By Jessica Stamp
Love is in the air at The Youngstown Flea market as it kicked off its seventh season “MadeWithLove” on Saturday, Feb. 12. The theme of the event was focused on finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for loved ones.
Local business owners of Sweet Sally’s Creations Rachel Colatruglio and Becca Moliterno enjoy going to the event because they find it to be a lot of fun to participate.
“We have a lot of fun doing The Youngstown Flea,” Colatruglio said. “We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a lot of fun and it’s just great to be in a community with other like-minded individuals.”
Sweet Sally’s Creations sells crocheted products that are handmade by Colatruglio and Moliterno.
“We do toys, decor … all kinds of gift items and accessories,” Colatruglio said.
Sweet Sally’s Creations makes the effort to have a variety of crocheted items so everyone can find something they like.
“We try to bring something for everyone,” Moliterno said. “Maybe someone’s not into cute unicorns, and they’re into plants.”
Colatruglio and Moliterno hope any customer who shops at their business can find a crocheted product they enjoy.
Tucked in one of the corners at The Youngstown Flea is another local business called Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn, which focuses on high-end, gourmet popcorn.
“It’s about starting with natural ingredients — nothing artificial in them — and just making them from scratch from my own recipes,” Jason Yohman, owner of Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn, said.
Yohman likes attending The Youngstown Flea because it allows him to make connections with other local businesses and show the community what local business is about.
“It’s a place for makers to gather, for us to be able to share ideas with each other, to be able to be passionate about what we do, … about the stuff we make,” Yohman said.
The Youngstown Flea offers an opportunity for businesses in the area to participate and see what works and what might not for their business.
“It’s kind of like ground level for up-and-coming businesses in the Valley,” Yohman said. “This is a place for people who are looking to get a foothold into the business community to be able to come in and just maybe test some things out.”
Yohman said he also likes to come to The Youngstown Flea because it allows him to test out unconventional popcorn flavors and see what people like the most.
For those interested in checking out Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn, Yohman suggests trying the salted caramel — which is the most popular at the moment — or cheddar, the second bestseller and most requested item.
Right across from Jason’s Marvelous Popcorn is Scented Essentials, owned by Shauna Burton.
Scented Essentials is a “one-stop-shop” for home fragrance, and it sells products from candles to car fresheners. Burton was able to work full-time with Scented Essentials about a year ago, and gives credit to the local community and The Youngstown Flea for making it possible.
“Without the local community, I would not have been able to do that, and their support means the absolute world to me and I know to all the other vendors as well,” she said.
Burton’s favorite part of The Youngstown Flea is seeing new and returning customers because it helps her business and brings her joy to see people enjoying what she likes to do.
“Thank you to everybody that has shopped and supported myself and other vendors at the Flea because without them, we can’t do our passion or continue doing … what we love to do,” Burton said.
Check out the next Youngstown Flea market event March 12.