Homegrown Business: Shop Local with The Leslieville Flea

It’s often difficult to find new retailers that have antiques or collectibles, especially during COVID-19. This week we spoke to Brigid from the Leslieville Flea, about how they’re helping Torontonians find new vintage, antiques, collectibles and handcrafted goods!

Chris and Brigid, Founders of The Leslieville Flea
Chris and Brigid, Founders of The Leslieville Flea

What is your business called and what does it do?

The Leslieville Flea is a monthly, curated market in Toronto that sells vintage, antiques, collectibles and handcrafted goods. It started in 2013 when myself and Chris Roberts met at a pop up store that I was running.

What made you want to do this work?

Chris and I realized that we shared a passion for all things vintage and wanted to provide a place for like minded artisans, collectors and vintage lovers to sell their wares. Inspired by Flea Markets in NYC and Europe, we created the Leslieville Flea. The first Flea took place in June 2013 in a parking lot in Leslieville with 23 vendors and has grown to become Toronto’s best monthly Flea Market with over 60 vendors.

What problem does this solve?

The mandate of the Leslieville Flea is to support local artists and collectors and promote a sustainable lifestyle of reusing, repurposing and reducing negative impact on the earth. The Leslieville flea is not just a place to come and shop, it’s an experience where people can meet the maker of the item, or the person who found that treasure and get the history and unique tale of where it came from.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Our clientele range from 20 somethings looking for sustainable, reasonably priced fashions to condo dwellers and homeowners who want to add a vintage vibe to their home. The range is wide and often dependent on the location of where the flea is located.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Vendors rent full and half size booths from us. We provide coordination and customers.

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

Check our website to find out when our next market will be!

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? 

What makes your market different than other markets?

Our market focuses on locally made goods, or individually sourced vintage items. We support vendors who are trying to run their small business, follow their passion or launch their side hustle. Our market always chooses the absolute best vendors to showcase a wide range of the highest quality products. You will always find something unique and amazing at our market

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

Hands down the best part about what we do is the vendors and our customers. People go to work everyday. Some people like their jobs, many do it as a means to an end. However, vendors, small business owners, craftspeople, collectors of vintage and purveyors of fashion, do it because they love it! It feels good to know we are part of that.

And the worst? Parking tickets and flying tents!

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

That we are each other’s best customers!

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

The Leslieville Farmers market, Stackt Market