I may be a global readiness consultant (but I’m a flea market fanatic by nature!)
Today we’re excited to introduce and welcome Lisa La Valle, organizer of the Flea Market Fanatics Meetup Group in New Jersey, huge flea market fan and newest guest blogger for Second Hand Social!
Hi there Flea Market Fanatics!
I am so excited to be the Flea Market Fanatic guest blogger for Tag Sell It’s blog, Second Hand Social! In this crowded blogsphere, I hope my postings will exceed your expectations – kind of like a flea market!
Recently I was asked by HGTV for the “keys to the fleas” during a casting audition for Flea Market Flip airing in June (I’ll keep you posted if I make the cut)! I thought I would share it with you because it seemed like a great way to introduce myself. During the coming months, I look forward to exchanging emails with you, to learn more about what you found, and why why you found it interesting!
HGTV: Why do you like flea markets?
Lisa La Valle-Finan: Flea markets are a lively encounter with the local culture. A relaxing way to spend the day, alone or with a friend. It’s practically meditative! They satisfy my very specific old world decorating style, frugally. In an increasingly vanilla retail world (that bypasses my senses anyway) the fleas satisfy all of mine. They are always authentic and surprising. Perhaps their resurgent popularity is a reflection of our need to do our “getting and spending” the way people have shopped for centuries: in the old world marketplace, outdoors with other people. I think online socialnetworking is terrific, but I still think some of the sparkle will wear off and we will return to socializing in a real, live way. There is something so satisfying in the whole menagerie of it. What’s more, I never fail to find just the right piece to add to my elegant, old world style on a flea market budget. I feel like I get the best of all possible worlds. I am living how I think life should be. Ah well, it’s my movie, right?
HGTV: On average, how many times a month do you attend a flea market?
Lisa La Valle-Finan: Hard to tell because sometimes I don’t go for long stretches (like in the winter) and then other times I will go for weeks on end (spring and fall) until I find what I need and then I’m done. I don’t like to shop for the sake of shopping. Buying or collecting for the sake of buying and collecting feels excessive and wasteful – both in my time and money. I go when I have something specific in mind I need. Of course though, I inevitably pick up the unexpected and delightful treasure I want, but I think the mistake people can make is going to the fleas and coming home with a lot of junk in the trunk, without a purpose. You don’t want your home to end up looking like a garage sale! So, I tend to go only go when I “need” something specific, or when I have a date with my husband to catch up and eat the local Moroccan or whatever. I always go with a list that contains specific items like a lamp shade, some fabric, a pair of long kid gloves with tiny buttons, an old book with original cover art, or a charming little something.
HGTV: What’s the best time of day to shop at a flea market?
Lisa La Valle-Finan: Depends on which one and where. Generally speaking, bad weather makes the whole darn day good for indoor fleas because no one goes, so you have the whole place to yourself and the vendors are dying to sell to you (at your price), or you can go at the very, very end of the day, when the vendors want to clear the tables and again will sell you just about anything you want, also at your price.
HGTV: What is the name and location of your favorite flea market?
Lisa La Valle-Finan: Rather, what is the happiest place on earth for me? Cours Selaya open air market, off Place Massena in the Old City of Nice France en Provence (am hosting a tour there this fall). It’s an open-air flower fruit and veg market during the week except Mondays when it becomes the. Most. Divine. Flea. Ever.
HGTV: What type of items do you typically search for at a flea market?
Lisa La Valle-Finan: Depends on the project, but as I said, I go with a list. (I’ve created a Flea Market Checklist that will be available on Tag Sell It’s website soon)!
HGTV: What type of refurbishing skills do you have? (painting, sanding, sawing, etc)
Lisa La Valle-Finan: All of the above, and then some. There isn’t anything I can’t do with a pair of latex gloves and my Williams Sonoma red work apron with the pockets. Oh, what heaven!
HGTV: What’s your best flea market find? And Why?
Lisa La Valle-Finan: The most cherished item in our home is nicely framed 17th century map of Italy because it was hand drawn by a very well-known Dutch cartographer who was a contemporary of Rembrandt.