Owner/Manager of the Austin Flea
After working in the bar/restaurant business for over 15 years, I was looking for a change. Some friends that travelled to NYC often came back after one of their visits and said “You should do something in Austin like the Brooklyn Flea”. Having hosted multiple events and fundraisers at various venues – some of which included local artists’ markets - I thought I’d give it a try.
Sixteen years later, what began on a whim has grown into a more than full-time job with events happening nearly every weekend (and often 2-3 times per weekend).
We have a small part-time staff that help with the managing of events as well as poster designs, listing events and website updates while I manage the day-to-day details. The Flea wouldn’t be able to do what it does without the whole Flea Team.
My favorite thing about the Flea – I have two.
On the day of the event, I love watching an empty space be transformed into an art gallery. Going from a parking lot or taproom to a full on artists’ market with everyone’s creativity on display is something I still love seeing after all of these years. It gives me a sense of pride to see all of the amazing artwork our vendors have to offer.
On a larger scale, my favorite thing about the Flea is the community we’ve help to create. We’ve gained so many friends and followers of the Flea. We’ve seen vendors grow into full-time businesses with brick and mortars or partnerships with larger businesses (like HEB or Starbucks). We’ve seen vendors get married and have children – creating a new life with their family. And, we’ve seen vendors move to other cities and felt the good will (and loss) shared by their vendor friends as we wish them well on their new life adventures.
We’ve made great friends and a Flea Family. Everyone – vendors, venues, and shoppers alike - are so supportive of each other and I feel very fortunate to be a part of that community with a common goal of seeing each other succeed. We have fantastic partners in all aspects of our business and I couldn’t be any happier about those relationships we’ve been fortunate enough to help nurture and be a part of.
When I’m not working on the Flea, I enjoy supporting and enjoying all this city has to offer - everything local – music, craft beer bars and breweries, food & restaurants, art venues – everything craft! Plus, hanging out with my friends, family & 4-leggers is high on my priority list. I do it whenever I can.