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Winter Flea showcases local artisans, musicians

Winter Flea is set to take place at such and such place Feb. 2. Credit: Courtesy of Aaron Beck

Credit: Courtesy of Aaron Beck

Local businesses are set to provide a place to flee the winter cold Sunday.

Columbus Flea, a nonprofit group, is slated to host its Annual Winter Flea from noon to 5 p.m., featuring 30 Central Ohio vendors.

Flea vendors, whose booth fees are donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, sell a variety of goods, including original artwork, handmade jewelry, records, vintage clothing, crafts and antiques, according to the event’s press release.

Nikki Portman founded Columbus Flea with friends Erica Anderson and Tony Collinger to provide an outlet for local artisans, jewelers, vintage clothing dealers and other crafters to sell their products and gain new customers.

The first Flea took place in summer 2010, Portman said.

“Once the word got out, people were very interested to sell with us,” she said.

The decision to donate all of the proceeds from the Flea to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank was made because the founders of Columbus Flea knew the organization relied heavily on local resources and volunteers, which added more meaning to the flea market, Portman said.

“We were never looking to make any money, we just wanted to pull the event off,” Portman said. “So partnering with the foodbank made it more special.”

Portman said about $3,000 was donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank from the last Flea, which took place last fall.

David Lewis, owner of Elizabeth Records, said in an email his business is selling records at the Winter Flea.

Elizabeth Records is a family-owned business that sells mostly used records specializing in jazz, rock and soul music, Lewis said. The store also sells refurbished stereo equipment with the help of its own audio technician who rebuilds and refurbishes the equipment.

Lewis said he is a fan of the event, as it gives Elizabeth Records the opportunity to market itself.

“As a business who is still relatively new, we do a lot of outreach type of events,” Lewis said  “We are particularly fond of this event, which we’ve grown with over the years.”

Lewis said his business has been a Flea vendor since 2010, when it was an outside event only.

“We don’t see it as a nonprofit, for us, to do things like this, it’s a way to bring our store to the people in hopes they will want to see more,” Lewis said. “Nonprofit wise, we love to help causes we’re close to.”

Hannah Hoffman, owner, designer and maker of her self-titled jewelry business, plans to sell handmade necklaces, rings and earrings at the Flea.

“The Flea is such a great event,” Hoffman said in an email. “It’s always packed full of the best finds in the city, as well as great people, music, food and drinks.”

Josh Harden, owner of Clothing Underground, a vintage clothing store located at 1898 N High St. plans to set up shop at the Flea.

“We are primarily a vintage clothing store, but we do a lot of our own up-cycling design and screen printing,” Harden said in an email.

Harden said his team is focusing on the upcycling portion of the company for this particular Flea. Upcycling is a means of converting wasted and discarded materials into usable products.

“We have a new design team who has come up with some very unique one-of-a kind pieces,” Harden said.

Harden said Clothing Underground plan to sell custom made, high-waist Levi’s denim shorts, Ohio-themed cut-off biker jackets, women’s tank tops and more.

“We take old concert tees and convert them into awesome, sexy, fitted tanks and crop tops,” Harden said.

Harden said he has participated in every Flea event, and is excited to see how the Winter Flea will turn out.

“It’s a great vibe. And you get to meet a lot of new customers,” Harden said.

Winter Flea is slated to take place at Strongwater Food and Spirits, located at 401 W. Town St. in Franklinton.

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