D.I.Y. Meets Vintage at the Silver Lake Flea

A vendor who goes by Masa sells these scented candles at the Silver Lake Flea.

A vendor who goes by Masa sells these scented candles at the Silver Lake Flea.

SILVER LAKE—The Silver Lake Flea Market recently began its new season, and will continue every second Saturday throughout 2016. Located at Micheltorena Street Elementary School, the market is open from 12-5 p.m. and is free to the public.

Formed by local artist and Ghettogloss gallery owner Fiora Boes, the Silver Lake Flea is now in its fifth year, and functions as part arts & crafts festival, part vintage sale.

One vendor, an artist by the name of Masa, sees the event as an opportunity to showcase his scented candles, and share them with the community. Working out of his studio, Masa’s process involves sculpting a mold out of clay or fiberglass, then pouring wax into the mold to create designs depicting screaming skulls, Illuminati pyramids or giant sea creatures.

“Most of the time I do art shows,” said Masa. “And the candles I bring depend on the event. They’re all different vibes, and this is the Silver Lake vibe.”

Other vendors, like business owner Monique Manaloto, see it as a chance to boost their startup companies and debut their one-of-a-kind, homemade goods. Manaloto, along with a couple friends, recently formed Charge, a small business that cleverly hides USB phone chargers inside colorful, custom wristbands, so the wearer can charge their device wherever they go.

“This is actually our first flea market,” Manaloto revealed. “We’re a very young company…but we think [Charge] caters to our tech-y generation and we haven’t seen anything like this on the market.”

According to Boes, this is the first market of its kind in Southern California to merge handcrafted, D.I.Y. goods with a traditional flea market consisting of vintage collectibles, clothing, records, jewelry, and more. For Boes, blending the two into a single event seemed like the perfect way to represent the neighborhood.

“Whenever I went to flea markets, I always felt like the cool, local D.I.Y. handmade merch that you find at craft fairs was missing, and vice versa,” said Boes. Adding, “I think that Silver Lake is a perfect combination of classic design—the architecture—and it’s the artists and musicians that put Silver Lake on the map. And I wanted the vibe of the Silver Lake Flea to directly reflect that.”

Conveniently located less than half a mile down Sunset Boulevard from the Silver Lake Farmers Market, the still-growing flea provides some much needed breathing room from the crowded farmers market and flea markets throughout LA.

Vendor Mike Vallejo, formerly a member of the L.A. punk band Circle One, says he enjoys the size of the event, despite how small it is, and that he still manages to sell enough records and T-shirts to make it worth his while.

“[The Silver Lake Flea Market] is small, but it still gets a good crowd,” said Vallejo. “It’s not expensive to sell, you’ll make money…it’s definitely worth it.”

The next flea market falls on Saturday, May 14th, and will feature live music from DJ Floating Monk. Local celebrity Angelyne will also stop by the event in her pink Corvette to sell T-shirts and pose with fans for $10 a photo.

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