Vendors fill de Witt for first bi-annual flea market
Campus creators and local vendors gathered in de Witt Hall on Oct. 29 to participate in the first bi-annual Lasell flea market. The event was organized by junior fashion merchandising and management major Sydney Pesaturo, and Professor Kristin Kinsky. The venue featured 15 vendors, music, a projected video, free candy apples, and popcorn for attendees to enjoy.
Pesaturo originally had the idea at the start of this semester after doing pop-up events for her brand Sydpes over the summer. Most of the markets Pesaturo attended were in the greater Boston area— but one she went to in Lowell stood out due to its atmosphere.
“It was in the mills and there was live music and there was food and there was like stuff to look at and just walk around, it felt very organic,” said Pesaturo. “I wanted to create something like that here. Because we have the space, we have the resources and we have the talent. So I’m like, why not?”
Senior fashion media marketing major James Smith attended the market in search of true religion jeans, graphic tees, and any other good deal he could find. Smith didn’t end up making any purchases, but said, “I enjoyed all of the diversity in products. There was jewelry, clothes of all variety and for all sizes of people. Additionally I was shocked by how many people showed up and how many vendors there were.”
According to Smith, items were selling quickly that afternoon. “All the items I saw on my first run through of vendors was sold out on the second go around.”
Pesaturo said the goal of the event was to showcase the work of students and give them experience in conducting business before graduation. “I feel like this is a good stepping stone. And since I’ve been doing pop ups for like two years, I… know the gist and like how it goes and like how to network through them,” said Pesaturo.
One stand that stood out to both Pesaturo and Smith was for the brand BUSHLAND— the brainchild of senior fashion media and marketing major Josh Michna. Michna had several unique hand-made garments and props on display. Smith, also Michna’s suitemate, said “Obviously I’m biased but I liked how he completely took creative control and edited his table to better fit the ethos and aesthetic of his brand.”
“He’s really cool and unique,” said Pesaturo. “I didn’t even know like, what he was gonna have as a booth, but it was really cool.”
Another table generating traffic was KFlo, run by junior fashion merchandising and management major Kristina Powers. Her table was a spread of shrugs, tanks, skirts, scarves, bags, and more— all crocheted by her and ranging in price from 15 to 40 dollars.
This was Powers’ first pop-up experience. “I never thought to sell my crochet pieces, I had always just made them for myself, friends, or family,” said Powers. “Then when Syd organized this event, it felt like the perfect opportunity to start expanding that.”
Her brand’s name is an homage to her late grandmother, Florence, who taught her to crochet when she was young. It is a combination of their first names.
“I am so grateful to have had this experience… It really brought so many people together and it was great seeing people come in with their friends and family to shop small and support these small businesses. It was successful for me all around, especially to just get my name and brand out there,” said Powers. “I plan on doing this event again as well as other local vending opportunities.”
Thankfully for Powers, Pesaturo plans to host another edition of the event next semester. Pesaturo made a flier for this semester and shared it online with the help of other organizations, while also using her influence as Creative Director of POLISHED to work with outside brands.
While logistics aren’t set for the spring, Pesaturo says she’ll push for more promotion this time. According to her, the goal for next time will be to promote at local vintage and thrift shops, create photo and video content to post, and more to create additional buzz and increase attendance.
Pesaturo said most vendors made profit and she hopes for more success in the spring, but at the end of the day sales were secondary to her. “It’s like 80% connections for me and like 20% sales. So it’s like, is everyone like doing well? Is everyone happy? Like do they want to be here? Are they making sales? Like am I creating a community space right now? And I think I did. So yeah, I was happy.”