meet OUR TEAM
Owned by Diverse Markets Management, The Flea Market at Eastern Market is run by a dedicated team of hard working staff.
Michael Berman has experience in the fine arts, art community organizing, land planning, historic preservation, real estate, property management, and the development of outdoor markets. He is a practicing artist and active exhibitor. Michael has worked with both public and governmental agencies, as well as privately funded companies in arts related programs and exhibiting. He serves as a board member of the Public Space Planning and Management Corporation, which provides the District with advice and oversight concerning vending laws, planning and management. Michael lives and maintains his studio on Capitol Hill and is a member of many local and city organizations.
Tom Rall built the Sunday market into what has been called one of the “best small markets in the country”. He turned what once was an under-used public space on Sundays into a contributing element of an economic revitalization that realtors and guides call the “heart of Capitol Hill”. Tom has deep ties to the Capitol Hill community and is a contributing member of the pillar organizations that keep the Hill a proud and rich neighborhood. Additionally Tom is an exhibitor at the market.
Jeff Taliaferro joined the company as a director in May 2014. His company JWT Financial Consulting, has provided financial management services for several years. He has extensive experience in internal financial management reporting and a diverse background in a wide-range of industries including: Public Sector, Homeland Security, Commercial, State & Local and Healthcare. He has a proven track record for improving financial efficiency through effective utilization of information technology.
Assistant Market Manager
Born and raised in Capitol Hill, David Wright has been associated with Eastern Market for the last 10 years. He worked previously for the Market 5 Gallery in the North Hall as well as The Flea Market at Eastern Market. Affectionately known as "Big Dave", David assists with traffic control, space assignments, fee collection and bookkeeping. He supervises the clean-up at the end of day and is responsible for closing down the flea market each Sunday.
HISTORY: since 1983
The Market has been operating continuously for 38 years under the management of DMM partner Tom Rall, who still sells vintage photography, maps and contemporary art pottery here. Rall founded The Flea Market at Eastern Market in 1984 around the North Hall of Eastern Market, under an agreement with Market 5 Gallery, then the North Hall tenant, The market expanded to the Hine School in 1993, and continuously operated there for over 20 years until the re-development of the 300 Block of 7th St SE.
In 2009, the District of Columbia assumed control and management of Eastern Market, severing the contract of Market 5 Gallery and thus Rall’s sublease for sidewalk vending at Eastern Market on Sundays. DMM was formed in 2005 among Rall’s management team in order to create additional events for the long waiting list of exhibitors who could not get permanent space at the Flea Market due to its popularity.
As an Artist selling at Eastern Market since 1993, Michael Berman, worked for years assisting in the marketing, branding and communications for the Flea Market. In 2009, Berman assumed the director role for the company. DMM became the official ownership entity of The Flea Market at Eastern Market in 2011. This was a seamless transition, as numerous staff and DMM partners were all involved with The Flea Market for decades.
The Flea Market at Eastern Market boasted on its 3rd year of operations that it had exhibitors from 5 states. Now, it hosts exhibitors from 5 continents. Though not the largest flea market, it is arguably one of the most diverse in the nation. The Flea Market features arts, crafts, antiques, collectibles, and imports from around the world. Exhibitors are extremely knowledgeable of their wares and many actually make their products.
The flea market has been a turning point in the development pattern of Capitol Hill. When it opened, Eastern Market was closed and the streets were deserted on Sundays. Due in large part to the foot traffic created by the flea market, Eastern Market is now a major destination for locals, area residents and tourists.
What once was an under-utilized public space on Sundays, Rall turned into a contributing element of an economic revitalization that realtors and guides call the “heart of Capitol Hill."
Housing values have skyrocketed, area stores and restaurants are crowded, surrounding businesses are thriving. Indeed, a key reason that there’s such interest and value in developing the Hine parcel is because of the social and economic impact the weekend markets have had on the location.
Exhibitors come from as near as the neighborhood, from across the city, and from area suburbs. In fact, several antique vendors drive as many as four hours each way and they come each week. As the market’s reputation is wide spread, exhibitors from around the country arrive seasonally or pass through while on the show circuit.
The market has been called one of the “best small markets in the country." In a Huffington Post poll, it was voted the second best market in the world. It’s been featured in a PBS documentary of flea markets, in numerous travel magazines and cable travel shows, and in local publications including The Washington Post.