The newest addition to Pensacola’s Saturday market lineup recently had a slight makeover.
The 12th Avenue Flea, formerly called the 12th Avenue Patio Sale, is celebrating its grand reopening on Saturday, June 14, and those involved are hoping to draw new customers and new vendors alike.
“We really want to have one big event to get the ball rolling to let everyone know we’re here and introduce ourselves to the community,” Emma Keethler said, the market’s new organizer. “We wanted to invite people out and show them what we’re about and what we’re trying to do here at the market.”
What originally started in November 2013 as a seasonal event has blossomed into a weekly market featuring local artists, vendors, crafters, upcyclers, pickers, farmers and cooks selling their wares on the lawn in front of the Old Sacred Heart Hospital building on 12th Avenue.
When the market’s founder, Kristen Saxon of Stay Spa, discussed the possibility of Keethler taking over management recently, Keether said she jumped at the opportunity. “We all agreed that it had so much potential, and it was a really nice way to bring people out during the day. I was a vendor and she approached me about taking over the market for her because I had a lot more time. I couldn’t have been happier that she asked me,” Keethler said.
Among the slight changes Keethler initiated was a shift in the hours—the flea is now open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays—as well as renaming the event to reflect the eclectic mix of items usually offered.
“I really wanted to give it a name that would stick, something that was easy to remember and that would describe what it was without having a thousand different things in the title,” Keethler explained.
Many existing food vendors plan to bring free samples for the grand reopening, and Keethler said there will be free barbeque on hand as well. Add in some live entertainment—Keethler expects a mix of live music and local DJs spinning records—and the grand reopening promises to be a block party of the best kind. They will also accept donations for Manna Foodbank and Food Not Bombs on the day of the event, as part of their mission to give back to the community.
As an artist who sells prints, ceramics, planters, and succulents each week at the market, Keethler decided to waive the regular $10 fee for vendors for the grand reopening, to encourage others interested in participating to give the market a try.
“I wanted to throw this event to encourage more vendors to start coming out to see if they like it and see if it’s a good fit for them, because we are certainly always looking for new vendors. That’s really what this market is about—it’s about supporting each other and supporting small local business and artists.”
THE 12th AVENUE FLEA GRAND OPENING
WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 14
WHERE: Old Sacred Heart Hospital/Tower East Office Complex, 1010 N. 12th Ave.
DETAILS: 438-3580 or facebook.com/12thAveFlea
The following are a few of the vendors who will be participating in The 12th Avenue Flea’s Grand Opening and represent the wide variety of goods available each week.
Damsel in Defense: A booth by women for women, offering products for and lessons in women’s self-defense. (damselindefense.net)
Janey’s Hodgepodge: A duo whose booth features hand-crafted items such as jewelry boxes, jewelry, wind chimes and hand-sewn children’s clothes among others. (facebook.com/janeyshodgepodge)
Jennifer Kelley: An artist working in several mediums, including jewelry making, artificial floral arrangements and hair accessories with hotel key cards. (hotelkeyroses.com)
Karen’s Kreations: This Milton-based artist brings along hand crafted jewelry and original oil paintings to The Flea. (etsy.com/shop/KarensKreations1963)
Kimberly McCullough: A local representative for Scentsy, which offers home fragrance and bath and body products. (scentsy.com)
Kris Creation & Restoration: Handmade items made by an artist who uses found objects such as wood pallets to create restoration projects.
Michael Daw Designs: A local print maker working in formats ranging from digital to linocut. (facebook.com/michaeldawdesign)
Tequila Mockingbird: Offering unique cactus and succulent planters, antiques, hand-made ceramics, pen and ink prints, paper cuts and paper cut collages made from vintage newspapers.
Too Many Piez: Hand-made crafts, including hand-painted signs made from reclaimed wood.
Twice Stitched: Offering upcycled and unique clothing items and accessories for children and adults. (facebook.com/TwiceStitched)