This past Saturday Love Jac debuted at The Brooklyn Flea! The entire day was filled with excitement. From setting up our mini-store in our 10x10 designated spot to greeting the interesting shoppers as they stopped in – we couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome. Even with temperatures that reached the upper 90’s we stayed positive, savored the shade when we had it, and enjoyed an occasional shaved ice from The People’s Pops.
The whole reason we started Love Jac was to help people stay connected with their friends and family the old fashioned way, so by far the best part of The Flea was getting to talk to our customers and hearing their enthusiasm for our cards.
The people who come to The Flea are an extremely diverse group. You’ve got your local Brooklynites and your international tourists. You’ll see people in jeans and others all decked out. There were accents we recognized and languages we couldn’t exactly place. Almost everyone wore sunglasses to beat the heat and we even saw one woman with her own parasol. The people watching alone is reason enough to pay The Flea a visit.
It was fun to chat with everyone - find out where they were from and what brought them to The Flea. Our favorite customers didn’t fit a specific demographic – they simply were card lovers. They would spend 10 minutes or longer in our booth reading all the sayings and showing their friends.
We met one couple from Australia that was staying in East Harlem and made the subway ride all the way to Fort Greene because they “had to check out The Brooklyn Flea”. It was fun to show them the photos we took while we were visiting their homeland that have now become Love Jac cards. We had a great laugh about the differences in our zoos.
There were women from Alabama, Texas, Georgia, and Connecticut. Each group had their own story and in one way or another felt a connection to Brooklyn. One customer loved our new “Spread Love – It’s the Brooklyn Way” card so much, she said she was going to frame it and hang it in her apartment! When another customer said to her friend “Oh my God, we are our mothers,” we had to get out our Mother’s Day card for her. One woman even recognized our cards from a store in Manhattan and was excited to browse through our entire collection. It was great to hear which cards were favorites and see which ones were best sellers. We even sold out of a couple different designs!
It made us feel good to think about all the people who will receive our cards in the mail. We put a lot of thought and time into making our cards because we want the recipients to feel the love and know the person who gave it to them truly cares.
Being a part of The Flea has also introduced us so many interesting, motivated, and success business owners. Even though the day flew by we were able to say hi to the vendors we had previously met and meet a couple new ones as well. The guy next to us was selling some incredible furniture, including two beautiful yellow chairs we had our eye on all day. For lunch we bought a delicious rice ball served with chilled miso soup from Rice & Miso Everyday. In the afternoon, we met the owner of Gnarly Vines (our favorite wine store in the neighborhood) and got to catch up with Rebecca, one of the owners of Greenlight Bookstore, who stopped by with her brand new baby boy. (Don't forget...if you need a card and it's not a Saturday, Greenlight sells our cards) Before the day was over we grabbed a bag of granola for the road from Jean&Kate, who were also debuting at The Flea as well. We enjoyed meeting our neighbors and learning why the other vendors love selling at The Flea. Brooklyn, and The Flea specifically, have a great sense of community that can be experienced by everyone and we really felt it on Saturday.
When we first entered the PowerUp! Competition back in September of 2011, selling our cards at The Brooklyn Flea was at the top of our long-term goals. To have reached it already feels good. The experience turned out to be much more than we had imagined and we look forward to doing it all over again next Saturday.
We have to thank our friends and family who came out to support us and stocked up on their cards. There were quite a few surprise visitors throughout the day that really meant a lot to us. We also have to thank… Katrina & Darlene who drove up from Philly to help with the setup…our parents who watched Georgia the entire day, helped us build our displays, and are always doing everything they can to make Love Jac a success…and finally, Chad who is just the best.
Finally the icing on the cake for selling our cards at The Flea was obviously that it gave me an excuse to wear my silver fanny pack!! I love that thing! So much fun!