The Gladstone Flea ain't your conventional flea market
The Gladstone Flea is not your typical flea market full of aggressive rummagers and treasure-hunters, sidelining competitors with rogue but purposeful elbows. The Gladstone Flea is a civilized operation, with local artisans positioned as the peaceful sentinels of their wares in the transformed bar on the ground floor of the Gladstone Hotel.
The market crops up on the first Saturday of the month throughout the summer, and vendors sell everything from re-purposed and painted Mason jars to jewelry, stationary and a phenomenal collection of vintage clothing. Just about everything is up for grabs at flea market pricing, too.
Here's a roundup of the stalls I loved most at the most recent Gladstone Flea.
bright-brown tops my list of shops at the Gladstone Flea. Sometimes really good fashion seems spiritual, and Gin Murray, the owner of this operation, is clearly in possession of that tidbit of info. On offer in her little corner were a selection of '90s swimsuits for dudes and ladies (around $30), a crop top suit straight out of Full House for $28, and a thorough and commendable collection of vintage footwear. She also travels around to sell her incredible finds at music festivals in a '60s travel trailer. Friend crush: complete.
Said the King
If I cared about living in a less-than-slovenly home, I would purchase just about everything these geniuses create. Double-sided pillow cases with "fuck" and "love" on one, and "you" and "me" on the other ($45). Cool floating shelves. Saucy coasters. And, like everything else, it's locally made. And to top it off, the owner acted like it was just a weird coincidence that she'd created all of this cool shit—bonus points for real modesty (and cute smiles).
Usually sold at Lavish&Squalor and The Coal Miner's Daughter, these perfectly re-purposed vintage duds are completely on point. The '90s DIY effect is in full swing, with spruced up old wolf shirts ($20) and studded denim vests (about $40) a-plenty. There are also handmade, totally unique clutches that would make great gifts, or mood-boosting makeup bags.
She Said Jewelry
The energy of all of the powerful female spirits of our universe flows straight out of these ethereal necklaces and directly into the brain of the wearer. Each piece is unique and handmade in Toronto from raw materials like crystals, feathers and wood. Owner Cara Said takes clients by appointment, and her stuff is also available at The Coal Miner's Daughter.
Made in Brockton Village
The greeting cards by Made in Brockton Village are terribly adorable. You kind of want to buy them all and turn them into custom wallpaper. They've got everything from owls wishing the receiver a happy birthday, to avocados, bikes and VW vans printed on the front, and can be had for about $6. In case you can't live without one, they're also available at General Tao and Scout.
One-Off brands itself as "curated vintage apparel," and though lots of people have some sort of inexplicable beef with the too-perfect word 'curated,' I'm going to go ahead and use it anyway. Because in this case, it applies, but the prices are still amazing—all tops were $10, and all bottoms were $20. Standouts for me were a gorgeous yet miniscule pair of tropical-print high waisted trousers, and a $5 table stocked full of vintage baubles.
Savannagh & Magida Knick-Knackeries
The owners of this little nostalgia bomb have been collecting rare and vintage items for years, and it's their collection that stocks their shop. Their stand brims over with baskets of old photographs, a vintage shaving kit for the kitschy dude in your life ($12), and all kinds of other antique baubles like broaches and razors and corn cob pipes ($5).
Light and Paper Shop
Light and Paper products have an impossibly cute vibe and an irresistible sense of humour. Each card is hand-cut with a special design—everything from the likeness of our venerable mayor to a map of our city. Messages include the ever-sympathetic "Cheer the fuck up" and "Bitch, don't kill my vibe," all for around $5. Too great.
House of Bauble
Designer Justyna Zarzeczny makes perfectly on-trend spiky necklaces and other treasures, the materials for which were clearly mined straight from the little mermaid's grotto. Necklaces are shades of coral and turquoise, and everything has the perfect twinge of sea-punk. Not only that, some of these handmade treats can be had for about $30.
This little operation is the ideal stop for nerd friends on your shopping list. Or for friends who have boring office jobs and need a pick-me-up other than booze or whatever their thing is. They sell hand-drawn colouring books ($12) of everything trendy on TV and the interwebs, such as Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and cats, people.
The next Gladstone Flea will be held Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
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