When I think about holiday shopping, the term “fun” generally doesn’t come to mind. I mean fine, religion mandates my celebrating Chanukah over Christmas, which – regardless of what your Jewish friends tell you – stinks like poo once you’re past the age of ten. Perhaps there are a few presents; there sure as shit ain’t eight. But I digress.
I tend to buy a few small thangs for family and choice friends during the holiday season. I do not enjoy this experience and, let’s be honest, neither do you. Gifting things you want for yourself to other people is a serious buzzkill, but hey, ’tis the season to not be a selfish ho. Or something.
I bit the bullet last night and checked out Brooklyn Flea’s Gifted Holiday Market. I was pleased to discover that shopping for others can actually be a blast, provided you choose your venues wisely. Phew, because I was turning into a real Scrooge there for a hot sec.
The live DJ soundtrack bore no obnoxious Christmas tunes; the beer doled out by Brooklyn Brew Shop was free; the vendors were cheery and gracious; the merch was a perfect blend of edgy, artsy-fartsy, trendy, fair-trade, vintage and holiday spirit (if that makes any sense). While the term Flea certainly doesn’t encapsulate the price points, the well-edited selection of material goodies more than makes up for its lack of uber cheapness. Some of the stuff hits $200-plus mark, but most of the uber original and/or handmade thangs are more reasonable than rip-off. Word. To. That. Onto the highlights.
I am a scarf nutball, so I spent about ten minutes trying on options at Rain Lily‘s booth. The Fair Trade company deals directly with artisans all over the world – women in Thailand get a decent wage, you get an accessory that wasn’t made in a sweatshop. Loves it! The handwoven, hand-dyed scarves above are around $20 each. The beige goes to me because I’m boring like that; the green goes to mi Madre so I can borrow it at will. Kidding (but only kinda. Oy!)
The phrase Never Been Worn Vintage Earrings sounds like an oxymoron, so I obvs asked the dude manning the booth for clarification. Turns out Blue Canary Vintage discovered an old warehouse full of the most adorable earrings ever, made but never sold. Blue Canary bought the stock in its entirety, et voila!
One pair goes for $15; two pairs go for $20. The impressive selection merits choosing the latter option – there are doves, hearts, cubes, airplanes, scissors, owls, flowers, coins, knots, keys and then some. Most of the styles are tiny in size and positively dainty – the chic trumps the cheese factor, fo sho. DO IT.
And SPEAKING of cheesy… I absolutely could not resist Blue Canary’s cartoonish astrology pendants, as I’m a sucker for all things Aquarius. It’s legit goofy, but it’s also legit vintage. That means the old-school vibe cancels out the kitsch factor, and awesomeness ensues. (That’s me rationalizing a $20 necklace I don’t need. Sighs.)
Let us close with the most wonderfully absurd shoes I’ve ever seen:
One could probs say that about every pair from Osborn Design Studios – these are just my personal fave. I can’t explain the fascination. I just know I want them need them want to be near them always.
Jewel – out of my head. NOW.
P.S. Kudos to the Flea’s co-curator Lucky Mag for helping put together the most unique, spirited holiday mart in all of the Apple. Kvell-worthy!