Providence Flea: Discover Local Treasures
In the shadow of Providence’s skyline, along the opposite shore of the river, the charm of a summer in the city meets the swank of Rhode Island’s urban vintage culture at the newly opened Providence Flea. Every Sunday through August 25 between 10 am and 4 pm, head to the Providence River Greenway on S Water Street to find treasures both old and new at this open-air market.
The concept for this upscale flea market is inspired by the Brooklyn Flea in New York, named one of the best antique shows in the world by Travel + Leisure, Country Living and Budget Travel. The Providence Flea similarly invites vendors from around the state to showcase and sell their crafts and finds.
So what sets this market apart from the common flea? It’s an adventure in vintage and handcrafted clothing, accessories and home décor. “We love to explore,” the team at Providence Flea explains, “especially locally, finding new places and people who make new things from old things, who rescue and salvage, reuse and renew. But there is nowhere in the city that brings together all the things we love in one place.” Until now, that is.
The weekly market is a leap forward in the buy local movement, explained some participating vendors, because it provides a physical weekly location that shoppers actually want to visit (spending part of a summer Sunday afternoon along the breezy Providence River with the skyline as a backdrop beats heading to the mall any day) for a group of Rhode Island-based merchants that previously only did business online. “A lot of us here headed to SoWa [open air market] in Massachusetts on Sundays before this opened,” noted Gypsy Boutique. The Providence Flea is keeping these local artistic niche businesses in the state.
So what can you expect to find upon arrival to the Providence Flea? Wearable crafts made locally or found during international travel; vintage and hand-crafted home furnishings and trinkets (think woven rugs, carved wooden lamps, custom silverware, old school cameras and century-old suitcases); vintage fashion (not just clothes, shoes, handbags and neck ties – some serious fashion finds like original Dooney and Bourke, Gucci, and Lacoste to name a few); children’s toys (Madknits monsters are to die for); convenient parking (a lot across the street and free street parking); and of course, food trucks (at least seven, including a coffee truck – that’s a lot of grub)!
As the summer continues, the size of Providence Flea is likely to expand – interested applicants can apply at providenceflea.com.