By Amanda Joerndt
The Youngstown Flea provides small businesses the chance to expand their services within the region and meet new people in the Youngstown area. The Flea is held once a month from April to October in downtown Youngstown next to the Covelli Center.
Over 50 vendors were in attendance at the Youngstown Flea on Sept. 8 providing products ranging from handmade antiques, furniture and vintage clothing to home goods and art products.
The Flea gives new businesses the ability to connect with local customers and other vendors. Local farmers, food trucks and drink vendors also provide fresh products to customers.
Sheri and Glenniece Bodo, sisters and co-owners of The Back Rack, said they started their fashion business at the Flea this month. The Back Rack buys and resells vintage clothing, makes custom jeans and sells handbags and shoes.
Sheri Bodo said the Flea has helped their business get started on the right foot.
“We got into the business because we both love fashion so much, and we both do realize that fashion is the number two pollution [cause] in the world,” Sheri Bodo said. “We really wanted to give customers that great price and affordable look.”
Glennice Bodo said they love seeing new faces and selling their vintage clothing to the community.
“We’re super proud to say that we’re Youngstown natives, so we love coming to events that are community driven, and we’re just really excited to be here,” Glennice Bodo said.
Lisa and Madison Clear, owners of Tomorrow’s Tomorrow, said they started participating in the Youngstown Flea this season.
Lisa Clear said she and her daughter collaborated their creative abilities to start their local business.
“I used to be a photographer and I hurt my neck, so I couldn’t do photography anymore. I started drawing and went from there,” Lisa Clear said. “Drawing eventually led to my daughter creating jewelry, and we both work together now.”
Lisa Clear said being a vendor at the Youngstown Flea gave her daughter local opportunities to show off her handmade jewelry.
“It has gotten Madison into a shop, and she’s going to start selling her jewelry at a local boutique, and that has helped us a lot get recognized by people in the area,” Lisa Clear said.
The Youngstown Flea gives the community an opportunity for people to share their creative ability by providing handmade antiques and artwork.
Yearly customer, Lisa Cardona, said she came to the Flea this month to see the new vendors and how they share their talent with the community.
“I think all the vendors are pretty awesome because everybody is so creative, and I love to see what people come up with and what they make,” Cardona said. “I like it because you don’t get this kind of handmade stuff in the stores.”
This is the third year the Flea has brought community members and vendors together in the Youngstown area. The last Youngstown Flea of the 2018 season will be on Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.