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Family's love for flea markets turns in to the opening of two stores in Bloomfield

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Roger Gardner and his son Devon worked on pricing and arranging items in the new Bloomfield business, Jolly Roger's Flea Market. Devon will be running the Bloomfield location, while his father continues to work at the original Elletsville store.
(By Sabrina Westfall)
A family's love for flea markets has turned into two new businesses on Main St. in Bloomfield.

Jolly Roger's Flea Market and Kido's are located just off the courthouse square, and feature gently used items for all ages.

Owner Roger Gardner said he opened Jolly Roger's Flea Market in Ellettsville last year when his aunt Lois Meadows was going to close her shop.

"It has gone over really well," Gardner said.

His son, Devon, enjoyed helping his father in the flea market and wanted to manage his own flea market store as well.

"It was fun to work with him and I got to meet a lot of people. It's not like going into Wal-Mart. You can tell those people don't want to be there and they are rushing. When people come into flea markets, they come in to look around and they like to talk," Devon Gardner said.

Roger Gardner said most people think of flea markets as being frequented by "little old ladies," but added the variety allows the store to appeal to all ages and both sexes.

"We even have a couple chairs sitting up front because sometimes couples come in and one has to wait while their spouse continues to look around," Gardner noted.

The shop features a variety of items from 50 cent records to old silverware. The shop also features Hot Wheel cars, glassware, cheap movies and books.

"It's a good way to buy something and save money," Gardner noted.

Gardner said one item he had not intended on selling in the Ellettsville store was Trance Balloons.

"When someone died on the show Vampire Diaries, they let off these Trance Balloons. I couldn't keep them in stock for a while after that," Gardner said.

Vendors can also set up in Jolly Rogers Flea Market to sell items.

"That's the good thing about having different vendors. It gives us more variety, keeps things fresh and allows people to get some things out of their homes," Gardner said.

Gardner said the best selling items are repurposed because most people want functional items they can use in the home and not antiques.

"We are trying to bring in a little furniture in here. We want it priced well, but we want it to look nice," Gardner said.

Jolly Rogers Flea Market is able to sell some items at a decent price when they are purchased wholesale.

"A pocket knife for $2 is a good price. It's hard for an individual to get that price because they can't go out and buy 300 knives when you just need one," Gardner explained.

A wholesale shipment of electronics from Best Buy will be in stock after the beginning of the year, he added.

Gardner and his daughter, Mercedes, opened the child-oriented store Kido's next door.

He and the new mother were driving around Bloomfield and noticed there were no stores for soon-to-be and new mothers.

The shop features gently used baby clothing, toys and maternity clothes.

Gardner said he and his family want to become a part of the Bloomfield community, and noted Devon has already moved to town.

"My daughter is wanting to move down here too because of all the good things Devon has said," Gardner added.

He also plans to get with the other stores along the square after they are settled in to draw people downtown.

"I would like to get with some of the other merchants and bring people to the downtown area. There are several nice businesses in the downtown," Gardner said.

The name of the business originated with Gardner's love of pirates. The pirate flags depicts the skull and cross bone titled "Jolly Roger."

"I'm a big pirate fan. Every always tells me, 'You're so jolly', and my name is Roger, so I decided to name it Jolly Roger's Flea Market," Gardner said.

There are pirate themed cutouts set up in front of the store for photograph opportunities as pirates.

The stores will be open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Those interested in renting vendor space at Jolly Roger's Flea Market can call (812) 876-3003 or 812-876-3274. They can also email rogersfleamarket@bluemarble.net .

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