Daytona Flea Market!
Last weekend, I decided I would travel in another direction from my home and headed south. Thirty miles later, I entered the enormous Daytona Flea and Farmer’s Market. The year round market is ranked # 6 in the World by travelchannel.com and it covers over 30 acres along side I-95 (the Highway that goes from Maine to Miami). The Market is 33 years old and well established with all year vendors and those that come every once in a while. It was a cool and breezy day and was perfect for strolling the goods and wares. Much of the Market is under roofing so a quick Florida rain shower doesn’t bother the throngs of bargain seekers.
There was absolutely EVERYTHING offered!!! You could eat a hamburger and fries and get a tattoo! You could have your tires changed and lounge in hand made furniture. You could play bingo and then have your jewelry cleaned. Shopping was plentiful, from fine antiques and books to tube socks and back scratchers.
Although I go to these events with a limited amount of money in my wallet with the intention of staying within my budget, there are ALWAYS those things that I just can’t do without!!!! Springtime means plants, and my poor back yard patio is just screaming for big tropicals to create shade for the summer!!! There were semi trucks loaded with philodendrons and ferns and impatiens and marigolds and all for less than half what I would find them for at the local garden center. I came across a lovely lady, originally from Maryland, who was selling vintage tablecloths. I just HAD to have a couple of these 1950s gems to go with the dozens of others I own!! And then, I finally came across a fabulous gentleman who had an entire section covered over with his own hand made tent, all positioned under a live oak tree! The area was filled with shelves and cabinets and hutches packed with collectibles!!! And he was willing to negotiate on just about everything!!!!
He pointed out the delights of selling at a flea market! The space was cheap; there was no overhead as in water, gas, electric and insurance. He had incredible foot traffic with the well-established flea market attracting about 10,000 people every weekend all year round (something he could never do being a stand alone shop in a strip mall) and he included that it was the best people-watching corner in the whole place!!!!!! He really got me thinking about that “little shop” I’ve always wanted to open!!! This may be exactly what I am looking for!!!
I continued my wandering until the Flea Market started closing down and tired vendors began to cover their wares. The weather was predicted to be “Perfect” the next day also, so everyone was ready to take a break and begin again tomorrow. I lugged my packages (next time I’m bringing a cart with wheels!!) back to the car and made a note to try to arrive earlier, even if the crowds are heavier, but to come ready to buy fresh fruits and vegetables!!! A cooler would definitely be added to the mix!!
The only thing that I could possibly complain about was the lack of “Homemade or Handmade artisans. As an artist, these are the items I gravitate to first. Artists buying art from artists is sort of my thing and my home and lifestyle reflects that!!!! I would also like more antique dealers!!! I understand the difficulty of moving around hutches and chests and old furniture! It is just MY opinion that more Antiques and Art would add to the diversity of an already diverse Flea Market!!!!
Now, my plan is to take a couple week breaks from buying and buying and buying and trying my hand at selling some of these Treasures!!!
Until next time!!!!!