Jan 14, 2013 12:17 PM by Tara Grimes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It's been years since Great Falls has had a flea market, but now the Great Falls Mini Mall and Flea Market is working to gain more customers.
Linda Kohles, one of the vendors inside the market, adores candles, so working for PartyLite felt natural for her.
"I love candles," Kohles said. "I can go back to when I was 10 years old, I was a pyromaniac!"
Now her passion for candles has sparked a desire to help her sister, who is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and bound to a wheelchair.
"I want to earn a trip to take her to Hawaii in May through PartyLite," Kohles said. "So my goal, I've been talking about it for six months is to earn this trip so I can take her to Hawaii."
Kohles isn't alone. More than 30 other vendors, each with their individual pursuits and aspirations, have set up shop at Great Falls' newest Flea Market.
"The idea was to create a venue for the small business to get exposure, for the hand-crafter to get their crafts and their items exposed," Flea Market manager Jeff Erickson said.
The place is filled with hand-made goods, antique items, and even a massage booth. But, more than giving shoppers unique items, the market is also giving back to the community by letting non-profit organizations set up booths for free and holding fundraisers for a different one each month.
This month one of the vendors, who is an artist, painted a saw. The market is holding a silent auction and the highest bidder will walk away with the saw, and all the money will be donated to the Great Falls Community Food Bank.
The flea market also has a food stand in which shoppers can enjoy lunch.
The market is located at 4800 10th Avenue South and is open Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Erickson said he would like to keep the flea market running year round without conflicting with the farmers market in the summer.
You can visit the market's Facebook page by clicking here.