Anthony Defilippo caught the entrepreneurship bug and started Earth Custom Designs, an ecologically aware jewelry line, as a high school student. Yup. How's that for awesome?
Earth Custom Designs started by designing leather bracelets that feature non-precious stones from developing countries. The sale of the bracelets helps support the growth of poor villages where the stones originate. Each wonderful bracelet comes with a story of origin explaining the stone and is presented in a hand-stitched gift bag. Wow. This year Anthony will introduce necklaces and earrings to his line and plans are in the works for t-shirts and bags that will help support impoverished communities in Guatemala.
We're so impressed with Anthony's vision and commitment. Anthony says, "I really appreciate what the Providence Flea is trying to accomplish. They are helping grow small businesses throughout Rhode Island."
Stop by and meet Anthony this summer at The Flea!
Slightly Odd is a Rhode Island-based clothing brand that is "as open minded as the people who wear it." Think artfully-designed t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, pins and more.
Designer John Lopes of Slightly Odd told us, "I really enjoyed The Flea last year. I meet interesting and odd individuals who shared the same spirit and enthusiasm on life and it's many wacky endeavors!"
Get on down to The Flea and get the latest looks from Slightly Odd on June 29 and July 6. Their wisdom: "We spend our whole lives trying to fit in. It's time we stick out."
We set down the Atari joystick and abandoned the game of Centipede to tell you about Infectious Fun Toys. They are THAT good.
Weary of things that don't live up to the hype? Enter Infectious Fun Toys. Turns out they ARE contagious, joyful and primed for play. A stop by this booth always has us catapulting back to simpler times when we consumed Twinkies with much less guilt.
And Jim Blackwell wants to hear about your misspent youth, too. "We loved spending time with patrons and vendors last summer," he says. "It was great to hear so many people sharing their memories when checking out toys from their childhood in our booth. We're especially excited about sharing vintage toys with a new generation!"
Infectious Fun Toys is at The Flea on June 29 and again in July and August. I mean, do you LIKE fun?
Who's the man behind Big Al's Poke & Pick? He's the guy with the sweet smile, the great hat and the things you want to take home. Al started collecting when he was 18 and took a shine to Coca Cola collectibles. He now specializes in vintage mid-century modern collectibles including Eames, Heywood Wakefield, Russell Wright and McCobb. But in the end Al says, “If it is good design, I like it. Whether it is a typewriter or a lamp.”
(Editor’s Note: Our brief interview was interrupted when a man stopped by to collect the vintage bicycle he bought for his wife’s birthday. Their dog, Franklin, fits perfectly in the basket. This is the kind of sunny thing that happens when you hang with Al.)
Al lives in Rhode Island but used to trek to the Brooklyn Flea on weekends to sell. He’s excited to replace all of that early morning driving with a jaunt to the Providence Flea. “I just cannot come up with a better place to spend my Sundays,” he says.
Come see what Al has been storing in his garage and his basement. You won’t be disappointed. He’s at The Flea this weekend and all summer long!
If you have been to the Flea you’ve probably noticed Petals and Pots by Patricia. Their booth is a collection of color and pattern that you want to drink in like homemade iced tea. Delicious.
What will you find at Petals and Pots? Patricia says:
I like to bring a variety of true antiques and vintage pieces to the Flea. I'm not one for reproductions. Anyone can go to a chain store for that!
Why does she like The Flea?
I love being on the water on a sunny Sunday. And most of all, I have met so many interesting people with so many great ideas. What a great bunch of entrepreneurs!
Peruse Petals and Pots by Patricia at the Providence Flea on June 22!
Black Sheep Designs jewelry is crafted from vintage and antique treasures. That's right, Pamela Laurenzo hunts for tokens, tags, keys, and other tiny finds to make NEW treasures just for you. Mount Hope bridge tokens, weathered coins and Boston T tokens are paired with locally sourced vintage beads and mixed metals to make tailored-but-funky necklaces, bracelets, earrings.
Black Sheep Designs comes to The Providence Flea (and your wardrobe) from their Pawtucket studio. Meet Pamela and find your perfect patina June 22 or in July or August!
I walked up to the Flightless Creations booth just as a little blond girl said to her mother, “But I want to wear them now!” Indeed my friend, don’t we all.
Flightless Creations is the inspiration of Kathryn Messer who spent the last three years in the Navy on a submarine tender. Yup. These yummy, sweet creations came from the same person who lived on an island in the Indian Ocean helping maintain submarines.
She gets inspired by vintage jewelry and channels that inspiration into her own modern designs. Flowers, owls, anchors and other whimsical shapes are cast in resin or clay and then used to make all kinds of jewelry. Next Kathryn wants to add cufflinks to her line. Yes!
Flightless Creations are with us every weekend this summer at The Flea!
Terry Horton of BugTee.com is warm and lovely. But don’t let that sweet smile fool you. Her design work has real edge.
Her designs feature vintage images screenprinted or embroidered on apparel. She also sews vintage images by hand on pillows. She burns vintage images onto sections of downed trees. We’re serious. She does all of these things.
Terry is inspired by nature. She says, “Nature constantly amazes me so its easy to be inspired. My head gets so full of ideas, I have a hard time narrowing it down and focusing on one thing. I’ve started with insects but am soon to expand to other subjects like sea creatures, reptiles, and birds.”
Meet Terry and BugTee.com this weekend at The Flea!
editorial note: We would like a high five for not using one bug pun in the entire post.
Kimberly Joslyn has had a passion for all things vintage since high school: furniture, quirky decorative pieces, lamps, linens, hankies, kitchen goods, mirrors, frames, books, and… well, you get the idea. Kimberly offers these gems to the world through Arrowtrue Vintage. She also repurposes some of her treasures into jewelry and decorative pieces.
In true treasure hunter spirit, Kimberly told us, “Most of my items come from thrift shops and yard sales." And then in a whisper, "Although some of my best stuff has come from the side of the road.”
Kimberly summed it up best: “A whole crowd of people converging on the Providence waterside for the love of vintage and food? What's not to love?!” Get your Arrowtrue on at The Flea on June 22 and 29.
Oh how we LOVE the The Providence Comics Consortium (PCC). The PCC teaches free drawing and cartooning classes to kids at Providence Community Library branches and then publishes their work alongside the work of adult comic artists.
“We love showcasing all of the local kid and adult talent we work with," Julia Gualteri, one of the organizers tells us. "Craft shows, comic arts festivals, and fleas are about having a cool venue to share our project with new audiences, meet kids that might like to take a class or meet adults that might want to contribute to the project.”
Their books are beautiful, colorful, and self-published. They print on a risograph duplicator machine. These machines were popular in offices and churches in the 1990s but rendered obsolete by digital printing. Risographs are finding their way into the hands of artists who are using them to make books and prints. Cool.
The PCC gives local kids a chance to make art with working artists and put it into the world. If you know PCC, you love their work. If you haven’t met them you MUST. Stop by their booth at The Flea this Sunday, June 15th. We pretty much insist.