When I started the flea back in January, I suspected the market would become popular with Davisites. It’s a local event with a sustainable ethos, it’s a music venue, and it’s a means of income for some very creative folks who don’t have the resources to pay for a brick and mortar space downtown.
What I didn’t predict was how many spin-offs the Flea would inspire. Craft fairs and neighborhood sales seem to be popping up all over Davis since we began, which has been equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking for everyone who now works on the flea—from bands and performers to volunteers and interns from UCD. As much as we love to see folks enthusiastic about grassroots commerce, we do also worry about our ability sign up enough vendors every month to cover our overheads.
But hey, that’s capitalism right? And competition is good for business: it keeps us creative. So we’re trying out a slew of ideas, some of which we had in the beginning, but were too timid to try, and some that we've brainstormed during our monthly post-mortems.
Firstly, we’re setting aside a significant part of our budget for Flea HD. This is a web series that will produce beautiful, high definition video of the flea market and its vendors and performers. We’re inviting local directors to make an episode in a style of their choosing, and we’re excited to have an array of videos as aesthetically diverse as the posters made by our artists. Daniel Leighton made a little preview of his episode that you can see here.
Flea HD will happen in conjunction with our new Flea School, in which we invite our vendors to demonstrate their skills for a live audience at the market, and to an internet audience after the fact. Our first Flea School schedule includes metal soldering and a home coffee-roasting demo. We want our vendors to feel like they’re getting real value for their registration fee, and the Flea School will help them connect with customers at E Street Plaza and online. In this day and age, it’s all about content baby.
We’re also reaching out to local businesses for sponsorship, so that we’ll be able to lower the cost of having a booth at the flea. Currently it’s $25 for students and $40 for professionals – and we do encourage people to team up and split the registration fee. That way your duo can rent an extra table for $10, and pay a very reasonable $17.50 (student) or $25 (professional) each for the same amount of space. However, if we get enough sponsors on board, we’re hoping to rent spaces at the flea for as little as $5. This month, the Yeti restaurant and Talon Entertainment are pitching in their services, for which we are immensely grateful.
If you would like more info on how to get involved in any of the above please email Lauren@davisfleamarket.org and visit our facebook page. Our next market will be on Sunday September 30th, 11am to 3pm.