Every year Vancouver hosts a Farmers Market downtown, full of fresh local produce, baked goods and flowers. However, Southwest Washingtonians have been forced to cross the bridge into Portland for any flea markets. Until last weekend.
On May 5, downtown shop Kindred Homestead Supply hosted Vancouver’s very first Downtown Alley Flea Market. Local vendors sold vintage and antiques ranging from gardening tools and plants to furniture, home decor, art and clothing.
Alex Luna, the owner of Kindred and organizer behind the Downtown Alley market, said that along with others in the resale community, she recognized the lack of a flea market experience in Vancouver.
“We are a special community, and there’s a lot of talent here and creativity here just like waiting for the right moment to bloom,” Luna said. “And I just thought, ‘how can I help that along?’”
When Luna opened Kindred Supply adjacent to an alleyway parking lot often left empty over the weekends, and only two blocks away from the farmers market, her thoughts began to become a reality.
“What’s been really exciting about the flea market is giving people the opportunity to participate in something like this as a first-timer,” Luna said.
Kristin Pruitt, founder of homemade clay jewelry shop The Baked Clay Studio, noted that as her first time selling her jewelry at a flea market she didn’t set any expectations. Nonetheless, she said she was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.
“I like the mix of vintage and homemade,” Pruitt said. “And then you have other specialty booths too. That balance I think helps a lot.”
Co-owners of Fender’s Blue Hemp, Mackenzie Saunders and Aaron Williams, had participated in a couple farmers markets prior to the flea. Saunders noted that having launched the business in September it had been expensive to advertise solely online.
“Being in places like this where we can actually meet other people for just a small fee to be a vendor is incredibly worth it to us,” Saunders said.
The market is held at 606 Main St. in Vancouver. It’s scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the first Saturday of every month throughout the summer, coinciding with Vancouver’s Farmers Market.
For further information on the event or how to participate, visit @kindred.homestead.supply on Instagram.