July 2, 2016

Photos of the Polka Dot Flea

Thank you for all of your kind comments on my last post about the Orlando Tragedy.  

As Orlando continues to pull together, I wanted to share pictures from the Polka Dot Flea on Saturday June 11th.
  

We try to keep a diversity of vendors...True antiques, guy stuff, bohemian, jewelry, artsy.....Big stuff, little stuff....Something for everyone!

I'll be quiet so you can enjoy the booths of our fabulous vendors.  














  
At 9am sharp we opened the doors.....
..... And the shopping commenced!












Saturday was such a fun day!  Sunday we had a dark cloud.

Vintage Finds Magazine Published pictures of the Polka Dot Flea in their June/July issue and asked us to include a paragraph....This really sums up the show.



"Orlando and Beyond,

The Polka Dot Flea is only as successful as our "best of the best" vendors and shoppers. Thank you for giving us another amazing Saturday, and being present Sunday as we all learned together the breadth of the tragedy that unfolded the night before.  Every year, we strive to be better than the last, but next year will definitely have special meaning.  The Polka Dot Flea will strive to make 2017 our best event yet, and help show that we in Orlando are committed to doing the things we love to do by remaining #OrlandoStrong.  Thank you again to all of our vendors and lovers of all things vintage, upcycled, rusty, shabby, and otherwise.  You are the soul of the Polka Dot Flea and we appreciate each and every one of you!"
 
Carol Turner and Bradley Turner

Happy Creating
Carol

Thank you to our amazing photographer!!
Tammy Thomas Images 818.486.5518
 

June 17, 2016

Orlando Strong and Polka Dot Flea

It's been a tough week here in Orlando.  

Thank you to those that have sent messages and encouraging words.  It has taken a few days to wrap my head around what has happened in my community and to be able to share it with you.


It's a whole different feeling when terrorism strikes in your back yard.  The mass shootings occurred 7 blocks from my home.

3am Sunday morning I awoke to helicopters flying overhead, which is not uncommon since I live close to Orlando Health, a huge level one trauma hospital.  Their life flight helicopters are a common site and sound.   I was awoken again at 5am and this time I heard many helicopters and sirens.  I turned on the local TV station and could tell the newscaster was almost breathless, she said there had been a shooting downtown and there was a huge police presence, but they did not have any information. 

I was interested, but not alarmed, since there were no details and I was anxious to get to the second day of my Polka Dot Flea.

  In total oblivion I headed out, all I could think about was how fun the first day of the Polka Dot Flea had been.....Oh, what a difference a day will make.


We had lines around the building
 
And then a buzz of happy shoppers and sellers



It was a fun and festive atmosphere...So, why would  we think Sunday would be any different??


 When we got to the the Polka Dot Flea early Sunday morning, which is 7 miles from the shooting, there was a little talk from the vendors that had stayed at downtown hotels and saw all of the police and activity

Then news started trickling in......

...50 killed
50 wounded
7 trauma surgeons called in
Isis
Muslim
Terrorist
In need of blood donations

State of Emergency...
What does that mean?  Should we close, evacuate?

The mood at the Flea changed dramatically, confusion, tears, anger, fears....All of the sudden the Polka Dot Flea was covered with a dark cloud.



We finished the day in sadness and some vendors started packing a little early, we understood....They just wanted to get home to their families


 5 days later the streets are still closed, the helicopters are still flying over head and there have been many vigils and gatherings.  

There is a silver lining, and that is how the community has pulled together.  I went to my bank yesterday, 2 doors down from the Pulse night club and they have opened their lobby to emergency respondents, media, local and national politicians, and anyone in  need of a cool retreat from the chaos.  They have free food, snacks, and beverages.  They said much of it was donated by Target, McDonald's, customers, and pretty much anyone that wanted to help.


 The blood bank is a couple blocks down and on Sunday as thousands lined up to donate blood the community jumped in and made sure the blood donors wanted for nothing.  The local Publix grocery loaded up their trucks and brought water and snacks, Chick fil A, who is never opens on Sundays, brought in workers to make and deliver sandwiches, local pizza shops delivered pizza by the car load, canopy's were bought in and even port a potties were delivered......

 
The Greenwood Cemetery, about 6 blocks from my house has donated burial plots to the victims.  My neighborhood website said there will be one burial today and 3 tomorrow...With many more to come.

 In the face of tragedy...So much love!

We are... 



 I don't want to get into politics, but I do believe we are at war.  I don't have the answers, but I pray that this will be a wake up call!


God Bless The USA

Carol 

May 31, 2016

The Polka Dot Flea Is Less Than 2 Weeks Away!

Where have I been?

With the Polka Dot Flea less than 2 weeks away, I've been a busy girl!

Saturday and Sunday
June 11-12, 2016
Central Florida Fairgrounds 
 indoors/air conditioned
Orlando, Florida

 Right now it's all about the vendors! 

We have been busy getting the vendors registered, answering emails, doing the booth layout, keeping them in the loop with Polka Dot Flea newsletters, assigning load in doors, making booth signs etc.

When I start the Polka Dot Flea 3 years ago, I knew I wanted the "Best of the Best" vendors and I wanted them to be treated like royalty.   We don't have a show without our amazing vendors.

We have one staff member with a walkie talkie for each 5-6 vendors. 

Our staff is the most amazing, fun, and hardworking folks and getting them all scheduled is like a major jigsaw puzzle!  We added 3 dedicated porters this year that will move and load large items for our customers at no charge. 

 
 When the vendors arrive on Friday our staff directs them to one of 6 unloading doors closest to their booths in the 21,000 sq ft air conditioned venue.  Then a hostess that takes them to their booths.

And they enjoy snacks and beverages to keep them energized while they set up




 While simultaneously getting the vendors squared away we have been busy getting on every available event site and distributing posters and 15,000 postcards everywhere in Orlando and the surrounding areas

 When the vendors arrive at the air conditioned venue on Friday they start their magic...Constructing amazing, eye catching booths

Here is some vendors from past shows





We are also excited that once again "Sisters On The Fly" will be joining us.

“Sisters on The Fly” is the Largest outdoor women's group in the United States. When they heard that there was camping at the Polka Dot Flea, they decided to pack up their amazing vintage trailers and head to the Flea for the weekend. If you come to the Polka Dot Flea don’t be surprised to see some great vintage trailers right outside the venue, including Little Miss Pitstop!

 So, back to the question on the beginning of this post
 "Where have I been?"  
I've been busy as a bee getting ready for the...

 

And in a few short days the amazing, enthusiastic, Polka Dot Flea shoppers will be lining up with their friends...

  
 ...For 2 day's of party like fun, shopping in blissful air conditioning! All the while, Oohing and Ahhing over the amazing products and booth displays by vendors from all over Florida and beyond.  

The best part:

I am the very lucky,beyond blessed girl,that gets to organize, promote and host this amazing party!



So.....Who's coming to the Polka Dot Flea party?????


Happy Creating!
Carol