Surviving Tornados at The Brooklyn Flea

Hope everyone had a great weekend. We were back at The Brooklyn Flea again after a week off to regroup, reassess, and rejuvenate.  With some new alterations to our set-up and one fun bright yellow ladder, we were ready to go! 


The weather wasn’t quite on our side.  When we arrived at 8:30am there were some clouds in the sky, but we were able to get our tent up and all the main structures built before we were under a cloud of gray.  Before we knew it the rain was coming down and we had to act quickly. 

First priority: save the cards! We utilized our new red bin, which normally holds miscellaneous supplies, to protect our cards from the rain that was coming in from every direction.  As Chad tried to secure the tarp our neighbor was putting up, he subsequently got caught under the rain dripping off the top of the other tent. – Ok – to be honest, it looked like he just won the Super Bowl and his teammates dumped a gigantic Gatorade cooler of water on him!  The man really loves me.  Once our neighbor gave up on his side tarp things started to look better.  All of our supplies were dry and we were huddled in the center of the tent watching our fellow vendors do the same. 

Click here to watch a video of our tent!

Click here to watch a video from our tent.

Second priority: Make the most of the situation!  Luckily for us, we were positioned across from the delicious Dough donut people and our favorite Crop to Cup coffee stand was brewing!  After about 30 minutes of consistent downpour the skies parted and the sun came out!  Thankfully, so did the Brooklynites.

While other vendors chose to get out while they were ahead, we decided to stick it out.  My parents were already here to watch Georgia and we had a feeling people would still come!  Our first sale was to an extremely kind woman from Mississippi who was in town to do the Susan G. Komen Race for The Cure.  After talking with her for a little while, we instantly knew we made the right decision to stay!  Getting to chat with so many different people is still our favorite part of The Flea.  Knowing that our cards will make a difference in the lives of their friends is an extremely close second.

The day turned out to be pretty nice…especially for those browsing the market.  The sun was out and there was a relaxing breeze…well, relaxing if you don’t have a greeting card company set-up in Brooklyn during a tornado watch!  To say my heart beat at a rapid pace all day would be an understatement. Every time the wind would start to blow I would stop breathing and just pray we didn’t lose all our merchandise.  After some crafty thinking and a little twine, all of our cards were secure and our customers were able to shop as usual.  There was a steady turnout of Brooklynites and a decent amount of tourists! Our favorite out-of-towners were two guys from Italy who had a friend named Jac, which they pronounced “Yak.”  They were excited when they saw our signs and it made us laugh when they kept referring to me as “Yak.”

As the day winded down, we stayed open until 5pm since people kept stopping by.  We even reopened a box when a guy came looking for a wedding card.  It seemed like there was no need to rush.  Just when we got everything packed up we heard the lady next to us yell, “We gotta go! The rain is coming and it’s coming now!!” We looked into the sky and there were those dreaded gray clouds once again heading right in our direction. We double-timed it, lowered the tent as close to the ground as possible, and moved all the paper goods to the center.  My dad was only a couple blocks away with the van.  As Chad wheeled all the water-resistant displays to the sidewalk, I held onto the tent with all my might.  Then the wind came.  Before I knew it my dress was over my head, I was holding onto the tent with everything I had, and praying I didn’t get sucked up into a tornado.  I felt like a kite surfer about to go on the ride of my life.  In actuality I only moved about a foot, but I yelled for Chad like I was about to take off.  He came running and we switched spots.  My dad pulled up and we sprinted with our cards straight to the van.  Just as we shut the door to our van the rain came down once again.  This time my heart stopped racing.  We stood outside for a second, as the rain drench us, and finally breathed easy knowing we survived the day.

It was an adventure of a day, to say the least.  But what we did learn is that our fellow Brooklynites and those that come to visit aren’t scared of a little rain…or, in Saturday’s case, a little tornado warning.

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