Troy Osborne
Marletta Henry, from left, Leonard McDonald and Troy Osborne Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
19 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Pepper Paratore, Mark McCray, Katherine Stromsland
Pepper Paratore, from left, Mark McCray and Katherine Stromsland Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
7 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Travis Weaver - showing off the goods for "Manready Mercantile"
Travis Weaver, left, showing off the goods for "Manready Mercantile" Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
18 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Jeff Shell, Mark Pondes
Jeff Shell, left, and Mark Pondes Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
17 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Martha Claire Tompkins, Josh Pazda, Chris Goins
Martha Claire Tompkins, from left, Josh Pazda and Chris Goins Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
16 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Miriam Mendoza, Chanda Glendinning, Quinn Hagood
Miriam Mendoza, from left, Chanda Glendinning and Quinn Hagood Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
15 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Vico Puentes, Jenni Rebecca Stephenson
Vico Puentes and Jenni Rebecca Stephenson Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
13 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Isreal Glass, Dutch Small
Isreal Glass, left, and Dutch Small Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
5 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 NAME
Lots of cool items were on display for sale. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
12 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Pedro Olivetti, Kelly Matthews
Pedro Olivetti, left, and Kelly Matthews Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
10 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Gretchen Cion, Miguel Peña, Ian Cion, Molly Peña
Gretchen Cion, from left, Miguel Peña, Ian Cion and Molly Peña Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
9 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Scott Contwright, Dean Ruck, Lydia Hickey, Debbie McNulty
Scott Contwright, from left, Dean Ruck, Lydia Hickey and Debbie McNulty Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
8 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Katie Wunne, Tony Garbarini, Jenny Lynn Weitz, Dan Szymanowski
Katie Wunne, from left, Tony Garbarini, Jenny Lynn Weitz and Dan Szymanowski Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
6 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Maggie Schutza, Michael Landrum
Maggie Schutza and Michael Landrum Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
4 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Jessica Knapp, Megan Pardy
Jessica Knapp, left, and Megan Pardy Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
3 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Matthew Wettergreen, Jay Tovar, Nathan Nichols
Matthew Wettergreen, from left, Jay Tovar and Nathan Nichols Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
1 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Ellie Malavis, Randol Rodgers
Ellie Malavis and Randol Rodgers Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
14 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Haley Lightcap, Pamela Thompson
2 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 crowd venue
22 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Khoa Tran, Trang Nguyen
11 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Alex Rosa, Tatiana Bacci, Marly Rosa
21 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Sarah Platt, Jessica Dolan
20 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Marletta Henry, Leonard McDonald, Troy Osborne
19 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Pepper Paratore, Mark McCray, Katherine Stromsland
7 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Travis Weaver - showing off the goods for "Manready Mercantile"
18 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Jeff Shell, Mark Pondes
17 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Martha Claire Tompkins, Josh Pazda, Chris Goins
16 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Miriam Mendoza, Chanda Glendinning, Quinn Hagood
15 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Vico Puentes, Jenni Rebecca Stephenson
13 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Isreal Glass, Dutch Small
5 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 NAME
12 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Pedro Olivetti, Kelly Matthews
10 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Gretchen Cion, Miguel Peña, Ian Cion, Molly Peña
9 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Scott Contwright, Dean Ruck, Lydia Hickey, Debbie McNulty
8 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Katie Wunne, Tony Garbarini, Jenny Lynn Weitz, Dan Szymanowski
6 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Maggie Schutza, Michael Landrum
4 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Jessica Knapp, Megan Pardy
3 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Matthew Wettergreen, Jay Tovar, Nathan Nichols
1 Houston Design Fair kick-off party April 2013 Ellie Malavis, Randol Rodgers

The golden rule of shopping for one-of-kind fab finds was in the air at Lawndale Art Center Friday night when design-savvy patrons occupied the galleries for this year's Design Fair preview evening, underwritten in part by Poggenpohl Design Studio.

You know what we're talking about: Grab it now and forever hold your piece — or forever hold your peace.

With more than two-thirds of the some 20 vendors fresh on the scene — and a new space layout that maximized flow and merchandise visibility —plastic was swiped as 300-plus early birds earned first dibs at the on-trend vintage and modern goods. Surely, by design of party chairs Martha Claire Tompkins and Pepper Paratore, the signature potations courtesy of Deep Eddy Vodka and Saint Arnold Brewing Co. suds had a hand in setting the gabby and lucrative mood.

Because what's the point of cash if you can't spend it?

While the first and third floors were teeming with displays of clothing, jewelry, furniture, rugs, household items, cosmetics, art, books, lighting, the second floor loft had curious passersby wondering about all the high tech activity bubbling at a special section dubbed the Texas Co-Op.

There, curators Scott Cartwright and Jenny Lynn Weitz-Amaré Cartwright were just embarking on a creative, three-dimensional live printing venture with designers Nick Bontrager, Tony Garbarini, Kellee Kimbro, Keith Moy and Daniel Szymanowski that will churn out new polylactide wares all weekend long.

Making her business debut was Clear Lake-native Amanda Medsger, whose label Oudvark offered a melange of rustic and industrial in a collection of tabletop lighting and wall sconces forged from re-purposed wood beams, found stones and Edison-style bulbs. A slice of South Austin humor in Deeyn Rhodes' Nannie Inez boutique had guests chuckling at a naughty four-piece tea set decorated with sketches of women in the buff.

Compliments to chef Barbara McKnight, owner of Culinaire, for the yummy passed appetizers of chicken empanadas, brisket tostadas and ahi tuna with strawberries atop wantan chips. Her special salt rub and spiced nuts were hot items at the sale.

Relishing in form and function were Bill Arning, Michael Mandola, Jeff Shell, Mark Pondes, Jenni Rebecca Stephenson, Matthew Wettergreen, Paul Middendorf, Rusty Bienvenue, Brian James, Lindsey George and Jim Petersen, Josh Pazda and Chris Goins.

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Lawndale Art Center's Design Fair continues on Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5.

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