Flea Style Does Thieves Market
I know this is no real shocker, but there isn’t much out there that makes me happier than a flea market.
So when my hubby and I had the chance to skip town for a few days, we decided to visit Arizona for some sun and Thieves Market, a small monthly open-air flea that has been on my bucket list for a while. The flea is located in Tempe, just a few miles from Scottsdale and about 15 minutes from Phoenix.
To be honest, I was a little disappointed when we pulled into the parking lot. I had read that there were between 60-110 parking spaces of vendors and there were only 30 at best during our visit. I was still excited to check out the goods, but a little underwhelmed by the sight (tip: no need to spend the extra $3 to shop early at 8 a.m.).
Even though there weren’t a ton of vendors, there were still several gems.
There was a nice sampling of items from shabby chic and mid-century modern furniture to vintage jewelry, handbags, movie posters, art and metal letters. I would guess 90 percent of the vendors were collectors and the rest were crafters.
If I lived locally or was up for shipping, I could have taken home several large items including a leather camel shaped ottoman (already regretting not buying it and hightailing it to FedEx) and a unique iron rolling rack that would double as a cool blanket stand.
But I was on my best buying behavior and stuck to the small stuff. I took home a vintage tooled leather crossbody bag, groovy Southwestern inspired blanket (I see pillows in its future) and the littlest still life oil painting to tuck away in my living room bookshelves.
My favorite find, however, was a $20 vintage silk-lined faux leopard coat with the coolest gold chain belt that fits like a glove.
I met several cool creatives during my visit. One 30-something woman hand-carves antlers into beautiful hair combs, rings and pendants. Another girl who recently moved from Philadelphia wraps gemstones in metal to make unique earrings and neck candy. My favorite crafter was an older gentleman that makes the most gorgeous hand-stitched bags from old Navajo blankets and animal hides.
The crowd was calm and thin so booths were easy to navigate. Although there was a heavy dose of Southwestern stuff (gemstones, antlers, Western gear like lassos and ranch tools), there were plenty of other genres and eras in the mix for all types and tastes.
All in all, I would say if you’re in the area or stopping through Arizona the market is a wonderful one to support and shop!