Black Flea Market

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Kicking off the first full day of Memorial Day Weekend, Black Market Flea hosted its monthly flea market on May 27th. Just a month shy of its second anniversary taking place in June (the next one is sure to be huge, so don’t feel too bad if you missed out on last month’s), Black Market Flea did what it does best: cultivate community, and look good while doing it.

This results in a space where Black peoples of all genders, bodies, and abilities feel free to express themselves and interact with a community that is genuinely there to show out for each other and have a good time. Black Market Flea is a space where we can find our new fave products, lay out together on the grass listening to music, express ourselves freely, and bask in the beauty of Black life.
Going to the flea feels like a reunion. I ran into people I hadn’t seen in months, reconnected with friends, met new ones, and brought my family along. The anticipation of musical guest SiR brought a sizable crowd, but it felt serene in the sea of people. There was no crowding, no shoving, or fussing, just sharing space respectfully.When marketgoers were asked what drew them to the event, each one cited the community, art, and fashion. “It’s just a really cool space where Black creatives can see everything that we’re capable of, our artistic skills, and be amongst each other [in a way that] feels so peaceful,” said second-timer Marlena Ryan. The market’s objective focuses on uplifting Black vendors and businesses first and foremost. In between the lively tunes and spirit-lifting refreshments, the organizers make sure to remind market goers of the purpose of materially supporting our people. From rare vintage finds and handmade accessories to one-of-one designer pieces, Black Market Flea is the place to go to expand your sartorial style while supporting the community at the same time. Melian J, a sustainable clothing designer, has been vending her “purpose-driven slow fashion” pieces since the second flea market almost two years ago, “I think it’s beautiful the way we’re circulating the Black dollar. My experience here is so fulfilling. When I leave here, my heart is full. The support means a lot to me.”

Where is the biggest flea market in the country?
Rose Bowl Flea Market – Pasadena, California The historic Rose Bowl Stadium is home to sports events and one of the largest flea markets in the US: The Rose Bowl Flea Market.
Food from across the diaspora filled the posterior section of the Beehive with Caribbean cuisine, Southern classics, Latin dishes, sweets, fresh natural juices, and plenty of vegan options. Black Market Flea has even featured Black-owned brewing companies in its selection of refreshments– the details and intentionality are unmatched. This selection of food paired with body care products, home decor, and of course the aforementioned fashion, makes BMF your one-stop shop for a day filled with all things Black-owned. Calling the Black Market Flea a labor of love would be an understatement. Hatcher and co-founder Kene O. (who can be found on center stage setting the mood as one of the flea’s resident DJs) work tirelessly to bring their intentions to life. A testament to their mission, the BMF founders have stayed grounded in ensuring the environment is inclusive, freeing, and truly supportive of Black business owners. The electricity coursing through the air is palpable to everyone, so much so that SiR took a moment during his performance to acknowledge the rarity and importance of BMF’s existence. Keeping such a large space functional, safe, and committed to platforming exclusively Black-owned entities is no simple task, yet Hatcher and her team do it consistently. Black Market Flea was founded by Mayah Hatcher, who saw the need for an inclusive space for Black vendors after being a vendor at different flea markets herself. Setting out to create an atmosphere where Black small business owners could thrive, she launched an event that has grown into what we all love today: a space where thousands of Black people local to LA and beyond have gathered to shop, dance, and embrace Black creation.The flea has been a foundation and potential launching pad for many vendors gaining recognition. Lexie “Foofie” Davis, a creator of Foofie Friday, who was one of the original vendors when BMF first began, returned to the flea after taking a year off. Since her first time at the flea market, her custom beaded apparel and jewelry have been featured in music videos such as Doja Cat’s “Woman” and Janelle Monae’s “Lipstick Lover.” “Things have been moving up,” she expressed, “so I’m just excited to come back, connect with the community, and have a nice family day.”

The flea is an incomparable experience, and that inspiring, familial feeling has kept the community returning for more. Hosted at The Beehive in South Los Angeles, Black Market Flea (BMF) is where Black business, beauty, and collectivism thrive. Over time it has hosted countless vendors of all categories, wide selections of food, and musical guests, including Isaiah Rashad, Saba, Mereba, and most recently, Inglewood’s very own SiR.
“As many venues as we’ve worked with, finding a Black-owned venue is very difficult,” she said. “Even if you go to Africa. And then I took a tour of the space, and they explained to me how they’re working with the students, and even the housing stuff. And I was like, this is in alignment with what I’ve always wanted to do, be a place where we can support Blackness. And it’s beautiful!”Before it became the Beehive in 2019, the 5-acre campus was three separate parcels of land within the Goodyear tract, an industrial zone in South L.A. known more for auto body shops than day parties. Martin Muoto, founder of the affordable housing and real estate investment company SoLa Impact, had been driving through the area and thought the scarlet brick buildings could be a starting point for his first commercial endeavor.“For me, it became personal when I came to SoLa,” she said. “We were determined to help break the cycle of poverty, and part of that was getting to the youth early.”

“Sometimes you work a corporate job, you’re the only Black person there, or you’re in a city where you don’t see Black people all the time,” she continued. “So it’s nice to be in that environment. We’re Black every day, right? We are dealing with the same struggles. It’s cathartic to dance and release your pain.”
“In the beginning, it was a sit-down situation, but you know Black folks,” she said. “They hear a song they like, they’re going to dance. So it kept elevating to a bigger thing.”The lightbulb went off for Muoto when Google came calling and asked to use the space for an event to promote the Google Pixel smartphone’s Real Tone feature, designed to take photos of darker skin tones in a more complimentary light. “The hardest part was convincing folks, because we’re a housing developer first, right? Why are we building a tech center?” Francois recalled. “So convincing folks that we could execute at a level of operational excellence, and have a true impact, took a minute. But now that we have it, and people can touch and see it, it’s tangible.” It’s a Saturday at Black Market Flea, and activity is bustling in the vibrant, 125,000-square-foot space on East 60th Street off Central Avenue. Outside are lines of Black and brown people in their most expressive outfits, all pining to get in to the depot, which is filled with rows of vendor tents offering art, thrifted clothes or custom jewelry. Aromas float above the food trucks in the dining area, which is filled with people struggling to decide which cuisine they want to eat. Music is everywhere, coming from the DJ booth at the edge of the courtyard, pumped about the indoor/outdoor venue via multiple speaker setups.“We did a graphic called ‘Black power crunch,’ it’s a cereal box like Reese’s Puffs, but the peanut butter and chocolate cereal are little fists,” he said. “We just thought it was cool. But when we got the reception for it at the flea, we were like, ‘Oh man, we gotta do more of this.’ It definitely influences a little bit of the creativity process.”

Conversations about the tech center began in 2018, and planning got underway after SoLa Impact purchased the Beehive. In summer of 2020, they launched a pilot program with 20 students, looking to measure demand and prove to investors they could be successful.
Muoto pursued his venture and eventually founded SoLa Impact in 2015, raising millions in private capital to purchase dilapidated buildings and restore them to rent on the market. But by 2019, he had two ideas to expand the vision. First, he wanted to increase L.A.’s housing supply by building new units, not just renovating existing ones. And second, he wanted to develop SoLa Impact’s first commercial property.Riot Games stepped in to help the cause once there was proof of concept, proving instrumental in building out the programming and sustaining it through the early stages. As the center grew, other companies came in to play a role; Live Nation partnered with SoLa Impact to help aspiring executives break into the music business, and players from the L.A. Rams have come through to interact with the kids.

“To really create prosperity, you’ve got to create jobs, you’ve got to create economic development,” Muoto said. “So I said, how do we create an ecosystem that really encourages Black and brown businesses to thrive here? How do we create a central spot where nonprofits can come to really celebrate South L.A.?”

Thomas Saunders, the founder of L.A. skate and apparel company Broke & Board, is no stranger to the event. Broke & Board has sold clothing and other items at the flea market since 2021, and for him, the people aren’t just consumers, they’re tastemakers who help shape future designs.“They built a village,” he said. “They built a city. … They really wanted to make it authentic to the Black community. Them picking the Beehive showed me that even corporations like Google aren’t just talking about diversity, equity, inclusion. They actually want to come roll up their sleeves a little bit.”“We purposely make everyone mingle,” Ahmed said. “So you’re going to see someone you watched on TV twerking in the middle of the dance floor. It’s literally in the name, Everyday People. You’re going to be weird if you have airs about you.” Kenan Draughorne is a reporter at the Los Angeles Times and was a member of the 2021-22 Los Angeles Times Fellowship class. When he’s not writing a story, you can find him skating across Dockweiler Beach, playing the drums or furiously updating his Spotify playlists. “For a long time, I was swallowing very hard,” Muoto said. “Everyone was saying, ‘Businesses aren’t going to come back to work, people aren’t going to use this type of space.’ Everyone was at home. So we ended up investing very heavily in our outdoor space.”The center’s programming is not exclusive to SoLa residents; about 85% of the kids don’t live in the company’s housing. Plans are in motion for a second tech center in the Crenshaw/LAX corridor, in collaboration with City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents the area.Taking Everyday People on the road came with its own set of challenges: Ahmed had to plan an event that felt authentic to its home city, even if it was her first time there. She made a habit of connecting with a new city’s tastemakers to understand the local environment, using Everyday People’s rapidly spreading platform to shine a light through collaboration.She moved to New York after graduating from Suffolk University but struggled to get a foot in the door at any companies due to a lack of connections. She’d already been throwing parties in the area and, after seeing how popular brunches had become in New York, felt motivated to put her spin on the daytime event.

What is a flea slang UK?
And that’s where we come in. You might jump straight to the obvious conclusion – that it refers to someone or something infested with fleas, but definitions of ‘fleabag’ vary depending on your geography. In the UK, a ‘fleabag’ generally means: “a dirty, unkempt or unpleasant person or animal”.
There’s a lot going on at the Beehive, but for Chief Impact Officer Sherri Francois, this is the crown jewel. It’s a true 21st century YMCA, filled with virtual reality headsets, entrepreneurship programs and courses that teach kids about the business behind entertainment.Francois was born in Compton and lived there until age 11, when she moved to the more affluent city of Walnut with her parents. Seeing both sides of the coin at a young age showed her the disparities she and her family had previously dealt with firsthand, despite the two cities being less than an hour apart.

Saada Ahmed discovered the Beehive in 2022 when a friend connected her to the then-new venue as a possible site for her traveling party series known as Everyday People. Ahmed had founded the popular event in New York in 2009 and had already planted roots in Los Angeles but took a tour of the space to gauge its potential.

Where is it called a flea market?
Paris, France In his article LaFarge says, “There is a general agreement that the term “Flea Market” is a literal translation of the French marche aux puces, an outdoor bazaar in Paris, France, named after those pesky little parasites of the order Siphonaptera (or “wingless bloodsucker”) that infested the upholstery of old furniture …
“Thank you for this space,” Francois recalled Langston telling him. Then, he pointed to the scholar wall: “And just so you know, someday I’m going to be on that wall.”The Tree Yoga Cooperative in the west wing offers yoga, meditation and other holistic wellness classes multiple times a day, centering Black and Latinx communities. Gallery 90220, founded by Compton native David Colbert Jr., hosts work from local artists on its walls. And South L.A. Brewery aims to open its doors later this year, delivering a Black-owned brewery and taproom to the community.

Word got around, and with every event Everyday People packed a bigger venue. Before long it outgrew New York, spreading across America and into the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.
About 125 graduates from the program have received scholarships to college, their likenesses memorialized on a scholar wall that shows all their faces. Francois remembers a current student named Langston staring up at the various headshots, envisioning his future photo plastered up high for all to see.“One of the things that drew me was not feeling alone,” Ahmed said. “That can come in different forms. I’ve done other stuff like Brothers & Sisters, where we had monthly conversations about stuff we were dealing with. We’ve done Everyday People community sessions, with different forms of healing. I just felt called to make people not feel alone.”

Near the end of 2019, SoLa Impact bought the land through three separate transactions and set to work on a renovation plan. The original idea was to provide space for entrepreneurs, community groups and BIPOC businesses inside the brick buildings — South L.A. Brewery was one of the first to plant a flag, claiming a room where it would create its home base.
“Being from L.A., I’ve seen people getting punched out at the [Martin Luther] King [Day] parade,” Saunders said. “All these things that are supposed to be for us and by us for our prosperity, in the back of our mind, we think, ‘Something’s going to happen.’ But at the Beehive, it just has some type of energy. Even walking in there, the air feels fresher. I’ve never even seen nobody mad at their fellow man at the Beehive.”

“It’s fascinating, when I was trying to figure out my major in college, I wanted to study anthropology,” she said. “Which had its own implications, because of white people. But I was always interested in culture. So going to different cities to me, it was almost like me doing that study without going to college.”
The success stories are evident. A student named Jailah Walker sells sneaker candles after creating the concept in the entrepreneurial program, and has already sold her items at a pop-up outside the tech center (and through her Instagram storefront). Parents routinely tell Francois and Muoto how excited their kids are to come to the campus each day. “We’ve heard parents say, ‘I can’t get my kids to get up and get dressed for school, but during the summer, they’re up at 7:30 like, ‘Mom, are we going to the tech center?’” Muoto said.

Once a month for much of the last year, this has been the scene at the Beehive, the energizing indoor/outdoor venue on Central Avenue buzzing with Black life. But the vitality lingers long after Black Market Flea’s vendors have packed up for the day.

It’s a formidable lineup, and that doesn’t even include the technology and entrepreneurship center for kids in the community, or the festivals and one-off events that rent out the venue.
She found her way to a television career producing for CNN, NBC and MTV, thanks to her skills with operating cameras and editing software. But much of her family remained trapped in the generational curses that plague many Black families in Los Angeles.The Beehive is one of the larger venues Everyday People operates out of, but it routinely sells out each time (even with parties on back-to-back days). Stars from Diddy to Saweetie to Smino have come through but, unlike a typical L.A. club, VIPs aren’t sectioned off in their own, typically less rambunctious area. SoLa impact didn’t initially have grand plans for the property’s outdoor areas, but out of necessity they became essential to the Beehive’s survival. The pivot paid off: Companies and community groups came calling, drawn primarily to the warmth of the courtyard. The flea made a Saturday in January feel like summertime, for both vendors and attendees. People created their own dance floor in the courtyard by the DJ table, spinning in circles to the beat, while others splayed across the grass in the California sun.

Muoto grew up in northern Nigeria before migrating to America in 1989 with “$40 and a suitcase” to study at the University of Pennsylvania. After working for national venture capital companies, he moved to Los Angeles and focused on investing in undervalued real estate, much of which happened to be in South Los Angeles.“We’ve only been open and operational just over a year, and fully operational since August,” Francois said. “We know there’s a demand, because we have a waitlist for programming. We could have a tech center on every other block and it still wouldn’t be enough.” “If we can do it in South L.A., they can do it in Watts,” Muoto said. “If they can do it in Watts, they can do it in Philadelphia, or in Tulsa. We want to be an open book here. If you want to come beg, borrow and steal our best ideas and then do it in Tulsa, come on down.” Jason Armond is a staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times. A native of North Carolina, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received a bachelor’s in media and journalism. His work as a photographer and videographer has been recognized by the Hearst Journalism Awards, the White House News Photographers Assn. and the North Carolina College Media Assn. As a freelance visual journalist, his work has been featured in several publications before joining The Times.

What is a flea market?
A flea market (or swap meet) is a type of street market that provides space for vendors to sell previously owned (second-hand) goods. This type of market is often seasonal.
“Everybody asked where I was investing, and when I said South L.A., Compton and Watts, they said, ‘Oh, you’re going to lose your shirt,’” he recalled. “‘Tenants are going to crash, you’ll be dealing with crime.’ I realized the area was being judged by the old stereotypes from the crack cocaine era. But my central investment thesis was the vast majority of people were good, hardworking people who wanted a safe place for their kids.”Partnerships have been essential to the center’s survival, Francois emphasized for groups outside of Los Angeles looking to emulate the center. Both she and Muoto are excited about the current and planned center but want to see the model expand across the country.In the time of the Emperor Napoleon III, the imperial architect Haussmann made plans for the broad, straight boulevards with rows of square houses in the center of Paris, along which army divisions could march with much pompous noise. The plans forced many dealers in second-hand goods to flee their old dwellings; the alleys and slums were demolished. These dislodged merchants were, however, allowed to continue selling their wares undisturbed right in the north of Paris, just outside the former fort, in front of the gate Porte de Clignancourt. The first stalls were erected in about 1860. The gathering together of all these exiles from the slums of Paris was soon given the name “marché aux puces”, meaning “flea market”, later translation.

In the United States, an outdoor swap meet is the equivalent of a flea market. However, an indoor swap meet is the equivalent of a bazaar, a permanent, indoor shopping center open during normal retail hours, with fixed booths or storefronts for the vendors.
Different English-speaking countries use various names for flea markets. In Australian English, they are also called ‘trash and treasure markets’. In Philippine English, the word is tianggê from the word tianguis via Mexican Spanish coming from Nahuatl. Despite common misconception, it is not derived from Hokkien. The word supplants the indigenous term talipapâ. In India, it is known as gurjari or shrukawadi bazaar or even as juna bazaar in Pune. A flea market (or swap meet) is a type of street market that provides space for vendors to sell previously owned (second-hand) goods. This type of market is often seasonal. However, in recent years there has been the development of ‘formal’ and ‘casual’ markets which divides a fixed-style market (formal) with long-term leases and a seasonal-style market with short-term leases. Consistently, there tends to be an emphasis on sustainable consumption whereby items such as used goods, collectibles, antiques and vintage clothing can be purchased, in an effort to combat climate change and fast fashion. The traditional and most-publicized story is in the article “What Is a Flea Market?” by Albert LaFarge in the 1998 winter edition of Today’s Flea Market magazine:In Moroccan Darija, the term for “flea market” is جوطية juṭiyya, which either derives from French jeter or jetable (throwable), or is an older term derived from جوقة juqa meaning “gathering of people”. An ancient village on the bank of Sebou River by the name جوطة “Juta” may have been a big medieval market.

In German, there are many words in use but the most common word is “Flohmarkt”, meaning literally “flea market”. The same applies to Dutch “vlooienmarkt”, Swedish “loppmarknad” and Finnish “kirpputori”. In the predominantly Cuban/Hispanic areas of South Florida, they are called [el] pulguero (“[the] flea store”) from pulga, the Spanish word for fleas. In the Southern part of Andalusia, due to the influence of Gibraltar English, they are known as “piojito”, which means “little louse”. In Chile they can be called persas or mercados persa (“persian market”) and ferias libres, if mostly selling fruit and vegetables. In Argentina are most likely called “feria artesanal” (artisan’s or street fair) or “feria americana” (American fair), the latter name is due to have taken the idea from their United States counterpart.
In the United States, the National Association of Flea Markets was established in 1998, which provides various resources for sellers, suppliers and buyers and also provides a means for suppliers and sellers to communicate and form affiliations.While the concept has existed for millennia, the origins of the term flea market are disputed. According to one theory, the Fly Market in 18th-century New York City, located at Maiden Lane near the East River in Manhattan, began the association. The land on which the market took place was originally a salt marsh with a brook, and by the early 1800s the Fly Market was the city’s principal market.A second theory maintains that flea market is a common English calque from the French marché aux puces, which literally translates to “market with fleas”, labelled as such because the items sold were previously owned and worn, likely containing fleas. The first reference to this term appeared in two conflicting stories about a location in Paris in the 1860s which was known as the “marché aux puces”.

Why is it called a flea market?
Though the history of flea markets is difficult to pinpoint, the term “Flea Market”, may come from the French moniker, “marché aux puces”, a title that was given to a Parisian market that specialized in selling second-hand goods – which may or may not have contained actual fleas.
In the United Kingdom, they are known as car boot sales if the event takes place in a field or car park, as the vendors will sell goods from the boot (or ‘trunk’ in American English) of their car. If the event is held indoors, such as a school or church hall, then it is usually known as either a jumble sale, or a bring and buy sale. In Quebec and France, they are often called Marché aux puces (literally “flea market”), while in French-speaking areas of Belgium, the name brocante or vide-grenier is normally used. There is a general agreement that the term ‘Flea Market’ is a literal translation of the French marché aux puces, an outdoor bazaar in Paris, France, named after those pesky little parasites of the order Siphonaptera (or “wingless bloodsucker”) that infested the upholstery of old furniture brought out for sale. Flea market vending is distinguished from street vending in that the market alone, and not any other public attraction, brings in buyers. There are a variety of vendors: some part-time who consider their work at flea markets a hobby due to their possession of an alternative job; full-time vendors who dedicate all their time to their stalls and collection of merchandise and rely solely on the profits made at the market. Vendors require skill in following retro and vintage trends, as well as selecting merchandise which connects with the culture and identity of their customers.In the most traditional of tianguis, public officials will close off a street to vehicle traffic on a specified day so that merchants (called “ambulantes”) can set up their spaces on the sidewalks and/or roadways. Most of the spaces are covered by plastic tarps to protect sellers and vendors from the sun and/or the rain. They often enclose the entire area, giving the market an enclosed feeling. In many rural and smaller towns, there is usually a preferred area, which is usually in the town center, near the church plaza and permanent market.

The open air art market of San Ángel has occurred every Saturday morning since 1964 and sells mostly traditional and indigenous fine arts, created in Mexico. It is located in a tiny park named Plaza Tenanitla and is the oldest art market in Mexico City. Some of the artists and artisans are the children and grandchildren of the original founders of the market. While many of the artists live in Mexico City, a number travel from as far as the states of Puebla, Guerrero and Mexico State to sell. It is informally known as the Saturday Bazaar, but the association that runs it formally calls it the tianguis Artesanal Tenanitla. Most of the stalls still sell paintings and sculptures but other also sell crafts, snacks and antiques.

The largest tianguis in Mexico City is San Felipe de Jesus, which is located on the border of Gustavo A. Madero and Tlalnepantla. This market has been in operation for over forty years, covers 17 km and has 17,000 merchants, which offer their wares from Tuesday to Saturday. This is one of the least governmentally supervised markets due to the fact that it stretches over both the Federal District and the State of Mexico.

Some tianguis are private spaces, which usually contain both permanent buildings and open areas for stalls. One example of this is El Sol in Zapopan, Jalisco, where the vendors in the permanent area operate all week and the tianguis area is mostly occupied on weekends. Most tianguis operate more according to tradition than by formal rules. All have some kind of administrator or administration committee. The job of administrators is to interact with local authorities on behalf of tianguis sellers and manage internal affairs, especially the assignment of spaces and the collection of rental fees. The first rule is the process of negotiating for a space, but often this includes the denial of spaces for those who are unknown to the administration. Another is for vendors to watch out for authorities and warn others of authorities who may come to inspect sellers. In some markets, bartering is making a comeback, especially in the rural areas, such as the northeast of Morelos state. In one market in Zaculapan, 150 of 400 vendors state that they accept bartered goods, especially in produce and staple food products such as milk and bread. One reason for this is that many rural families lack cash, but raise produce for sale on their own farms and orchards. This tradition has existed for centuries, but increases in hard times.
The tradition of buying and selling in temporary markets set up either on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, etc.) is a strong feature in much of Mexican culture and has a history that extends far back into the pre-Hispanic period. It was the most important form of commerce in the pre-Hispanic era, and after the Spanish Conquest, the Europeans mostly kept this tradition intact. Market areas have been identified in ruins such as El Tajín in Veracruz, and a number of pre-Hispanic towns were initially founded as regional markets, such as Santiago Tianguistenco and Chichicastenango, Guatemala . The word tianguis derives from the Nahuatl word tiyānquiztli ‘open air-market’, from tiyāmiqui ‘to trade, sell’. The most important markets, such as the one in Tlatelolco, were set up and taken down every day of the week. This market served about one fifth of the population of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) before the Conquest and had its own governing system, which included a panel of twelve judges to resolve disputes. Today, one of the most visited exhibits in the National Museum of Anthropology is the model of the pre-Hispanic market such as the one in Tenochtitlan.In the 20th century, local governments in Mexico have promoted municipal or public markets or mercados to better regulate the selling of goods traditionally available in tianguis. In Mexico City, some of the better known of these markets are La Merced, Abelardo L. Rodriguez Market and Mercado Lagunilla. La Merced is located in an area that had been a huge tianguis for most of the colonial period as it was located at the edge of a lake (now drained). The Abelardo L. Rodriguez Market was specifically built by the government in the 1930s to try to “modernize” the sale of produce and other staples. It went as far as having a daycare center and a theater and commissioning Diego Rivera to supervise the painting of murals inside. These murals can still be seen today. However, these efforts have not eliminated the tianguis tradition; in fact, the number of such informal markets (5,836,000) far surpasses the number of mercados (2,810,000). In Mexico City alone, there are 317 mercados versus 1,357 tianguis. One reason is that many of these mercados are not well-maintained and few new ones have been built since the 1970s. Mexico’s two largest cities, Mexico City and Guadalajara, have large number of tianguis that employ many people. Officially, Guadalajara has 143 registered tianguis in the city, with no new ones approved since 1997. These tianguis have over 40,000 stalls combined. These stalls pay a nominal fee of between 2.5 and 3 pesos per square meter for the right to be there. About half of the tianguis in Guadalajara operate once a week, about 15% every two weeks and the rest about once a month. In Guadalajara, it is estimated that approximately 95,000 people work in this sector. Many occasional and some semi permanent tianguis are specialty markets, either specializing in one type of good or are set up for a specific season. One semi permanent market is the “Fashion Tianguis,” with about fifty vendors who sell clothing each weekend at Parque México in Mexico City. Most are true designer labels from various countries, including Mexico. Merchandise includes many ítems that have not sold in upscale stores. Other tianguis that specialize in fashion include Plaza Cibeles on weekends, La Lagunilla on Sundays, and Del Chopo on Saturdays. The last specializes in “dark” and Gothic fashion . The city of Tonalá, Jalisco, sponsors a tianguis adjacent to the permanent market, which is restricted mostly to vendors who sell locally made pottery and other craft items. It is called the Tianuges de Artesanos. A number of cities such as Monterrey, and Guadalajara have tianguis that operate only to sell used cars.Despite the problems and despite the fact that tianguis merchants do not pay taxes, rent or services (however bribes are paid to many city officials) like established businesses do, eliminating them or even moving them is very difficult due to the large number of people they employ and their firm place in the culture. Attempts to remove illegally placed merchants or move tianguis entirely generally meet with protest. For about 34 years, the area around the permanent Mercado Juarez had been the scene of one of the largest tianguis in the city of Toluca, operating more or less every day. On weekends, the number of vendors was as high as 2,800. More than 1,100 police were needed to forcibly remove 560 stands from the triangular plaza in front of Mercado Juarez and the four blocks surrounding it. To prevent the vendors from returning, the entire plaza was back hoed and a large fence installed around the plaza. Police patrolled it and the four-block area for weeks afterwards. While there was no violence, tensions were high and there were verbal protests. The clearing of this tianguis was done to alleviate traffic problems in this part of the city, with vendors offered new space at the site of the old airport. In some areas, such as Tepito in Mexico City, almost the entire neighborhood is employed as informal merchants with even more that come in to sell. This market has a long tradition here and is the largest and most vibrant in the city in the 21st century.

In Mexico City, there are 1,066 officially recognized tianguis controlled by 600 tianguis associations, each of whom has between forty and six hundred members. Hundreds of these close entire streets at least one day a week. These tianguis employ about 130,000 people. These markets are regulated by the Secretaria de Desarrollo Economico and by the Secretaria de Economia Federal. Most tianguis vendors are located in the borough of Iztapalapa, where they make up about one third of the total. This borough contains 304 tianguis markets convene during the week with Gustave A. Madero coming second with 160. Sunday is the busiest day for tianguis, and Tuesday is the slowest.
In larger cities, the market exists, often in places with no supermarkets or mercados nearby. Neighbors and permanent merchants in the Del Valle neighborhood of Mexico City see the week
ly tianguis as a benefit. It brings basic staples such as vegetables, fruit, clothing as well as crafts and traditional sweets to a neighborhood that does not have a permanent market or supermarket. For permanent merchants, the tianguis brings increased foot traffic to the area. Many crowd around established markets or “mercados” such as La Lagunilla in Mexico City. In cases such as these, vendors set up stalls everyday, but the area is most crowded on weekends. On Saturdays in La Lagunilla, stands selling leather, coats and jackets, vintage clothes and other items crowd the streets.

Due to the change in tastes needs of customers, urban tianguis focus on different merchandise. Produce and other basic staples are still offered, but other items are far more likely to be manufactured items such as electronics, name brand clothing and other wares. Relatively few crafts or agricultural items are offered in most city tianguis. Merchandise mostly concentrate on more modern and manufactured items, such as clothing, purses, beauty products, electronics and hand appliances. Those who sell audio and video CDs, a lucrative business, will often have large loudspeakers playing samples of their wares at very high volume.Most goods sold in tianguis are small items that customers can carry away. In many of these markets, vendors selling similar items group together. This has advantages for both buyer and seller, as it provides a wider variety of products than would a single merchant. It also lets shoppers know where to find a particular item. Certain goods are more prone to this such as produce, meat, and certain specialized or craft items. However, exceptions to this occur because a vendor cannot afford space in the area or because he or she is looking for convenience shoppers who are not looking to bargain. Most tianguis sellers, especially produce sellers, arrange their wares in certain arrangements, such as in baskets, or into neat piles to make their wares more attractive.

Surveys of consumers have shown that many Mexicans buy from tianguis because of the frequent lack of bargains, social interaction, and customer service in formal stores. According to one survey, over 90% stated that they have bought merchandise from a tianguis, with the average family spending about 300 pesos per visit. The most common items sold in tianguis include groceries, beauty supplies, clothing, appliances, electronics, prepared foods, tools and used goods. About a third of Mexicans buy at least some of their clothing and shoes in tianguis.
The tianguis in rural areas most closely resemble those of centuries past. Most still contain a large amount of agricultural supplies, produce and other food staples, livestock, handmade items and traditional clothing. In many, indigenous languages such as Nahuatl and Zapotec can be heard. One example is the Sunday market of Cuetzalan, Puebla, where Nahuatl speaking people can be heard negotiating prices on items such as vanilla beans, handcrafted textiles, huipils, coffee, flowers and baskets much as their ancestors did. The Tlacolula Sunday market in Oaxaca is the largest and busiest in the central valleys area of the state, and brings people from the very rural areas into town to both sell and buy. The market fills an important retail and social gap as most of the outlying villages are too small to support permanent stores and many use the opportunity to converse with distant neighbors. Even sellers will consider who they want to socialize with when choosing a selling space. The tianguis of Chilapa, Guerrero attracts thousands of Nahua and Tlapaneco people, who come to buy and sell handcrafts, medicinal plants, local specialties such as pozole and many other items. Many of the visitors are from neighboring regions. Prices are low. It is possible to buy a liter of mezcal for only 25 pesos. The weekly Thursday market in Villa de Zaachila is divided into three parts, one devoted to firewood, as many still cook with it, one to livestock and the rest to basic staples. While many of the goods sold in rural markets are similar to those sold for centuries, modern items such as mass-produced tools, clothing such as jeans, CDs, DVDs and automobiles are also sold.

Vendor spaces can be as simple as a cloth on the ground to a simple table or pile of boxes to tables with walls made up of interconnecting metal poles. Those who sell goods from the ground may have only a few things to sell or their cloth might be filled to the edge. Those with a table have the advantage of having their goods in easier reach of both buyer and seller. Merchandise from these spaces is usually produce, hats, jewelry, pottery and other small, unbreakable items. Stalls with walls allow for the hanging of merchandise such as clothing or the addition of shelves for more delicate wares. These type of stalls can display six times the merchandise than those who sell from the ground or table.Seasonal tianguis serve needs for holidays and other annual events. In San Pablo Tultepec, there is a tianguis of fireworks in August and the first part of September before the annual Independence Day celebrations in Mexico. It is located on the entrance to the town from the highway between Toluca and Mexico City. Everything from sparklers to complicated sets with moving parts are sold. This market operates with licenses from the State of Mexico as well as from the Secretariat of National Defense. In Saltillo every Thursday during Lent, there is a tianguis devoted entirely to fish and seafood, partially sponsored by the federal Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food agency. A number of municipalities, such as Hermosillo, Tepic, Xalapa and Celaya, sponsor tianguis for back-to-school, in order to allow parents to buy uniforms, school supplies and other needs at lower prices. Credit is also offered to customers at these events. The most important seasonal tianguis are for the Christmas holiday season, which runs from late November to January 6. From near Christmas Eve up until Epiphany, many of these stalls are open from early in the morning to very late at night. Most of the merchandise revolves around items for nativity scenes and Christmas trees. Trees are sold as well, with taxis and men with hand trucks nearby to hire. Some tianguis can be a tourist attraction in themselves. Every year the indigenous and folk art tianguis is held in Uruapan during Holy Week, which is a major vacation time in Mexico. Over twelve hundred artisans come to the city on the large main plaza to sell. The promotional literature states that it is the largest tianguis of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, and is accompanied by arts contests, parades and banquets. This event is one of the top five for the state of Michoacan and accounts for 15% to 20% of the income this small city makes each year. A tianguis is an open-air market or bazaar that is traditionally held on certain market days in a town or city neighborhood in Mexico and Central America. This bazaar tradition has its roots well into the pre-Hispanic period and continues in many cases essentially unchanged into the present day. The word tianguis comes from tiyānquiztli or tianquiztli in Classical Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec Empire. In rural areas, many traditional types of merchandise are still sold, such as agriculture supplies and products as well as modern, mass-produced goods. In the cities, mass-produced goods are mostly sold, but the organization of tianguis events is mostly the same. There are also specialty tianguis events for holidays such as Christmas as well as for particular types of items such as cars or art.From the time of the Conquest to the present, many tianguis, especially in rural areas, have continued to operate much in the same way as before, with only changes in merchandise that reflect changing customer needs. In the cities, especially Mexico City, the history of these markets is filled with examples of attempts to regulate them and push them away to other places, with mixed success. The Zócalo, or main plaza of Mexico City, was the scene of a number of efforts to clear the area of ambulantes, street vendors, and establish permanent markets in or near the plaza such as the Parian. In all these cases, vendors eventually retook the plaza This problem was again tackled in the 1990s as part of an effort to revitalize the historic center of Mexico City. Despite much initial resistance, the area has been free of street peddlers since that time. Much of the tianguis’ business that used to be done in the Zocalo has now moved to other places such as the Tepito neighborhood.

What do Mexicans call the flea market?
A tianguis is an open-air market or bazaar that is traditionally held on certain market days in a town or city neighborhood in Mexico and Central America.
The organization and function of most city tianguis are mostly the same as those in rural areas; however merchandise varies somewhat and there are problems associated with holding this type of event in the more crowded city. One of the oldest continually operating tianguis in Mexico is the one in Cuautitlán, just outside Mexico City, which has been going on every Tuesday for over 500 years. The market was established in 1491 by the Chichimecas when this area was rural and a way station between Mexico City and points north. Since then, Cuautitlan has become a crowded part of Greater Mexico City, but the tianguis is still in the same place and operated more or less in the same manner. This market congregates 7,500 vendors from various municipalities and states such as Michoacán, Puebla, Pachuca and the municipalities of northern Mexico State. It extends over 250,000 m2. There are efforts to move it away from the center and near the municipal border with Tultitlán, but the merchants have refused to be moved.

The tianguis is part of the so-called “informal economy” even though many of the “informal” vendors are well enough known and established to offer services such as layaway. While many established stores consider the tianguis to be damaging to their businesses, many Mexican consumers see both sectors as complementary.

Who has the biggest flea market in the world?
Once a month in the small town of Canton, Texas, nearly 100,000 shoppers descend for First Monday Trade Days, which bills itself as the world’s largest flea market. And with more than 6,000 vendors spread out over 100 acres, the market makes a strong case for that title.
Many tianguis have problems in the neighborhoods they occupy. These events are accused of “devouring” streets as regulated and non/regulated ones grow and multiply. The main problem with tianguis is that merchants spread out their wares over sidewalks and other public spaces beyond where they are authorized, blocking pedestrian and vehicular traffic. These places can measure four by four meters on city streets. Monterrey Street in the Del Valle neighborhood of Mexico City is cut from six lanes to three lanes on tianguis days. Another problem is that they block scarce parking space. Residents complain about noise and odor. Lastly, at the end of the day after the stands are taken down and brought home, tons of garbage is left behind, and in areas where market activity is frequent, infrastructure such as light poles and sidewalks are damaged.It has been assumed the flea market concept began somewhere in the 1800’s. Some say the first time the term “Flea Market” was used was about a site in Paris around 1860. The term “Flea Market” is translated from the French marche aux puces, which literally means “outdoor bazaar”. Apparently, sales of goods out of doors was very commonplace in France during the nineteenth century.Flea markets are an extremely popular place to browse and purchase items in the US. They can be found in every state, in major cities as well as small towns. Many markets boast their own special aura and unique atmosphere. A day at a flea market can be quite a fun-filled experience. With all this in mind, it is interesting to delve into the origin of this shopping alternative.

The first American flea market is thought to have opened for business sometime around 1873. Although the exact location is unknown, it is widely assumed it was somewhere in Texas. The concept caught on like wildfire and today it is estimated there are 5,000 flea markets in the United States. These venues serve over one million vendors and 100 million shoppers each year.
The flea market is perhaps the purest form of small or medium commerce in America. Vendors without large inventories can amass a collection of items and display them for purchase. Sellers are always looking for improved merchandise and a more efficient way to sell. This also benefits shoppers since they will often have exposure to newer and better products.

In the Chicago suburb of Villa Park, an outstanding place to sell or buy is at 5 Star Indoor Swap Mart . This venue is always busy, filled with people looking for the very best deals. The mart is conveniently located right off I-290, on North Avenue. For more information give them a call today at 630.835.2800 or check out their website.
Thanks to its extensive history, flea markets have become an iconic American tradition. Despite its somewhat mysterious origins, there is no doubt that today, flea markets are loved and visited by millions of people year after year. Not only are flea markets beneficial for shoppers looking to score great deals on memorable items, but they also provide a great opportunity for sellers to start or continue their own businesses.The oldest weekly running rodeo in the USA! Every Saturday night beginning May 27, 2023 through September 30, 2023. Online tickets sales reopening soon for the 2023 Season!

Flea markets have become a very popular place to shop for one-of-a-kind items. They can be found all over the US, from major cities to small and rural towns. Every market features their own unique atmosphere, creating a special experience for the thousands of people that visit each year. Whether you’re a veteran collector or a newcomer to the scene, it’s always fun and interesting to learn more about the origin of the flea market. Not only is it cool to learn something new, but understanding its history can also help you get the most out of your next visit.
Stop by for a visit or if you would like to set up a stall, check out our vendor requirements section. For any questions about our NJ flea market, please contact us online and we will get back to you shortly.

Though the history of flea markets is difficult to pinpoint, the term “Flea Market”, may come from the French moniker, “marché aux puces”, a title that was given to a Parisian market that specialized in selling second-hand goods – which may or may not have contained actual fleas. The earliest recorded use of the English term was in 1922. Read on for a brief insight into the history of flea markets and to learn more fun facts:
At Cowtown Farmers Market, we showcase over 400 vendors in our indoor and outdoor facilities, twice weekly, all year round. Whether you live in South Jersey or are just visiting, stop by our flea market to discover special and affordable finds for sale. We operate every Tuesday and Saturday from 8am-4pm, rain or shine, to ensure we meet all your flea market shopping needs.

What is the English word for flea market?
On this page you’ll find 13 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to flea market, such as: farmers’ market, flea fair, garage sale, marche aux puces, rummage sale, and street market.
Pop-up market series supporting 30+ Black owned businesses. Vendors will offer an array of bath & body products, clothing, sweet treats, and more. Black Flea Market is presented by Queen Hustle Ent. and Black Dollar NC with support from Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

What is an American flea market?
The flea market is perhaps the purest form of small or medium commerce in America. Vendors without large inventories can amass a collection of items and display them for purchase. Sellers are always looking for improved merchandise and a more efficient way to sell.
Eric has attended other markets and events such as the Rose Bowl Flea Market, the 626 Night Market and many more across California. His brand started with a small production of clothing, helping others with their stories, screen presses, and brand identity. But for many, these flea markets are more than simply a collective shopping area; they are a place to celebrate small businesses and marginalized communities. “Black Market Flea has been an ultimate experience for all of us inner city creatives. As a Black and Mexican creative from Compton, it has been a great outlet for us to showcase [my] hard work,” Eric said.“Eventually, it evolved into me having so many ideas to where I wanted to start my own thing. I wanted to tell who I was and my story. With a lot of travel and a lot of experience, this is what I have to show for myself today,” Bernard said.

“Tickets are encouraged & available to our non-Black & especially White supporters,” said Mayah Hatcher, co-founder of the Black Market Flea. “[Black Market Flea] is about showing up for the Black community. We put our highest efforts into building and curating this space, & we encourage our non-Black supporters to contribute to the culture more than they consume it.”
The Black Flea Market’s community is a place for both Black and non-Black supporters to uplift Black successes and businesses. Its community is celebrated for its access to everyone, encouraging the support of non-Black attendees.As the doors open for the Black Flea, vendors, attendees, and shop-owners prepare for a day full of excitement and fun. The 125,000-square-foot Black-owned venue, called the Beehive, is decorated with tapestries, seating spaces, and art.Since its launch on June 6th, 2021, shortly after the decline of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black-Market Flea has gained the attention of over 74 thousand Instagram followers and the performances of renowned Black artists like Anderson Paak, Isaiah Rashad, and Saba, who each have millions of monthly listeners of Spotify.

“After going to the flea, it reminds me that somewhere, someone will enjoy my art and not overlook me because I am black but appreciate me more because of it. The impact it left on me is forever and will be a place I hope to visit for a long time.”
Described as a uniquely curated experience, Black Market Flea is a monthly flea market with over 200 exclusively Black vendors at every event and is open to the public with an average price of $5-$15 for ticket entry.It is important to show up and contribute to growing communities such as the Black Flea Market, especially since Webb is located in LA county. It creates a space for Black creators who share similar experiences and ideas, but also a space for culture and love.

Across hundreds of vendors, we were drawn to a booth that clearly worked hard to curate unique eye-catching pieces of clothing. Eric Bernard, the founder of the clothing brand Proper Tone, is a regular at the market and has found solidarity in sharing his love for his art with his community.
We had the pleasure of attending the Black Flea Market’s most recent market on March 25th. Upon first glance, you can easily tell the amount of love and care that went into this market, celebrating Black culture. There were a wide variety of vendors, from homemade skin products to second-hand vintage clothing. Each vendor’s section was curated to fit its products and every booth was beautifully expressive.

With Webb’s proximity to Los Angeles, it is impossible to ignore the rich and vibrant culture that is seen throughout the city. The abundance of art, music, and food within the communities demonstrates that Los Angeles is arguably one of the most diverse areas in the world. From the Melrose Trading Post to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, a growing trend of diverse flea markets have dotted the city.
We highly recommend this event to anyone interested. Black Market Flea’s love for culture, food, small businesses, and community is undeniable. Whether you are a fan of Black music, love trying soul foods, or are looking for a fun event full of vibrancy and culture, there is something for everyone to experience.Something that we would like to highlight is the Black Flea Market’s music and food. The energy of the general crowd in combination with classic black artists and music playing as we walked around added to the vibrancy and atmosphere of the event. Performance by beloved artist, Mereba, blew us away. It was clear that the music and performances were a particularly important part of the event, contributing to the overall care and love of the community.

The market isn’t lacking in Southern-inflected specialties—you’ll find delectable treats, including a loaded baked potato topped with pulled pork (pictured) among the many dining options. Try whatever looks appealing, whether it’s funnel cake, Texas-style queso, or sausage on a stick.

Canton is an excellent place to find beautiful pieces of refurbished furniture—in fact, several boutiques in Dallas will come to Canton a few days early and snag items to resell at triple the price. Ensure that you’ll be able to cart your new-old find home by driving a car with ample space for big-ticket items.
My girlfriend found the perfect toilet paper holder, a butler plugging his nose with a plunger for a hat. She wasn’t even thinking about her bathroom décor, but she jumped on the opportunity to buy it. If you find something you know you want, snag it right away—otherwise it might be gone when you come back. And just to be safe, have cash on hand. Many vendors don’t take debit or credit cards.

How often is the black market flea?
every third Sunday of the month However, once a month, he packs his cooking supplies and sets up shop at Black Market Flea, an event where Black-owned businesses and artists gather every third Sunday of the month around Los Angeles to share their passion products with the community; to cultivate vivid Black pride, culture and support.
Canton’s monthly flea market is publicized as “First Monday” of every month, but shopping begins the Thursday prior. You can beat the crowds if you shop before the weekend actually arrives We showed up Thursday afternoon and several vendors already had their booths set up for the weekend’s rush. Not all of the stalls will be open, but there will still be plenty to explore. It’s easy to get lost and find yourself doing circles among all the different stalls and sections of the market. Identify unique pieces (like this large piano sign) and use these as markers to navigate where you are and where you haven’t been. Condé Nast Traveler does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published by Condé Nast Traveler is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

You are going to what might be the largest garage sale you’ve ever seen, so wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. There are piles and piles of random items waiting to be discovered, most of which haven’t been dusted. Make sure you are dressed appropriately so you can dig away. During summer months, it’s also a good idea to pack sunscreen, a hat, and bottled water.
For $55 a day, you can save your feet and zip through every inch by renting a scooter from ABC Rental. They have baskets in the front and big plastic crates in the back. When a friend first suggested this, I thought she was joking—I assumed the scooters were reserved for older shoppers. But after three days of scooting around, my feet were feeling great. (You can also rent shopping carts and wagons.)

Small town Canton’s claim to fame is the famous flea market First Monday Trade Days. The population may be fewer than 5,000 people but every month it grows in size as thousands of shoppers visit one of the largest flea markets in the US. First Monday Trade Days began as a swap event for livestock and farm equipment over 100 years ago. The name is a misnomer as the event is Thursday through Sunday before the first Monday of each month. On those days, a series of buildings, shopping areas, and pavilions bustle with 6,000 merchants.
From Paris to Vienna, dropping by Berlin, London or Copenhagen here is a list of the most significant flea markets in Europe. A must-do if you’re looking forward to discovering the history and culture of Europe’s capital cities.

The best flea markets in the US all have something in common: no matter whether they host hundreds of vendors or only a few dozens, boast mountains of junk, or present carefully curated items, they all are potential goldmines for rare antiques, quirky collectibles, and one-of-a-kind vintage clothing. On this page, we have not only covered the top 10 or top 20 most famous flea markets in the US. We have researched and covered the top 10 flea markets in the US for each state! From Arizona to Washington, through Florida, and Louisiana, we have ranked the must-visit flea markets for your next trip. We have covered a couple of individual cities such as New York and San Francisco which are particularly renowned for their flea market scene. We have also made a classification of the American flea markets to visit by season. Like for example the best US flea markets to visit in spring, summer, and autumn. We also didn’t forget to mention the most famous Highway Yard Sales in the US with the unmissable 127 Corridor Sale, as well as the best antiquing towns in the US that regroup some of the best antique stores in the US. Some iconic flea markets such as the Rose Bowl Flea Market or the Canton Trade Days have been reviewed individually. Certainly, it’s helpful to know where the best flea markets, antique malls, and antique stores in the country are located. But it is also important to know how to plan a flea market road trip in the US! So we have specialized articles on these various topics, just for the US.The best flea markets from Provence (France): from Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Villeneuve-lès-avignon, to Arles, Uzès and Pézenas, flea markets in Provence are real treasure troves for flea market enthusiasts and seasoned antiques hunters.