The Flipping Flea has been open for more than a year and is now expanding to become what owner Nancy Lee hopes will be a Williamsburg staple.
“Shoppers keep telling me it’s becoming a destination shop,” she said. “People have started coming from all over, coming back every year.”
This fall, Lee will open a second location of her flea market-style shop called Flipping Flea #2. The store will be in the same shopping center, Colonial Towne Shops, as the original location but will provide more than twice the amount of space. The current location is approximately 4,000 square feet — the new one, about 6,000 square feet.
Having the location in the same shopping center as the first store is a strategic move for Lee because it allows her to have easy access to both locations.
While this is a new location for the business, it is not the first time the Flipping Flea expanded. In April, Lee formed a partnership with Janey Sawyer to open Flipping Flea Too at Patriot Plaza. However, in August the partnership dissolved and the Flipping Flea Too became the Williamsburg Bazaar and moved to the Williamsburg Premium Outlets.
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Lee said it might seem confusing at first given the previous business and the extension is in the same shopping center, but she said this new location helps to fulfill a strong need to provide a space for small businesses where owners don’t have to worry about high rent.
At the Flipping Flea, merchants share the overall rent cost for the location to sell their products to the shop’s customers. Lee said this model proves to fill a need because local merchants have responded so well that she’s decided to provide more space.
“When rent is extremely high, then you can’t give affordable rent to a person that wants to come in and find a space,” she said. “Doing it this way, you can let people come in and fulfill their dreams.”
Lee’s merchants sell a variety of merchandise, from antiques to equestrian items. Merchants range in age from teenagers to adults, all trying to reach an audience and share their passions, Lee said.
“It’s the variety that brings in our repeat customers right off the bat,” Lee said. “People come in and don’t realize how much is here; they say they want to come back again to look at everything.”
Lee said she hopes the store will continue expanding “if it’s God’s will.” Most importantly, she wants to continue to see her current merchants enjoy being part of the business’ “flea family” and see customers enjoy the hunt of thrifting.
Lee said he is still looking for Merchants for the new location and if business owners are interested they can reach out via Facebook, stop by the store or call at 757-645-5172.
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Lee is also ringing in fall with a Harvest Happenings event starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. During the event, there will be hayrides, hot apple cider donuts, and lunch specials.
“People used to come to town just to shop at The Pottery,” she said. “I don’t know if they’ll come to town just for us, but maybe one day in the future. That’s what I’m hoping for.”