Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow… That’s all I hear in my head this time of year.
It’s also the time of year to shop, shop, shop…..for everyone on your list. There is no better place to shop local than at the Lafayette Collectibles and Flea Market. It has 175 vendors who bring in treasures from all over. Lafayette, Colorado Collectibles and Flea Market is rated as one of the best flea markets in the country.
It’s more important than ever to shop local this year. What could be more local than Lafayette Collectibles and Flea Market? It is comprised of 150 local vendors who rent space there.
Bill and Cheryl have owned this business since 1990. As a commercial realtor Bill was looking for a space for a client to house their flea market business. He found four buildings in the Lafayette area that would work for the client and spoke to the buildings’ owners. As fate would have it the client found a space in North Boulder near where the Safeway is now located. Bill wasn’t happy with his commercial real estate career and when someone suggested he open his own flea market business he took a gamble and did so. He rented this space on Spaulding and began his foray into the flea market business. He made a few mistakes along the way and about two years into his new venture he approached the building’s owner and requested a reduction in rent for a few months. Upon reading the contract he realized his rent had been reduced from $5400 per month to $2000 per month for 9 years. He questioned the building’s owner about this. Because the owner knew he would lose the building soon, he had made Bill a great deal on the rent for the next 9 years! The bank took possession of the building and it eventually went to auction. Bill was at the auction with $170,000 in cash. Unfortunately, the winning bid was for $190,000, $20,000 more than Bill could afford to pay. The winning bidder discovered Bill’s great lease terms and backed out of buying the building. Bill’s lease also included a clause that he had the right to purchase the building for ten percent less than the highest bid if he paid cash. He spoke to the banker and was asked what he wanted to do. Bill replied he would like to pay $50,000 for the building. Of course this didn’t go over well with the banker! Bill was able to buy the building for $171,000 after he found the additional $1000.
Cheryl was employed at IBM for 38 years before she was laid off. Bill had let go another employee and was in need of good help. Cheryl offered to work there for free since she had her pension. Eventually, Bill and Cheryl were married and she became 50/50 partners with Bill. However, they butted heads a lot until they divided up the tasks according to what each of them preferred to do. Things have run much more smoothly since then.
The Lafayette Collectibles and Flea Market was closed for 54 days this past spring. Business in May was about 25 percent of normal, June was a good month and business for the year is down less than five percent for the year. Bill is thinking of ways to keep the business open if another shut down occurs. Like all small businesses, not being open is devastating to their bottom line.
The Lafayette Collectibles and Flea Market has all kinds of nostalgic items from retro glasses and dishes to rocking horses (with a Broncos logo). A pair of brightly colored rain boots almost made it into my bag of purchases! An original ugly Christmas sweater that says bah humbug with a sheep on it was for sale, as well as, dress forms, an old fashioned wedding gown, Christmas decorations, books (I managed to get out of there without purchasing a book-quite a feat for me!) records, clothing, furniture, quilts, aprons, figurines, kitchen utensils and even a popcorn machine.
The Lafayette Collectibles and Flea Market is a great place to spend an afternoon browsing and finding treasures you didn’t know you needed!