Austin Flea carefully curates the perfect flea market, brings together creatives of all kinds

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Austin Flea carefully curates the perfect flea market, brings together creatives of all kinds

Garcia, an Austin Flea employee, is seen selling T-shirts. “Everything here is unique. Jewelry tends to have the most people creating and selling, so we try to balance it out by also including organic soaps, clothing, food, original designs, and even CBD joints. We really feature a little bit of everything,” Garcia said.

Garcia, an Austin Flea employee, is seen selling T-shirts. “Everything here is unique. Jewelry tends to have the most people creating and selling, so we try to balance it out by also including organic soaps, clothing, food, original designs, and even CBD joints. We really feature a little bit of everything,” Garcia said.

Gracie Watt

Garcia, an Austin Flea employee, is seen selling T-shirts. “Everything here is unique. Jewelry tends to have the most people creating and selling, so we try to balance it out by also including organic soaps, clothing, food, original designs, and even CBD joints. We really feature a little bit of everything,” Garcia said.

Gracie Watt

Gracie Watt

Garcia, an Austin Flea employee, is seen selling T-shirts. “Everything here is unique. Jewelry tends to have the most people creating and selling, so we try to balance it out by also including organic soaps, clothing, food, original designs, and even CBD joints. We really feature a little bit of everything,” Garcia said.

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Flea markets are a place where a culmination of interests combine to create an original and irreplaceable market that interests everyone. Every city needs a flea market, and for Austin, the Austin Flea has that covered. Started in 2009, Austin Flea was created as a way to combine creative venues into one event and bolster an environment that’s “very Austin in a nutshell – casual, creative, and fun.”

In order to participate with the Austin Flea at any of their events, vendors must apply online to market themselves to a selection jury in order to make sure that there are new and different products for shoppers to choose from. In their 10 year run, the Austin Flea has had over 200 different vendors. 

“At the end of the day, we just hope to give shoppers a variety of options,” Austin Flea employee Sheila Garcia said. “You don’t want 100% jewelry [or] bath and body vendors, so we put it up to a jury.”  

While Austin Flea is an outlet for creators to showcase their craft, it is also an opportunity for those who are just starting to explore new passions. Kayci Wheatley is a self-employed fashion designer and illustrator who sells an assortment of products online at kayciwheatley.com. However, with the inspiration for her new cracker company, Paullee Wanna Cracker? coming from her daughter who is vegan and gluten intolerant, Wheatley finds herself with two separate passions.

“I started making [crackers] a few years ago, and I made them always for my daughter. [Then] I said one day, I’m going to sell them,” Wheatley said. “I’m not really that much of a cook, but this is what I want to do for now. Who knows?”

By putting creativity and variety first, the Austin Flea encompasses the heart of art. From illustrations to crafting, many of the vendors explore the different mediums of art. Artist Cayce Matteoli, founder of Earthereal Design, creates and sells multiple-sized prints, cards, candles, stickers and wrapping paper that can be found on her website

“I was in a band and toured for six years, and I was making all of our posters,” Matteoli said. “Then, my friend had me make her wedding invitations, and they had such a good response from that it inspired me [and] forced me to open my own Etsy shop. It just expanded from there.” 

From Cosmic Coffee on every first Saturday of the month to the Austin Beer Garden Brewery on a Sunday, the Austin Flea is hosted at many venues, with the schedule accessible on their website. In all, the Austin Flea presents an opportunity for Austinites to gain one-of-a-kind experience through a variety of products.  

“[We] enjoy supporting fellow small businesses, and the creative side of that,” Garcia said. “[We] enjoy helping other people… get their products out to the masses.”