The Flea and We

Every night this week I have been up until 2:30am prepping for my real live debut! I have sold accessories for humans for years exclusively online but never…offline…never in the 5 senses world.  I recently kept a friend company at her booth (Lillies & Pearls) at the Williamsburg flea, Artists & Fleas. It was an interesting experience. While she didn’t sell enough to cover the flea fees, her material costs and the many hours spent making her gorgeous leather bags (check out them below) we both learned a bit through the full day immersion experience. Lessons:

1. Bring everything you need. Maybe that’s common sense. We did good…we brought hammers, nails, paint…everything. The one thing we did forget was a MacBook; we could have turned all the down time in between customers into a productive session. 

2. Bring snacks and maybe magazines. There were 20-30 spurts were traffic flow is low. I suppose you could bring a book, but I think sitting there reading a book sends a “don’t bother” message, where magazines are visually engaging and you look up more…therefore engaging potential customers.

3. Do it with a friend! Time flew and we talked and laughed through the day. I can’t imagine sitting at a booth for 9 hours solo, although many people do and I’m sure one day I will too. 

4. Meet and chat with other vendors! Some of the vendors have been doing fleas for years and come out every week. They can drop good knowledge like which fleas to work, which to avoid, best days to be out, best locations, etc. Also if you have to leave your booth (potty break) they’ll be the ones who will keep and eye on your goods. Be Friendly. 

5. Sleep: Our flea was  9am-7pm, that’s a full day. Rest up, honey!

6. Speak to customers: We were set-up near a guy who was selling basic t-shirts and hats with the letter E on them. Surprisingly they sold well. I noticed that he spoke to and engaged just about everyone that walked by his section… “Hi, need a new pair of summer shorts?” “Hey how’s it going?” “Just touch this fabric!” I’m not sure how well this would work for all products and personalities but it’s worth a try!

7. If you are selling jewelry, bring a mirror so that people can check themselves out in your creations. 

 This weekend I will be hosting my own booth, selling my goods. I’m a bit nervous but so much more excited. Stay tuned…or if your NYC, swing by.

Why is it called “Flea” market anyway?


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