Arizona native Ashlee Molina has always had a thing for antiquing. Her mom would take her hunting and to auctions when Molina was a kid.
After moving around the country for about a decade for academic and professional ventures, Molina returned to Phoenix about a year ago. And what struck her upon returning was the city's lack of a good flea market. Since her move back, she'd been itching to start one up. This past summer, she quit itching and took action. And Phoenix Flea was born.
With inspiration from flea markets and vintage shops she's hit up in her travels, Molina will launch Phoenix Flea as a two-day shopping event held at Historic Heritage Square with around 50 local vendors hawking antiques, vintage goods, art, crafts, clothing, and snacks.
"I love the mystery of a flea market," she says. "You never know what you will find."
Though antiquing has been her lifelong hobby, Molina has spent much of her career working in nonprofits. So it's no surprise that when organizing her inaugural flea market, she wanted to get involved with a local charitable organization. A portion of all ticket sales and concessions from Phoenix Flea in November will go to the 100 Club of Arizona.
She's already thinking beyond November. Molina says that Phoenix Flea's second and third editions already are slated for January and March of 2014. The plan is to continue holding the event at Heritage Square and working with all-local vendors.
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While the complete lineup of vendors hasn't been announced yet, Molina says that applications are being accepted through Friday, November 1. Those interested in hosting a booth at the market can email firstname.lastname@example.org. She hopes to include everyone who wants to participate.
"That's the beauty of a community event like this," she says. "It pulls together the collections and creations of an eclectic mix of local vendors, designers, and artisans."