Friday, August 29, 2014

Reflections from the Davis ‘flea lady’

From page A6 | January 25, 2013 |

Check it out

What: Davis Flea Market, celebrating its first anniversary

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

Where: E Street Plaza, in the 200 block of E Street in downtown Davis


By Lauren Norton

It still makes me smile when someone approaches me and says, “You’re the flea lady, right?” It’s kind of an unfortunate title, but one I’ve grown to love since we put on our first Davis Flea Market back in January of last year.

Kids and parents, students and seniors, collectors and performers, have all found an outlet and an audience at our monthly event on the E Street Plaza, and it has been a real joy to see our community grow and thrive. Now we’re gearing up for our first birthday market on Sunday, and it seems an appropriate time to thank the friends, volunteers and professionals in Davis who have tirelessly supported our efforts.

If you have yet to make it out to one of our markets, here’s how it works: We have a free online application on our website,, and Davis residents are invited to apply to sell their “pre-loved” or handmade items. We pick between 30 and 40 vendors each month, based on the diversity of their wares, and charge them a registration fee to cover the operational costs of the market.

All of the profits pay our performers, and we have had some stellar acts fill our market with toe-tapping customers, from local legends The West Nile Ramblers to the nationally vaunted Two Man Gentlemen Band. As a singer, I always thought this was how an economy should work, with the musicians getting the largest slice of the pie!

As it turns out, there were enough idealistic folks in Davis willing to put this idea into practice for four hours, once a month. Davis Dollars’ mastermind Nicholas Barry immediately jumped on board to help me figure out the logistics, and Talon Entertainment’s Tim Kerbavaz offered his expertise with sound management and marketing.

City of Davis Public Relations Manager Bob Bowan guided us through the permitting, insurance and city space rental process and offered us a wealth of experience on how to put on a successful and safe event. I am truly grateful for Bob’s “let’s give it a go” attitude, especially when it meant a whole lot of extra work on his busy schedule.

Even though I’ve been a lifelong fan of flea markets, I don’t think anyone was as shocked as I was when more than 1,000 people showed up for our first event. Tha Dirt Feelin’ rocked the plaza, vendors and shoppers haggled over books and clothes that hadn’t seen the light of day in years, and our neighboring businesses were delighted with the increased foot traffic to their stores.

I love getting emails from the Yeti Restaurant asking if they can provide lunch to our performers free of charge, or from Teach Your Children’s Loren Skinner, asking how his business can sponsor the market with an advert in our FleaSheet.

Julie Cross, marketing director of the Davis Food Co-op, has been an unexpected and deeply appreciated mentor this past year, and I marvel at the amazing work she does for the Davis community.

As an organization, the Davis Flea has never been stronger. I am excited to be turning over the operation to my incredible interns from UC Davis and Davis High School over the coming year: Victoria, Aliyah, Daniel, Wendy and Ashley.

Along with the keys to the Flea, however, I’m handing over the struggle to keep our operation in the heart of Davis at a civilized hour. If we can no longer operate in the downtown district, due to increased costs, the pressures of parking and local anxiety over increased competition, we will be moving out of the E Street Plaza with heavy hearts.

We hope you will join us on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to witness the transformation of the usually empty plaza into a center of grassroots commerce, cultural consumption and neighborly fun. If you would like to apply to be a vendor, visit

— Lauren Norton of Davis has nurtured the Davis Flea Market for the past year.



Enterprise staff

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis Innovation Center team fields questions

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Researchers solve mystery of Death Valley’s moving rocks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    California extends review of $25B delta plan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Equestrian eventing competition slated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Forum explores local mental health services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Books, conversation and poetry at Logos

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7



    Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    What if we need MRAP?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    How could tank be helpful?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

    Don’t sentence our police to death

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2, 1 Comment

    Will Davis see river water?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Travel buddy is getting too fat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



    Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils scrimmage with Sac

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6

    Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery





    ‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery



    Technology makes a great car better

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery



    Elaine Dracia Greenberg

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Margarita Elizondo

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4