The following post is sponsored by Rylee’s Ace Hardware.
When the Grand Rapids Downtown Market first opened in 2013, Rylee’s Ace Hardware was there with a pop-up store, featuring Fiesta “factory seconds.” Fiesta dinnerware maker, The Homer Laughlin China Co., has strict rules about where it allows the popular art deco dinnerware to be sold, however, so Fiesta pop-up shops are only allowed to operate for a limited time and at very few retail locations.
Based on the success of that pop-up shop and the popularity of Fiesta dinnerware in the area, Rylee’s has worked with The Homer Laughlin China Co. to bring Fiesta seconds back to Grand Rapids and to its customers one more time. Fiestaware collectors can find hundreds of factory seconds at the Rylee’s Ace Hardware Michigan Street location during the month of December.
Factory seconds are products that have slight blemishes, imperfections and minor flaws that can happen when producing these dishes. Fiesta sets these dishes aside and occasionally offers them for sale to the public. “For the most part, these dishes look like or are very close to their more perfect counterparts,” said Sally Keena, the housewares department manager at Rylee’s.
Collectors are often scouring online sites and even travel to Newell, West Virginia, where The Homer Laughlin China Co. throws a giant tent sale filled with sought-after Fiestaware seconds, to score pieces for their own collections. Now, this opportunity is available in Grand Rapids at Rylee’s during the month of December.
“A lot of collectors follow Fiestaware and they are really interested in the factory seconds,” Keena said. “They might find a retired color like flamingo, or a soon to be retired color like sage.”
What is particularly exciting about Rylee’s month-long Fiesta seconds sale is that pieces are priced at $5 each. “We’re offering a big discount, and an opportunity for people to mix and match colors and pieces, all at one price,” Keena said.
You can find dinner plates, salad plates, medium bowls, gusto bowls and the classic Fiesta mug, in assorted iconic Fiesta colors. The sale will last through the month or until supplies run out.
In addition to its Fiesta factory seconds sale, Rylee’s does carry Fiesta dinnerware in its “Ace’s in the Kitchen” housewares department year round. “Fiestaware is a main feature of our housewares department and we sell it in open stock that you can’t always find in other stores,” Keena said.
Keena said part of what has turned Fiestaware into such a popular collector’s item is that a new color is introduced each year, while an existing color is retired. That makes finding a specific color more difficult sometimes and is another reason the factory seconds are so popular.
The line has been around since 1936 (with a hiatus from 1973 to 1985), and for many collectors seeing those distinct colors and patterns triggers a sense of nostalgia and memories of the past. Keena said, “It’s fun to set a table with Fiesta, and to give as a gift.”
Rylee’s Ace Hardware is located at 1234 Michigan St. NE and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.