Since I photograph young families, expectant mamas, and newborn babies, I want to be in the know about what the Denver, CO, area can provide to my clients. It's good to have a pulse on what local businesses are doing and creating to be relevant and helpful.
I attended the Everything Baby Expo a couple of weeks ago which was sponsored by Colorado Parent and happened to be close to me in the Denver Tech Center area. I met so many incredible women with businesses ranging from handmade clothes to chiropractors. I plan to highlight/interview several of those businesses here on the blog, so stay tuned!
Summer Denver Flea 2017
Because I had such great success connecting with local businesses at the Everything Baby Expo, I marched my backside (and my kids' backsides!) to the Denver Flea to see if I could meet some local artists and small businesses who might be of interest to my clients.
It was held at the old Kmart building off of Broadway and Alameda, so it was very convenient (just a few minutes off of I-25). We had to walk a little ways from the parking area, but it was a gorgeous day here in Denver and we were thrilled to park right next to the "Articulated Wall" sculpture that we almost always comment on as we drive up and down the highway:
The old Kmart building was looking preeettty rough. But I kind of liked that they kept things very gritty and didn't make it all look too put together or commercial. It helps keep the "flea market" vibe alive.
The organizers do a great job of bringing talented makers and artists to the event. Sure, there are plenty of the usual: jewelry makers and handmade t-shirt creators, but there were a variety of other goods, like picklers, leather goods makers, bamboo bikes, specialty nuts, artists, and up-cycled license plate signs, to name a few.
It feels very open, yet curated and like each vendor has their own unique take on things. Just take a look at their vendor list. It's filled with quality local businesses. Denver is rocking it these days and overflowing with creatives and makers!
My only complaint is that it's geared more towards adults--which I completely understand: they're the ones with the cash. But I was expecting at least some face-painting or temporary tattoo artists for the kids. Even the "treats" situation was muted. It's definitely more for adults and is not a weekend family activity. In fact, I really wish I'd gone alone because they were pretty wiped out about an hour in to our adventure and I barely had a chance to do real shopping.
That didn't stop my kids from making purchases, though! Townes scoured every.single.jewelry vendor in search of "aquamarine" jewels. I had to lower his expectations on that one! Whenever we couldn't find him, we just looked for the nearest jewelry vendor and there he would be.
Before we walked in, I told them they could pick something out at the flea market for $15 or under. Townes has expensive taste LOL, and after some hemming, hawing, and sulking about not being able to purchase a sun stone necklace for $25, he was able to find a 'sun stone' ring for $15, so crisis averted. And if you know Townes, you know I'm serious about the "crisis" part of that sentence!
I found many pieces of jewelry and housewares that I would have loved to have purchased, but when you're trying to keep an eye on the kids, it doesn't make for a great shopping experience.
I did end up buying Kate an adorable kid's apron from Penni Olive! I found patterns I liked better, but she was pretty set on the dogs. And now that she's doing more cooking (Blue Apron, for the win!), it's much more necessary. She's a messy cook.
I love that the Denver Flea is a two day event. There was definitely a relaxed vibe and I met some interesting small business owners. Like the crew from Fluid Market. Have you heard of this app?
It was created right here in Denver. It's an app that "allows neighbors and peers to rent the things they don't use every day to each other." So you can rent equipment, trucks, ladders, kayak's, baby gates, etc. to people who are in need of an item for the weekend, or longer! You can also put your items up to be rented.
It's GENIUS. I really want to interview the creators for more information and background on how they came up with the idea and took it to market, so stay tuned!
One of our favorite stops was outside at one of the mobile truck shops called, The Circus Kid's Boutique. Oh.Em.Gee. This is the cutest store! They have baby products, gifts, and toys that are perfect for baby showers, birthday parties, or to indulge your own little boy or girl. They source the majority of their products from small businesses that are created and/or run by moms.
Plus, their whole 'circus' branding is so stinking adorable and clever. (Townes was serenading potential customers with their toy accordion--it actually sounded pretty good! And the owners didn't bat an eye, which put me at ease!) I also plan on doing a longer feature on The Circus Kid's Boutique in the near future. I can't wait to hear more about how they decide where to park the truck, how they choose which products to sell, and where the idea came from in the first place!
We lasted about an hour and a half at the Denver Flea and then went in search of treats, but to no avail. The kids had spotted a Blue Bunny ice cream truck on the way in, but we couldn't figure out where they were selling it! We asked around, but no one could help, so we bailed.
Despite no kids activities and no treats, I'm still happy we went because I've heard so much about Denver Flea. I'll definitely be back, but maybe with some friends vs. my own children LOL
The Denver Flea is the brain child of three friends who wanted to crate a space for local businesses to share their wares. They wanted "a fun market that was approachable, community-curated, beer-forward and held at great locations around the city." The first Flea was held in 2014 and haven't looked back!
They typically hold 4-5 Flea Market's every year (even a Holiday Flea!) at different locations around Denver. For more about the Denver Flea or if you want to become a vendor, visit their website!