Montana State graduates bring a Flea to Bozeman

“Coming from the creative community we recognized how difficult it is to sell handmade items at a fair price,” said Jasmine Snyder, founder of Bozeman Flea. “In the end it was about bringing together a group of creatives and collectors in an environment that was conducive to selling items at a slightly higher price point, and also to encourage connections between these folks with hopes for future collaborations and personal relationships.”

Snyder, a MSU graduate in metalwork and ceramics, and Kate Lindsay, a graduate in sculpture, started Bozeman Flea last spring in an effort to provide an environment for creatives and collectors to flourish, build ties and nourish success in the community.

“Once we made the decision to move forward with the Bozeman Flea we did some research into other like-minded markets to see how they marketed themselves to the right clientele, and built a brand that was recognizable and desirable from a client’s perspective,” Snyder said. Using their favorite flea markets from around the country as stepping stones, Snyder and Lindsay debuted Bozeman Flea last February.

Their first market had only eight vendors. As the summer markets progressed, Bozeman Flea grew and grew until their online list of vendors reached a whopping 25.

“We think it’s a wonderful place to meet people and get involved in Bozeman’s creative community, especially if you didn’t grow up in the area. It’s also a great place to find one-of-a-kind vintage clothing pieces, antiques, jewelry, accessories and housewares,” Snyder said, “and if you love the hunt like we do, that can be a very satisfying reward.”

Megan McGaffigan, a Bozeman Flea vendor and another MSU alum from the College of Arts and Architecture, said, “What I love about the Bozeman Flea is the community of vendors and peoples of Bozeman who come together for a fun time and to share their quality wares. It is fun interacting with the public and sharing the stories of my brand, Poultry Haus, and our products.”

Christopher Bieniek is another Flea vendor and MSU graduate. He’s been a vendor with Bozeman Flea since the beginning. “There are so many interesting people you get to meet [at the market].” he said. “Their products are an extension of their personalities making it a visual, and intellectual feast.”

Throughout the summer, Bozeman Flea held three markets in the Baxter Hotel on Main, with the fourth and last market this Sunday, Sept. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. “We definitely want to say goodbye to this incredible season with a bang,” Snyder said. “The atmosphere is always really incredible … our summer partnership with the Baxter has really set the tone for Bozeman Flea as we find our footing in the community, and the Baxter provided a Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar which, on a Sunday morning, is pretty rad.”

Besides the bar, this Sunday’s market will feature live music from Drink Me Pretty, summer mark-downs and new fall wares, according to Snyder.

Next month, Bozeman Flea is hosting a special market in the spirit of Halloween. The market will include a mask-building craft table and other family friendly elements. Snyder said, “Being Halloween enthusiasts, we thought it would be nice to offer people an opportunity to get a jump start on the festivities with a market early in the month. We want folks to have time to build a costume around whatever gems they unearth at the Flea and we have asked our vintage clothing vendors to assemble a collection of costume worthy items to inspire customers to get in the spirit.”

Hosted in the Emerson Cultural Center on Oct. 10, more information will be available in the next week as Bozeman Flea finalizes all the details and vendors.

More information on Bozeman Flea, in addition to upcoming events and market photos, can be found online at bozemanflea.com.