Charlotte Smith, designer and owner of local store Union Camp Collective, a colorful treasure trove of handpicked vintage and antique finds, is well-versed in hunting furniture. She travels all over the country finding the best and most original pieces for her shop (and her home). But it’s a hard job—it’s time consuming and skillful, and not everyone has the time or the discipline to seek out the perfect piece. That’s why she opened Union Camp Collective in Raleigh; to bring vintage and one-of-a-kind finds to the local masses. “Some of my best customers and favorite people aren’t able to spend days on end finding stuff that they love,” Smith says. “So I do the work for them—and for me.”

On a recent scouting trip to the Hudson Valley in New York, Smith stretched her legs in the area’s vintage and antique stores, a town rich in artistic heritage. “My style is all over the place,” Smith says. “So, I like to go to Hudson because there is so much of everything there—perfect for my varied tastes.”

While in Hudson, Smith stopped by The Gilded Owl, a high-design art and decor shop owned by an art dealer and interior designer, where she picked up “beautifully illustrated” tarot cards as gifts for friends. “They’re great for parties,” adds Smith. Just a short walk away is Magic Hill, a stor e featuring midcentury modern furniture, decor, and art—a must stop when you’re in the area.

During her visit, Smith stayed at the Batterby House, a restored Victorian bed and breakfast filled with original details, antiques, and items from local artisans. One of her favorite restaurants nearby, Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, is a boldly designed diner serving “tropical comfort food” that’s sure to please the design-minded traveler.

And just outside of downtown and overlooking the Catskills is Olana, the impressive, antique-filled home-turned-museum built the 1800s by Frederic Church, one of the pioneers of the Hudson River School art movement. “The details are outstanding.

If you’re in need of inspiration, or even just a daydream, I highly recommend the Olana,” says Smith. A little over an hour south is the quaint art haven, Beacon. There, Smith purchased hand-blown Christmas ornaments and sets of rainbow tumblers from Hudson Beach Glass, a hand-blown glass studio occupying a former firehouse.

Further south in Tarrytown, New York, Smith stopped by The Swan’s House where she purchased velvet shell pillows for her vintage, contemporary, and modern sofas. “It’s an excellent place to find vintage and midcentury modern furniture and home décor,” says Smith.

“Next time I go back, which I will in a couple of months when it’s warmer, I’ll have a good lay of the land. I’ll bring my big sprinter van and will pack it to the gills with larger case items that I’d want to pack personally,” she says. “Hudson is a gold mine of vintage and finer antique items and though not every trip is a ‘haul’, every trip is good for sourcing, making connections, and
learning, always.”

If a scouting trip to New York and the surrounding towns isn’t in the cards for you, start scouting locally. “Flea markets are a great representation of what I sell at the store,” Smith says. “I would recommend everyone go to the Raleigh flea market. When it’s good, it’s really good.”

Visit Union Camp Collective at 1109 N West Street, Raleigh, or