Students could be found milling about rooms 102 and 103 of the Binghamton University Union this past Tuesday as the second Student Flea Market of the year, hosted by the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB), drew attendees from all over campus. This production created a warm space for the growth of the community on campus and fostered the opportunity to meet and support student-run businesses.
The products at this flea market ranged from unique and incredibly well-designed hand-knit and crocheted hats, tops and gloves, to artistically formed jewelry and all the way to rows of thrifted clothing. The creativity of the sellers was beautifully exhibited as each vendor had their own station and space to reveal their sustainable clothing options and artistic creations.
Olivia Ames, the vice festivals chair of SAPB and a junior majoring in anthropology, had some positive comments to make about the market and the planning that went into it.
“The sense of community is really nice to have,” Ames said. “I really like that we’re giving people an opportunity here.”
Ames explained that the main focus of the market was to create an open environment for students to meet new people, find affordable goods and for the vendors to make a little extra money. Everyone certainly seemed to enjoy themselves, and there was no shortage of enthusiasm from vendors and patrons alike.
Alana Foreman, a vendor selling handmade knitwear and a freshman double-majoring in computer science and mathematics, also had positive things to say about the market.
“I thought the flea market would be a great opportunity and it’s been really successful for the brand,” Foreman said. “We’ve gotten a lot of exposure through it.”
Both a market and a sort of museum, the student flea really provides a space for students to gain exposure for their small businesses and for the art that they create through knit work, jewelry design and even makeup design. Here, students are provided with the opportunity to show off their incredible works and make some money off of clothing that would otherwise go to a landfill. Those who attend are not only given the opportunity to support their hard-working peers in their endeavors in the world of small businesses but also a more sustainable option for purchasing affordable clothing and accessories.
The sheer variety of merchandise on display and the clear eagerness of the BU student body to exhibit their own creations and support their peers’ small businesses were quite impressive. The rooms were packed with students moving from table to table and taking in all of the beautiful creations. There were multiple people selling handmade jewelry, yet completely different aesthetics from both tables, giving people the opportunity to buy different styles of earrings and necklaces. The same goes for the knitwear that was available. Each creator had their own personal spin on their creations and it was an absolute blast walking through and seeing the intricate lines and unique designs of the vendors.
The strong sense of community and welcoming atmosphere provided a space for movement and easy access to all items, meaning no one was stuck in one spot for too long. There were tons of people there, yet still space to move around. Conversations began easily and every vendor was incredibly approachable and enjoyable to work with.
Overall, the SAPB Student Flea Market was a complete success. There was a wide variety of merchandise and amazing options for buying affordable items and supporting fellow students and their small businesses, which is always important on a college campus. The only thing left to do now is to see when the next market will be held.