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Organizers of the VB Flea Market want weird stuff.
The monthly market on 19th Street has done well since its May launch, according to Igor Acord, a local sign artist who is one of the organizers. He and Aaron McLellan, co-owner of North End Bag Co., have turned away about 30 vendors each month for a spot at 607 19th St., where the flea market is held. Tomorrow’s event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., will include 20 vendors, some hailing from Richmond and New York.
“We want stuff people will walk up to and say ‘Did you see this stuff over here?’,” Acord said in a phone interview. “They’re not going to say that if you’ve got a table full of paper towels and laundry detergent.”
So what does make the cut? Salvaged bits of architecture from long-gone structures, vintage bicycles and glass gardens with succulents. Acord and McLellan planned the first market as a one-time event. But the positive response prompted them to continue and host vendors for $20 a spot.
Saturday’s market will offer vintage and graphic T-shirts from In Mind menswear company, prints from Norfolk-based Maple & Belmont, items from Toano-based Everything Vintage and more. The day will also likely feature an accordion player, who will roam the lot while performing.
Acord and McLellon scheduled the flea market to coincide with the Old Beach Farmers Market, which is across the street in the parking lot of Croc’s 19th Street Bistro. It’s also a chance for the four shops located at 607 19th St. to be open at the same time and enjoy the same event. Igor’s Custom sign shop, Benevolent Design Co., North End Bag Co. and Three Ships Coffee are all housed in the space.
The shop owners share a similar appreciation for vintage and unique items, Acord said.
“I’ve always been interested in that stuff, always been drawn to history,” he said. “I think everyone in this building has the same kind of thinking – we all buy a bunch of cool old junk. It’s kind of what we’re going for in here.”
The flea market has found synergy with the farmers market, according to Lauren McNerney, who works at Croc’s 19th Street.
“There’s a whole bunch of people who shop at the farmers market then go shop around there,” McNerney said in a phone interview.
Vendors interested in participating in future flea markets can reach Acord at 757-639-2397 or Aaron McLellan at 757-784-4598.
Igor’s Custom and North End Bag Co. were also mentioned in a recent story on The Prince Ink Co. grand opening.