Posted: 08-24-2013
The Spring Flea at BAC 2013

Written by Rosie Renkow // Photos courtesy Brooklyn Arts Center

From Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2, The Brooklyn Arts Center was once again transformed into a bustling flea market filled with vintage treasures, exquisite handmade jewelry, beautiful paintings, and much more.

Among the vintage vendors were a variety of Flea at BAC veterans, including Flea Body’s Resale Shop. Flea Body’s is “centrally located in Wilmington and has over 3,500 square feet of furniture, household goods, unique creations, and ‘one-of-a-kinds,” one of the only vintage shops in Wilmington that has a workshop onsite, Flea Body’s has the unique ability to create one-of-a-kind pieces out of bits of vintage items that are found in various areas around the state. Located at 4514 Park Avenue, Flea Body’s is a perfect place to buy gifts and furniture that can’t be found anywhere else.

Another BAC veteran was Sweet Tea and Moonshine, who sold vintage jewelry, rhinestone tiaras, chandeliers, and china, among other things. “I’ve done every Brooklyn Arts Center show, and every show gets better and better; it’s a great venue,” said Janie of Sweet Tea. The BAC was thrilled to have Sweet Tea and Moonshine back, “I’ve always had a feeling for vintage treasures and chandeliers, the things that have a history,” said Janie. It was obvious she had perfected her craft, with a beautiful display of flowers and chandeliers along with glittering tiaras and rhinestone jewelry; it was the perfect mix of delicate femininity and timeless elegance.

Though there were many veterans, there were first-time Flea at BAC participants as well, including Tracy Johnson of Patina South. Johnson traveled from Raleigh all the way to Wilmington after hearing about the Flea at BAC from another artist who participated. “I have a degree in painting, but I started doing jewelry when I graduated in 2000,” said Johnson, “I love vintage! I basically buy things that I like.” Luckily for vintage flea fans, Johnson has impeccable taste. Racks of soaps, vintage items, and gorgeous hand-made jewelry made spectators stop in their tracks. One thing that sets Patina South apart from other vendors is Johnson’s unique method of carrying her equipment: a 1966 camper that she takes to outdoor shows. Though Patina South runs the gamut from vintage to hand-made and everything in between, there is one common theme to each item: flawless craftwork and unique beauty.

Another first-timer was Trash To Treasures. “We house 50 different vendors, we have shabby-chic, retro, primitive, rustic stuff, and we try to bring something for everybody,” said Raina. They certainly accomplished that goal, with items ranging from home décor to cigar boxes to golf balls, every passerby glimpsed something they loved. Located in Castle Hayne, Trash To Treasures was a special kind of vendor because they are a flea market themselves; with over 50 vendors and a wide array of items for sale.

Vendor Paty Rivas, who lives in Wilmington but hails from Mexico City, has “studied for more than 10 years different artistic techniques, including glass, enamel, and metal-smith work” and displayed racks of gorgeous jewelry and intricate vases on the back deck of the church manse. Rivas discussed her work enthusiastically with happy buyers that stopped to chat and shop before heading down the steps into the courtyard tent.

Other vendors who participated, offering one-of-a-kind vintage finds, were BAC veterans Shy’s Corner, Salt Water Salvage Designs, Michael Moore Antiques, Tenderlane, Alleycat's, and Mike Bryand Photo Art, and first-time vendors Oh My Goodness and The Vintage Marketplace at Lou’s Flower World.

The BAC cash bar was open for business and many people happily enjoyed a cocktail as they browsed the different vendors. Lunch was provided by a different food truck each day and after hours of enjoying rigorous shopping, Flea-goers were happy to grab a bite from The Patty Wagon, Catch, or Flaming Amy’s Burrito Bus. And the great Grinder's Caffe on Wrightsville Avenue once again created an awesome coffee shop in the courtyard tent, this time serving the best-tasting iced tea ever!

Like the five BAC fleas before it, this event was a great success—more than 900 shoppers attended—and most every one of them left Brooklyn with a smile on their face and a beautiful treasure (or two) in their hand.


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