Christmas Shopping With a Crafty Dublin Twist.
Dublin Flea Christmas Market is heading back for a fourth year in a row at The Point Village. From Thursday, December 6th to Sunday, December 9th and again from Thursday, December 13th to Sunday, December 16th, the shopping centre will be transformed into a thriving Christmas market. All of the stalls are carefully curated from over 500 submissions to host the best up-and-coming Irish-based artists, designers and crafts people, retro, vintage and antique collectors and artisan food producers.
As it was last year, this years Dublin Flea Christmas Market is supported by Dublin City Council and Dublin.ie. We sat down with half of the four-person team behind Dublin Flea, Sharon Greene and Dave Dunn to find out what makes the Christmas Flea Market so special.
Images courtesy of Edit Elias Photography
The Dublin Flea Market began in 2008 with the coming together of three friends, Sharon Greene, Luca D’Alfonso and Aisling Rogerson. Dave Dunn came on board soon afterwards.
“It was the right time and the right place. It was the beginning of the recession. It was a reaction to eight years of the boom, which was all about labels and buying things new. The recession came at a point where people were looking for an alternative, something with a bit more heart and something with a bit more community spirit. We provided that”, says Sharon.
“The market’s always been a really positive vibrant place, it was a place that didn’t know about the recession. Everything was dismal when you would listen to the news and then you would come to the flea market; money was changing hands, people were smiling. There was a shift in how people were spending their money and the flea market really served a purpose at that time.”
This sense of community and vibrancy has carried through to today and the Dublin Flea Christmas Market is no exception. Key to this is the accessibility of the market, not just to traders but also to customers.
Community is “the essence of it. It’s not for profit. We’re not doing it for money. We’re doing it for the love of the community and the love of markets”, Sharon says, her passion for the project clear.
“The price-point to entry is achievable. For the Christmas Flea Market, we’ve tiered from 300 quid so that it’s realistic for entry-level start-ups, sole traders and established small businesses to all afford to take part. That’s accessible for our traders and our traders are able to make that worthwhile. The next step up for them is a huge barrier,” Dave explains. “And it’s accessible to the public because it’s free!” Sharon chimes in.
Dave continues, “And we want to keep it that way. We’re beginning to feel the pressure now in the last few years on that because there aren’t that many vacant spaces in Dublin anymore. They’re all being developed, and premises are changing hands, so the pressure is on us to maintain that level of accessibility. That’s why we’re delighted to have Dublin City Council on board.”
Alongside the Dublin Flea’s much loved mix of antique, vintage and retro furniture, clothes and collectables, the Christmas Flea Market champions independent Irish craft-makers, designers and artists.
“We’re running our enterprise, but actually what we’re doing is facilitating all of these guys to run their enterprises. A lot of these guys are start-ups, they’re entrepreneurs. They’ve thought, ‘you know, maybe I can go out on my own and I can do my own thing’,” Dave says.
Images courtesy of Edit Elias Photography
The Dublin Flea team has curated everything for sale at the Market and every item has a story. The items for sale are “really well-designed and well made products that you can feel and touch before you buy. You can talk to the trader and the craftsperson and they’re definitely more personalised because they have that story. I like giving gifts that have a story about them”, says Sharon.
The market offers everything from jewellery, art and handmade children’s bedding to furniture and herbal cosmetics with stalls by Moon Mood, Kirk Modern, Leko & Leko, Dublin Herbalists and Fawn Prints to name but a few. There is also a large selection of food and refreshments available as well as buskers and carol singers.
Amongst the 280+ stalls (140 each weekend) is Hungry Crow, an artisanal chocolate stall. Run by Niamh O’Reilly, Hungry Crow sells a wide range of healthy, handmade nut truffles, chocolate-covered stuffed medjool dates, soft-centred chocolates and cakes. They’re all vegan friendly, dairy-free and grain-free, with flavours like rose hip and orange-spice almond butter setting them apart from the everyday chocolate bar.
The Market opens from 1pm–8pm on Thursday 6th and 13th and Friday 7th and 14th; and from 11am–6pm on Saturday 8th and 15th and Sunday 9th and 16th of December. Both Dave and Sharon recommend arriving early. If you needed an excuse to take a festive half day, there you have it!
For more information visit dublinchristmasflea.ie