Discovery Green Blog
Behind the Scenes with Discovery Green Flea, presented by Green
August 11, 2014
by Ashley Roberts
Every month, we host our wildly popular Discovery Green Flea (also known as Flea by Night during the warmer months of the year). At each event, this unique market boasts an assortment of rare antiques, distinctive collectibles and tasty edible goods, all up for grabs in a mostly star-lit setting, in the heart of downtown. To discover what it takes to create the perfect Flea, we took a moment and chatted with Discovery Green outreach coordinator, Sara Eakens, who puts the Flea together each month.
Q: How has the Flea grown or changed since it was first started?A: The Flea has evolved in so many exciting ways! It has been important for us to remain flexible and to try new things. We’ve experimented with different spaces, both the Grace Event Lawn and Maconda’s Grove, as well as different times. Early on, we decided to try holding the market at night during warmer months, and Flea by Night has been hugely successful. The market has grown in popularity with the public, which has been really exciting to watch. We’ve added tons of new vendors, and we’ve taken note of what our guests seem to want to buy. We’ve responded with more food, more handmade crafts, and more variety in our vendor base. We’ve even added a dog treat vendor for all of our four-legged guests! Q: What is your favorite thing about the Flea?A: The vendors! Hands down, my favorite thing about the Flea is our super talented bunch of vendors. I am in awe of, and inspired by, their energy, talent, dedication and ambition. They work so hard to bring what they love to the people of Houston, and we are lucky to have them. I love the shopping, too, because that is always guilt-free. I’m supporting the people that I love and the local economy, and there is no room for guilt in that!My other favorites? The twinkly lights in the pine trees during Flea by Night, grilled cheese sandwiches, the diverse mix of people enjoying the market, the look on someone’s face when they find that perfect item, and the energy in the air when the Flea is rocking! Q: Could you explain the process of putting the Flea together each month?A: Before every Flea we are working on cultivating the best group of vendors possible. We receive applications and review them for the best fit. I do my “vendor round-up” to figure out who plans on attending, there is some bureaucratic business that happens to ensure that we have the correct paperwork on everyone, and we start to figure out how many vendors we can expect. We update our website and promote our vendors via social media, we book musicians, plan the Kid Zone activities, and we line up staff and volunteers to help things run smoothly. We draw up a plan for the market layout, taking into consideration the mix and flow. The day of, we all jump into our roles and hit the ground running so that our guests and vendors have a great time! Q: About how many different vendors participant in the Flea each month?A: It depends on the season. In the fall and spring, we may have upwards of 50 vendors, so I’d say anywhere between 30 and 50. We look forward to adding more vendors in the coming months and years!Q: What are some unique elements of the Discovery Green Flea you may not find in other flea markets?A: I think what sets the Flea apart from other markets is our amazing location! Discovery Green is so beautiful, and it’s alive with energy. On any given market day you may also find a Korean festival, a live dance performance, or a popular movie on our big screen. The kiddos can enjoy the playground or the fountains. The dogs can hit the dog run. Our visitors can really make a day of a visit to the Flea. We have food, drinks, live music, a free bicycle repair workshop, and great shopping—all with the gorgeous backdrop of downtown and the amenities of Discovery Green!
Who knew a downtown treasure hunt could be so much fun? Discovery Green Flea by Night is the place to be this Saturday, August 16, and the third Saturday of each month. Delight in great finds, great food, great music and great times! Green Mountain Energy Company powers Discovery Green with 100% wind energy, and has been offering 100% renewable energy to Houston households since 2002. Green Mountain is proud to sponsor the Flea, which shares their passion for sustainability by encouraging vendors to sell reused, repurposed and renewed items. Visit http://www.discoverygreen.com/flea to find out more about Discovery Green Flea.