Etsy comes to life at the Trinity Bellwoods flea market

Posted on Apr 11, 2016

You’ll find much more than just superhero lunchboxes at the Trinity Bellwoods flea market.

More than 40 vendors sold their wares at the market which was held at Studio Bar located in the Dundas West neighborhood.

With everything from hot sauce to handmade soap it’s hard to walk out the door empty handed, and the fresh oysters make leaving with an empty stomach just as difficult.

Bryce Taylor-Vaisey, founder, Penny Candy Jam
Bryce Taylor-Vaisey, founder, Penny Candy Jam

The event has surged in popularity since its inception a year ago when organizer Felicia Laplume realized she need a place to sell her candles, and wanted to bring likeminded crafts people together in the monthly market to meet demand for locally made crafts, vintage houseware items and edibles.

“The market has continued to grow in popularity,” says Laplume. “I had to set my table outside today because there wasn’t any more room indoors.”

Retro classics put the flea in this market
Retro classics put the flea in this market

Among the unique offerings on sale is Penny Candy Jams, a Parkdale-based business run by Bryce Taylor-Vaisey, who calls it his full time hobby. The jams are pectin free and come in a wide range of unusual flavor combinations such as blackberry and sage, or raspberry bay, and lime.

A wide array of handmade products
A wide array of handmade products

“At first I was just making little batches on the weekend for my girlfriend at the time,” says Taylor-Vaisey. “She liked it so much she asked me to make some to give to clients. At our wedding we used little jars as boutonnieres. The DJ loved it so much he ordered a batch that I had to ship out east.”

Fill up on delicious fresh oysters
Fill up on delicious fresh oysters

It’s hard not to see the market as a tangible Etsy, perhaps because most vendors started with online storefronts before bringing their goods to market in real life. One such artist, illustrator Katie Campanella, does brisk business in poster of Toronto landmarks and David Bowie on her online store and hopes to replicate that success at the market.

The Trinity Bellwoods Flea Market
The Trinity Bellwoods Flea Market

Laplume believes the market is a rare opportunity for vendors to come out and meet their customers face to face, because there can be very little communication between buyer and seller when transactions take place online. Feedback about what people love, or what else they want is incredibly valuable and much easier to get in person.

Of course, no flea market would be complete without a collection of vintage toys from 80s and 90s, and this one is no exception. Those who made it all the way to the back of the venue found Schwarzenegger movies on VHS, boom boxes and even a Bart Simpsons doll.

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