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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

The Somerville Flea showcases local vendors and businesses

Newcomer and longtime vendors reflect on this year’s season.

Somerville Flea Market

Somerville Flea is pictured.

As October comes to a close, Davis Square will have to say goodbye to the Somerville Flea for another season. Located on the corner of Holland Street and Buena Vista Road, the Somerville Flea has been open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. since August. The vibrant market features live music and welcomes customers and vendors of all ages.

The market is home to a variety of businesses and vendors, each with their own tent and tables. One tent offered all light blue and green furniture, as well as plates, mugs and old books. There are also multiple vendors with posters just waiting to be put up on a dorm room wall.

Helene Matteson, owner of Urban Kitchen Handmade Soap, described the market’s environment.

“It’s a mixture of farmers markets, resellers, vintage and artists,” Matteson said. “Everyone is always very supportive.”

Matteson and her soap brand were momentarily on a hiatus from the flea market, but are back for the season and the foreseeable future. Beginning with handmade soap, her business has expanded to a wide variety of products over time.

Urban Kitchen Handmade Soap
Halia Frishman | Halia Frishman / The Tufts Daily

Urban Kitchen Handmade Soap's booth is pictured.

“I started with making handmade soap. I started making it for myself and people, and I gave samples and people liked it,” Matteson said. “[It] expanded into soy candles, bath and body products such as natural perfume, lip balm and massage and body oil.”

Matteson elaborated on the sense of community among the vendors at the flea market.

“People that have been here for years know each other,” Matteson said. “I know a lot of vendors because we’re set up next to each other and through the markets I’ve done through the years.”

Matteson also noted what she loves the most about being a vendor at the Somerville Flea.

“I think Somerville really supports its artists, and I think Davis Square has a really good community,” Matteson said.

Carolina and her business Recycled Glass have been coming to the Somerville Flea for 11 years, and over time she has seen the market grow.

“We have more vendors now, at the beginning it was just a few. Now it's more vibrant,” Carolina said. “It has always been a good market for me.”

Carolina has gotten to know some of the Somerville Flea mainstays over the years.

“Now, I know many of the vendors … and many, many of the customers,” Carolina said. “We do have many local people that actually go every Sunday. We get a lot of parents and students that come to visit their children’s school.”

Carolina mentioned the spirit and ambiance of the market as one of the reasons she has returned for so many years.

“This is the most, at the same time professional, but good vibe and laid back market,” Carolina said. “I like the diversity … and there’s always something different. You have to check it every week to see what you find.”

Her table displays a collection of glass jewelry including earrings, bracelets, statement pieces and more delicate necklaces. Like Madison, Carolina started making her products — recycled glass jewelry — for herself.

Recycled Glass
Halia Frishman | Halia Frishman / The Tufts Daily

Recycled Glass' booth is pictured at Somerville Flea Market.

“It was my hobby and then people started asking, ‘can you make this, can you make that,’ and it became a business,” Carolina said.

On the theme of upcycling, Alexandra DiMauro started MayFly, an upcycled fashion business that she sells at flea markets in Boston.

“I started upcycling to combat the fast fashion industry and use second-hand material for all of my pieces, so that I could create something new out of old textiles and garments,” DiMauro said.

DiMauro, who has previously been a vendor at the Fenway Flea and the New England Open Market, is new to the Somerville Flea.

“[The Somerville Flea] is particularly nice because there’s really nice people that run it so they are really attentive to the vendors … which isn’t always the case for every market,” DiMauro said.

The market serves as a way for vendors like DiMauro to make new connections and generate publicity for new businesses.

“I definitely have had certain people come to different markets that I’ve been doing to look for my work, which is pretty cool,” DiMauro said.

Kevin Guicho, who is a collector and owner of Wicked Güicho, has been coming to the Somerville Flea for 10 years. Following in the steps of their mother, who has been collecting for 34 years, Guicho has continued this tradition.  

“I never would have seen myself doing this way back when. It actually started with my mother and my aunts,” Guicho said. “They were in Somerville and they came across the flea during the first season.”

When the Somerville Flea first opened, it became the perfect opportunity for Guicho to start their business and put their collection to good use.

Andrew Wiley, another vendor at the Somerville Flea, is the owner of High Energy Vintage, a storefront that sells vintage clothing, belts and shoes.

High Energy Vintage
Halia Frishman | Halia Frishman / The Tufts Daily

High Energy Vintage's booth pictured.

“I started this vintage business close to 15 years ago as a booth at the Solo Vintage Market in the South End,” Wiley said. “Then I opened up a storefront in Teele Square about 11 years ago.”

Like Carolina, Wiley has gotten to know the community well via the market.

“I know a lot of people that are coming by. I’ve watched kids grow up,” Wiley said. “The flea is definitely a very community-oriented event.”

The Somerville Flea season will come to an end on Monday. The last market will be Halloween themed, with vendors dressed in costume and handing out candy to market-goers. Make sure to mark your calendars with this special edition!